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Dealing with anxiety when returning to the workplace

Irritation, stress and frustration – These three words can be presently piling up on your senses while, distorting the mental symphony of ideas and execution. Is this happening to you? You are not alone. These are the aspects of anxiety entering into everyone’s life at a hare’s pace. When you enter the world of work and responsibility, there is significant competition in staying current and relevant. Keeping up with your responsibility and achieving them requires an organised approach which in itself is difficult and creates anxiety. Is that stressing you out and making you feel nervous? If yes, you have to know the methods of dealing with anxiety and how to remain positive.

Anxiety at workplace and returning to work is now a common ‘phenomena’; the question is, how common is this? Here are some survey results.

Did you know?

The first survey regarding coping with anxiety disorder at workplace was done in 2006.

Anxiety at workplace
  1. More than 72% of the people who are working are suffering from anxiety issues at workplace on a regular basis.
  2. Around 28% of people at work have anxiety attacks.
  3. Out of all the people suffering, only 9% has a medical diagnosis for anxiety. Rest, they don’t even know if they are having this issue.
  4. 51% of the people fear of ruining relation with co-workers if they get to know about their anxiety problem.

It may surprise you to know that people do not disclose being anxious and instead of dealing with their anxieties, they make it worse by staying in denial. This approach may sound familiar?

What happens after you address anxiety problem and return to work?

The constant fear of people judging you or they will not understand your issue; ‘was’ and ‘still is’ taking a toll on you. But, the good part is you have started accepting the issue and willing to treat it. Again, in this case, too, you are not alone!


Now, putting together the data regarding how people feel about returning to work after dealing with your anxiety.
  1. Almost 38% of the people believe that their boss will feel he/ she is just giving mere reasons to take off.
  2. More than 31% feel people will tag them as weak.
  3. Around 20% feel people will judge and laugh at them.
  4. 14%-16% of people don’t even share or produce their medical documents.
  5. Around 35% of people feel it will hamper their promotion or worse; the company will fire them.


Let’s take a quick look at what happens when you have anxiety at work.
  • Extreme restlessness at work
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Nervousness before taking work related decision, meetings and presentation
  • Feeling lost and flustered at work

If you believe some of your problems are addressed correctly here; then you may want to get professional help.


Dealing with anxiety and staying positive: 5 things you must know

Being anxious or suffering from anxiety is not your fault and may be extremely difficult to deal with. Your situations are understandable; just know that you are way more worthy than you think you are. Take a deep breath, smile and read on.


1. Professional Help – Brisbane Psychologists

This will be useful to get the appropriate help enabling you to handle anxiety, depression and stress properly. You need to talk to someone and share what is going inside your mind without feeling judged. Some tools or techniques would be helpful in dealing with these conditions. Professional Psychologists can help you in achieving this in a confidential and safe environment. This is a great way of dealing with your anxiety and staying positive.


2. Communicate with your colleagues

If you are working in the same place when you return to work, then if nothing else commit to going through the motions.. You will be able to gage the reactions of your colleges and in most cases they will try to be sensitive to your feelings. If you are able to talk about it then let them know you are happy to answer some general questions. If not and you feel the need to say something give them a general statement and thank them for understanding. Letting them know you will be in a better place to discuss it in more details at a letter date. After all, you are still on the go with these co-workers. It will also give you a sense of control by you deciding what will and will not happen. Know what you will do and how you will approach it will make you feel a lot better and how you communicate may partially take the tension off the situation.

Once you start communicating, you should start to feel more confident.


3. Advocate yourself!

Don’t depend on other people and their help. Before anyone else, you need to help yourself. Anytime you feel there is some perceived opposition or even harassment going on, try to deal with it on the spot so it doesn’t end up as an HR related issue. In many cases it can often be a case of different perceptions on the situation. You may have to alter your communication strategy for certain individuals.


4. Work

At your workplace, focusing on your work and getting things done will make you feel a lot better. Getting things done and being part of the team makes you a valuable member of that team and should rally support to easing your integration back to work. It will also act to build your self confidence

If you decide that you take this approach here is a friendly caution. Initially don’t commit to more than you can do. Rather, showcase your excellence at the given work. At this stage it is important to be seen as doing a good job even if its not as fast as before. With time things will sort themselves out.


5. Activities to do

If you can add some activities at work, it will make things much easier to deal with and help you to stay positive. Creating a positive attitude and perspective on things may be helpful. Some ways of altering your perception of things are:

  • Consider your work as tasks and make it fun. Don’t bore rather challenge yourself at work.
  • Make inside jokes with yourself.
  • Write your issues on a bingo card. If you get a bingo; then don’t forget to treat yourself.
  • Be creative and change the bad moments into creative work stories.


These above activities may make your dealing with anxiety much easier. Taking the pressure off your self and letting things happen naturally and possibly in a more fun way could make a difference to how you feel. If you feel you need some help in dealing with Anxiety, depression or stress and want professional help. A Brisbane Psychologist located in the CBD may be what you are looking for . The Centre for Human Potential has several Brisbane Psychologists dealing a wide variety of conditions. Feel free to call 07 3211 1117 and the Manager will be happy to have a chat with you and give you the information to get started.

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Dr Sam Wee Hong Tan | CFHP
Sam Tan

Sam is a Clinical Psychologist with a down-to-earth nature who has a very open and warm approach. Sam works collaboratively with his clients to raise awareness of patterns within themselves and patterns of relating with others.

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