As kids, many of us wanted to be adults so badly. You know, so we could stay up later, eat more sweets and do whatever we assumed of adult-life. According to my 5-year-old daughter, being an adult means eating more than two cookies after dinner and staying up past nine. What we didn’t factor into the realities of adulthood were the stressors and demands of work. After all, part of adulting means paying bills, and paying bills usually happens by way of a job.
These days, having a job commonly involves a non-stop go, go, go vibe, leaving very little room for quiet moments on the job or peace within your work environment, and these pressure-filled circumstances can lead to anxiety.
I’ve been on the receiving end of work-based anxiety, and it feels nothing short of a nightmare. I had deadlines to meet, many of them, and I always felt as if I was underperforming among my incredibly intelligent peers. I felt as though I had no choice but to quietly push through my day, keeping my anxiety buried inside, being sure to flash a faux smile if a higher-up happened to approach my desk. Free time at work was scarce, so I couldn’t exactly opt for a short break, and I had already convinced myself I didn’t belong. So, my anxiety festered and increased.
When I look back on my former job and all the anxiety that came with it, I realized it was possible to overcome anxiety at work, but it would have required effort and mindfulness, something I lost sight of because I was so focused on everything other than my peace.
Tony Robbins, author and life coach, shared his thoughts about how to overcome anxiety at work, and I realized a few of these strategies were always at my fingertips, starting with step number one
The thought of unplugging at work is kind of funny, isn’t it? I mean, most of us are connected in one way or another, whether by laptop, phone or another piece of technology, but unplugging to achieve peace involves eliminating the noise—logging off social media, refusing to scroll in your free time, and turning your phone on silent to ward distracting personal texts and calls.
I’m guilty of the social media scroll during the workday, but taking time to disconnect will re-connect you to a place with less chaos. Less cluttered thoughts mean more room to focus on what positively feeds you during work hours.
2. Carve time aside to go for a walk outdoors
After you unplug, consider taking time for a walk. When I started my first job, post-graduation, I remember that my mom had encouraged me to bring sneakers to work. “Go for a walk during your lunch break,” she urged. “You’ll feel so much better when you return to the office.”
She was right.
Robbins also shared that connecting with nature has tons of benefits, including less stress. The calming sounds of nature combined with solo time makes for a peaceful break.
3. Implementing a moment of silence
Robbins shared a few activities that help clear the mind, and he also shines a bright light on an anxiety-reducing practice that takes a mere two minutes. Increase your productivity by stopping what you’re doing, sitting up straight, relaxing your shoulders, closing your eyes and taking five deep breaths. Drastically clear your mind and essentially restart your system by practicing mindfulness. Robbins reminds us that we can do this anytime, anywhere.
4. Prioritize yourself
You prioritize deadlines, you prioritize your work commitments and you prioritize your assignments. You must remember to prioritize yourself. Practicing self-care is a healthy lifestyle practice that is vital to stress management.
Sure, we don’t have much control over deadlines, due dates and workload, but we do have the ability to prioritize ourselves and implement different ways to clear our minds in the workplace.
“The mind is a powerful tool,” Robbins shares, and sometimes we may lose sight of our power while in our work environment. You are worthy of prioritizing your mental health in the face of workplace adversity. Pursue peace for yourself, one action at a time.