How to Deal with Work Anxiety


Find Your Small Joy

Little moments count as much as the big one's...


How many times have we woken in the middle of the night, already thinking about an upcoming meeting with someone that we perceive as difficult? Maybe they are prickly, or perhaps we feel insecure in their presence.  Work anxiety, and trying to figure out how to deal with difficult people is a major factor in why people jump from job to job.  They would rather jump than deal.  And who can blame them?  If you are in a role where a colleague or your manager is constantly smirking or spouting sarcastic replies and put-downs, it can be wearing.  

So what is the solution when you find you are worried about work, or a boss, or how to deal with a particular situation? 

  1. Don't run away - at least not right away.  You have to decide what a reasonable amount of time is before pulling the plug.  Every job we take on builds experience, and it builds character. Think about where you were a year ago.  Now think about all the situations you've been in over the past twelve months, and without a doubt, there will be at least one thing you would do differently, and one little gem that you picked up that will allow you manage better.  Go to the positive place rather than the negative.
  2. Don't confide right away - it is helpful to have an office buddy that you can run things past - but try sitting with it for a while.  Pretend you are on the sidelines being paid to assess a person's capability to do the job, and part of your role is to help the person evolve.  If you can allow some time to pass, the assessment might help you communicate to your new boss, or an old colleague, and you'll start to feel calmer about the daily interaction. 
  3. Remember that the job isn't everything, and your boss or that colleague is not the sum total of the day.  You are wanting a positive experience for the hours you spend at work, and it can be easy to lean into the negative aspects, and overlook a few of the brighter spots in the day.  Find a new place for lunch, and ask the person serving you their name.  Share a detail about yourself the next time you see them.  The third visit they will greet you by name, and the memory of that will stay with you for a while. 

It's the small things in life that move the hands on the clock as much as the bigger moments and people.  Create a positive connection if you cannot find one.  It's a step towards worrying less and enjoying life more.