Entrepreneurship Productivity

How to Deal with Work Anxiety

Evan Goodman
Written by Evan Goodman

Fact: anxiety is a major problem today. 

Millions of people struggle with this issue. For many, the source of their trouble is their job. 

Whether it’s demanding clients, difficult employees or challenging deadlines, there’s no doubt about it, work can cause a lot of anxiety. Unfortunately there aren’t many experts who have good and proven strategies to deal with this issue. 

As a small business and start up coach,  anxiety is common and its impact is felt not only by the person experiencing it, but those around them. 

Here are some suggestions on how to deal with it. None of them are new, and perhaps you’ve heard of them; most are simply common ‘old fashioned’ sense. But they so serve as a reminder to assist us when we feel our anxiety levels rising.

Don’t push too hard – know what your limits are

You can’t let allow unreasonable expectations ruin your life. Work is important, but it’s not worth serious anxiety. Take breaks when you feel anxious and don’t take on projects you can’t handle. Often, working too hard (or too long) is ultimately counterproductive. It may be effective in the short-term, but will ultimately lead to burnout.

Live a healthy life

Anxiety doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and insufficient sleep all make the problem much worse. Certain unhealthy habits, such as over indulging in comfort foods may seem to help you cope with stress. However, they are actually harmful in the short and long run. Not getting a good night’s sleep might be the worst offender of them all, since sleep is when our mind and body gets a chance to recuperate from the stress  we experienced during the day.

Leave your worries at work

The work day is difficult enough on its own. Don’t let work problems invade the rest of your life. Decompressing is crucial to relieving stress. You should take care to unwind after every work day. Anything that is relaxing and low-key should help. For example, have dinner with family or friends, enjoy your favorite hobby, or simply watch a fun TV show.

Foster a positive attitude

Sometimes, anxiety is as much a product of attitude more than anything else. If you have a negative mindset, everything will seem worse than it actually is. Try to recall all the things about your job that are good and there will probably be more to appreciate than you expect. Difficulties cause less anxiety if you have something positive to contrast them with.

Focus on the task at hand

Anxiety is frequently triggered by worrying about things beyond your immediate control. For example, obsessing about a deadline due next week when you have  something that demands your attention in the next few hours, is obviously irrational. Keying in on whatever is actually in front of you in the moment is often the secret to escaping this sort of anxiety. Remember, multitasking efficiently is unrealistic, it’s better to  focus on one thing at a time.

Share your problems

No one is an island. We all need someone to vent to. Whether it’s a business mentor, a family member, or a friend, be sure to share the problems you are facing with someone. Anxiety is always relieved by knowing someone cares enough to listen. You may also receive practical advice on how to deal with whatever is troubling you most in the moment.

Work-related anxiety can make life miserable. It can also sap performance and harm relationships, even outside of your business. That’s why anyone who is dealing with this problem should take the steps needed to improve their situation. It is possible to create a working environment without anxiety.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Evan Goodman

Evan Goodman

Over the past 30 years, Evan Goodman | Business Coach has founded numerous ‘start-ups’, built them into successful businesses and gone on to sell them. He has experienced and overcome most of the common challenges faced by business owners and leaders and understands the pressure and stresses that running a business can cause.

He also recognises the value and importance of getting sound advice and support when faced by these common challenges and of being prepared to openly discuss issues with a coach or mentor.

Since building up his last business into a national company, and selling it in 2009, Evan focusses on coaching SME business owners on how to become business leaders. He has a Masters of Business Coaching degree UOW; creating a unique blend of experience, expertise and coaching best practice for his clients.

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