How to Relieve Anxiety at Work


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Do you tend to get anxious at work? Does your anxiety cause you to have thoughts about drinking or using? On top of your recovery, virtually every job requires employees to be sober while on the clock so you have to grab control of your urges. The good news is that there are effective ways to contend with work anxiety so you can enjoy a more peaceful and productive day. Whether you work on a desk, at home or anywhere else, here are a few proven methods to help you give yourself some much-needed reprieve.

1. Take deep breaths.

When you’re feeling some anxiety, one of the first things you can do is take a few deep breaths. As you do, you’ll feel your body slowly releasing tension. As you turn your attention to your breath and relax every muscle, your nervous system relaxes and you simply feel better. As you breathe in, mentally count to four and then slowly exhale doing the same. It’s a great idea to practice this regularly throughout your day, as it has been proven to reduce the amount of anxiety we carry.

If you ever get anxious at work and thoughts of drinking come to mind, try the following tips to help you relax.

2. Monitor your thoughts.

Anxiety comes through our thoughts, so if you’re feeling stressed, gauge your thought life to see what’s going on. Are your thoughts rational or irrational? Could you be freaking out over nothing? If your anxiety is warranted—like, you just remembered you left your front door wide open and it’s pouring outside—take some action to resolve the matter. If it’s irrational, do your best to shift your thoughts to something more positive. Remember, thoughts create emotion, which influences behavior so if you can learn to evaluate and redirect your thoughts, you’ll be less prone to harboring anxiety.

3. Try creative visualization.

Visualizing can have a real effect on your body, so if you’re feeling anxiety at work, try thinking of a peaceful and happy scenario. If you enjoy the ocean, picture yourself lounging by the beach listening to the waves crashing. If you love the outdoors, see yourself sitting in nature listening to the birds sing, smelling the wonderful scents of the woods. As you do this, your anxiety levels should begin to drop.

4. Practice meditation.

It’s been proven that taking a few minutes out of the day to meditate helps reduce anxiety. As you sit or lie in silence, focus on your breath. You’ll feel many of your thoughts subside as you give yourself a few moments of peace. Next time you feel your anxiety levels rising, you’ll notice a difference even if you just take a one minute break to meditate.

5. Use positive affirmations.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, recite a few positive affirmations silently or out loud. It will help you get in a motivated mindset, which can help you feel more in control. Here are a few lines you can use:

  • I am at peace.
  • I trust that all will be alright.
  • I choose to center myself right now.
  • I am in control of my emotions.
  • This will certainly pass.
  • I’m relaxing entirely right now.
  • I am confident that this will turn out fine.

6. Be present.

Many times when we feel anxiety, we are thinking about the future. Do your best to stay in the present and enjoy the moment you’re in. If you’re worried about an upcoming project at work, thinking too much about it now will not help perform better when it comes. Instead, just take things one day at a time. Relax yourself by taking a couple of deep breaths, thinking of happy thoughts, visualizing the best outcomes and feeling grateful for being exactly where you are at the moment.

7. Talk to someone.

If you’re anxious, talk to someone about what is bothering you, as this may relieve some of your anxiety. It may be a friend, family member or coworker whom you can confide in. Whoever it is, be sure that this person is someone you absolutely trust. Oftentimes just venting can diminish or alleviate stress all together.

Keep these tips in mind as you go about your work days. Anxiety may pop up at times, but if you learn to use relaxation tools within your reach, you’ll be much more apt to enjoy work without feeling the need to find an escape.

If you or someone you know is seeking for anxiety, please visit our directory of counseling and therapy centers or call 866-606-0182 to start the path to recovery today.

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