3 easy steps to start taking control of your anxiety at work
If you suffer from stress and anxiety, I don’t have to tell you how debilitating it can be to have a panic attack when at work.
When you find yourself spiralling to a place of no return, you feel completely helpless and exposed. Not only that, but trying to take control over anxiety in those moments can leave you feeling more overwhelmed and less in control more than ever.
I am not a stranger to this experience.
One memory I have is when I was driving to work back in 2017, and the negative thoughts were having a field day. I felt like I was going mad.
By the time I got to work, it only took one tiny thing to push me into a full-blown panic attack.
On many occasions, I would take myself off to the bathroom to have a damn good cry, just to release the emotions that had built up in me. At other times, my panic would set off yet another migraine that would take me home to bed, where I gave myself a really hard time in a guilt-ridden few days.
But don’t fret!
What I am going to share with you in this post will help you to take control during a panic attack.
By practising these tips, you will start to notice when your anxiety is creeping in, and before you enter into that place of no return, you will be able to manage it effectively.
Three tips to control your anxiety
1. Write and have a vent
Buy yourself a journal and keep it with you at all times! This is a great excuse to pop out at lunch and grab yourself a nice new shiny journal just for this.
When you notice that you are moving towards the unwanted territory, start recording how you’re feeling; why you think you are feeling what you are feeling, and have a serious vent.
If your mind is being plagued by negative, intrusive thoughts and you are feeling out of control, just write. Write whatever pops into your head and keep going until you start to feel more in control.
This will help you to release your negative emotions and thoughts, and then you will be able to reflect more rationally about the problem and to think clearly and create possible ways to defuse the problem.
2. Create choice
When you have spent some time venting your feelings and thoughts about the problem, ask yourself these questions and make some notes.
These questions will help you cope with the situation that you have found difficult, strengthen your solution-focused mind, and provide you with choice in how you can deal with things.
- what is my anxiety trying to tell me?
- where do I have control in this situation?
- what outcome do I want to achieve from this situation?
- how will I know the situation has been solved?
- what can I do about the situation?
After asking yourself these questions, you’ll have something to reflect upon which will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and feel in control.
3. Get to know your anxiety
Anxiety is trying to help you. It’s true!
Your amazing brain has been fine-tuned to protect you, and the reactions are what your brain thinks it should be doing to raise the alarm and keep you safe.
What you need to do is to give your stress and anxiety some attention.
Try these fun steps for getting to know your anxiety;
- give your anxiety a name and identity
- what does it look like?
- do they have any positive characteristics?
- if they were a celebrity, who would they be?
- listen to it and see what it has to say - you may be surprised at what you hear
- meet anxiety with curiosity when it shows up
- how is it trying to help you?
- what good intention does it have for you?
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this post and that it helps you to start taking control of your anxiety panic attacks at work.
P.s. my anxiety is called Boris.