The Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Anxiety at Work

A few months ago I was walking into my company’s building and an unsettling feeling hit my stomach. I didn’t realize that I was feeling this way until right before I walked inside. How long was this feeling in me? Had I been ignoring it since last night or maybe all week?

For most of us, anxiety plays a daily role in our lives. We worry about project deadlines, co-worker relationships and what our boss thinks of us.

It’s natural, but very unsettling.

Most of you are probably thinking that I’m going to give you tips on how to relax and relieve stress.


I’m not going to regurgitate some facts about taking breaks and drinking less coffee. All of you know the basics. You probably struggle with these techniques because your feelings have more control than your rational mind, which isn’t a bad thing. But you do need to create a balance between rational thinking and your feelings.

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The “Yes, And” Technique

(email subscribers: click here to go to Work Happy Now to view the video)

As you can probably see I was exhausted when I shot this video. I really wanted to put out a quality video filled with excitement. I just didn’t have it in me. I showed it to my wife and she suggested that I reshoot it. I agreed until I slept on it.
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Mind Training Matters

I found an excellent talk from the website TED. Matthieu Ricard is a monk who emphasizes the importance of developing emotional intelligence. He presents the idea that we can train the mind so it handles situations in the way that we want to. Some of these monks have such intense control that when a bomb goes off they are able to process their thoughts so quickly that they don’t react.

We can also train our minds to do a better job of dealing with frustration, low motivation, and other emotional barriers.
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Personal Development at Work

Being happy at work means growing as an individual. The funny thing is most of us don’t equate personal development with our jobs. We see them as separate entities that don’t belong together. I believe this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The reason why personal development and happiness at work are forever linked together is simple. The better we are at cultivating relationships and productivity, the more we enjoy our jobs.
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No More Complaining at Work – A Thirty Day Challenge

Over the past few months I’ve noticed my complaining getting a little louder (in my own head and with friends). It might pop out when I’m asked to work on an extra report or maybe during a conversation with a friend. The complaining has become a nuisance and I’m going to challenge myself to thirty days of no complaining.

I’m an East Coaster living in Austin and the driving styles are much different. East Coasters will push their way into a lane. Texans will wait patiently to be let in. I know I’m generalizing, but bear with me. East coasters like to get through pink lights. Don’t get me started on New Yorkers who will go through a red light until the other cars from the other direction push forward and make them stop. Whoops, there is my first complaint.
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Be the Change You Wish to See in Others

GhandiDo you wish other people at your job wouldn’t be so gossipy? Would you like your co-workers to recycle?


Be the change you want to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Gandhi


All of these problems that we see in others we also see in ourselves; a lot of the things that annoy us stem from an internal attack on our own person. I’ve noticed the people who are most at peace with themselves are most compassionate toward other people. They understand that improving their outlook is more important than changing other people’s habits.


I always wanted to be more relaxed when I commuted to work, but I couldn’t find a perspective to help me be compassionate toward other people. I wanted them to drive like me. I found myself getting mad at each driver who took their good old time making a turn or they stopped at a yellow light and this needed to change.


When a driver in front of me didn’t make that yellow light, I let the anger in and accepted these feelings. Eventually they stopped taking hold of my mood because


  • I acknowledged these feelings

  • Relaxed with them

  • Redirected my thoughts toward something positive


Now when I’m making a turn I take my time and enjoy the shift in force from the car’s speed. When I come out of a turn I take the time to notice a tree that I pass or a person walking on the sidewalk. My attention is not about getting to work it’s finding the cool little things that I’ve never took the time to notice before. I’ve created a new me when I drive, redirecting my thoughts to encourage happiness.


I’m changing my life one habit at a time. I don’t require as much from others. I just make the change in myself and it allows me to have more compassion.


You can make changes in your own life to reflect what you want to see in others. Please remember that you will never be perfect, but as long as you keep adding new positive habits to your life, you’ll improve your happiness.


Other cool “Emotional Tools for Better Working” articles:


Image courtesy of Rigmarole