By Anne Ahira
It is estimated that over fifteen million people suffer from an anxiety disorder and learning to cope with this on a daily basis may prove to be very difficult and challenging.
This is especially true when it comes to coping with an anxiety disorder in the workplace.
If you suffer from anxiety, it is likely that you live in a constant state of fear of when the symptoms will occur.
If you work outside the home, this likely adds anxiety because of the fact that you want to be able to control the symptoms that you experience when around others.
The good news is, that there are several different techniques that you may utilize in order to cope with anxiety effectively while performing your professional duties in the workplace.
Customize Your Environment
Making even the smallest changes to your work environment can help you to alleviate anxiety symptoms and improve your performance at work.
If your job duties require you to work at a desk, request an area that is quiet and away from high traffic areas and limited distractions.
Having a quiet area to work in will help you to accomplish more and alleviate the feelings of anxiety at the end of the day that you may otherwise have if you feel you have not accomplished enough work.
Music has also been proven to be beneficial for anxiety and listening to soft music including classical and new age can be very effective in increasing relaxation.
When having to attend meetings, ensure that you have a seat that is close to a doorway in case you feel as if you have to leave the room as this will avoid bringing attention to yourself or creating a distraction which can cause you to feel more anxiety.
Utilize your time when taking breaks or lunch to move around and get some exercise or go for a walk if possible.
Avoid the use of caffeine or other stimulants during working hours as these substances can intensify the symptoms of anxiety.
Learn to recognize your anxiety symptoms and find an appropriate quiet room or space where you can perform breathing and relaxation techniques when you feel the need to prevent these symptoms from becoming worse.
Knowing Your Rights
An anxiety disorder is a disability and the employee’s with this illness are protected under the law by the “Americans with Disabilities Act”.
This law states that you are entitled to “reasonable accommodation” in the workplace which includes the right for to a reasonable amount of privacy in your work space, on the job coaching if necessary, and a sufficient amount of time to master new job skills or responsibilities.
Managing an anxiety disorder takes practice and in order to be efficient, productive, and comfortable in the workplace, it is essential that you take the control and responsibility of getting any outside support or help that you may need as well as educating yourself on effective coping skills specific to your job.
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