• Stephen Baines

Overcoming Stress and Anxiety in the Workplace

We live in a stressful world. Particularly in current times where we are more restricted than ever before in what we can do. No matter how hard we try to come to terms with what we are facing, our rendezvous with stress and anxiety is as sure as death and taxes. Encountering distress is an undeniable reality. Understanding that stress and anxiety are always present in one's life should be accepted. Yet that does not necessarily make it any easier to cope with.

Situations we are faced with in our work-life materially impact us in our home life too. It may be relationships with peers, actions of a manager, tensions of the specific job itself. They all induce stress and anxiety. Stress first was attributed to external pressures like workloads, competition, and other stimuli that could induce a distress one's body. As research has progressed, however, stress was described not only as external stimuli but also to the reaction of a person to another individual's negative perception, capacities, and understanding. It somewhat became personal.

Meanwhile, anxiety is described as an overwhelming fear, worry, or apprehension. These intensified feelings are always accompanied by bodily manifestations like chronic sweating, uneasiness, heart palpitations, nausea, shortness of breathing, and headaches.      


Work-related stress and anxiety can materially impact one's work performance. Anxiety induced by a past negative encounter with an officemate, worrying on multitudes of 'urgent' work, and apprehensions to confront a manager about an important issue can affect indeed office performance. The apparent effect of it on a professional is not only depressing but it also has the possibility of impacting individual outlook and prospects.

So what can we do to help to respond to stress and anxiety?

Start with a proper diet. Others might raise their eyebrows with this practical self-help tip but actually, it has a scientific explanation. Anxiety conditions are the avenues for the usual response of ìfight or flight. This is a condition where people who are confronted with anxiety challenge or flee from anxiety. With a healthier diet, the body becomes more stable, and eventually, the anxiety reactions are lessened. 

Have a proper attitude and mindset. Don't put unnecessary stress on your life by going through unnecessary notions. Yes, you may be experiencing less than positive experiences at this time. But instead of focusing on the negatives, focus your strength and energy on where you really need it most on YOU and getting the things that you need to do done. Anxiety would be gradually obliterated by taming one's mind. Instead of using your energy to respond to the negative scenario, learn to channel those energies to a more worthy cause. A positive attitude is an excellent anxiety treatment.

Practice mindfulness. There is a lot of science that supports the impact that mindfulness practices have on the way that we respond and relate to stress and anxiety. Strong evidence in fact to often prove it helps to reduce it. There are many options here and not strictly meditation too. It could be mindful walking, relaxing in the garden, or exercising. Basically, anything that helps to distance the mind from the stressors. If you do want to try meditation, I fully recommend Sam Harris' Waking Up app where you get 1 month free here

Remember, life is full of both healthy and unhealthy stress and how we respond to those stressors is an important part of how we reach the next level.

Interested in hearing more about this and related topics? Follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter (@_Baines & @BeTranquilLed), and Instagram (@BeTranquilLed) where I regularly post insights relating to Health, Wellness, Mindfulness, Leadership & Innovation. Note that all views are my own

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