Seeing that fail, if you're prone to catastrophizing — which anxious people often are — the next thing you'll worry about is that you'll get fired.
So, then, you'll worry about worrying. Soon enough, your mind will seem to have spiraled out of control, and you may even find yourself in the middle of a full-blown panic attack. The conundrum of getting anxious over getting anxious can seem inescapable, especially when the things you're obsessing about are work-related. During such dark times, the temptation to break this vicious circle by smothering your anxiety and shouting "at" your mind to just shut up!
But, by now, you probably know that simply doesn't work — in fact, it can make things 10 times worse. Instead, there are gentler, kinder ways to talk to yourself, settle into your person, and soothe your mind.
We take a look at some of these ways below. Before we do, however, let me just say, as a person living with anxiety, that seeing a therapist is probably the best thing you can do to cope with the condition. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America ADAA have a helpful guide that introduces people to the different kinds of therapies that are available, and an even more helpful directory , where you can search for therapists within a 5-mile radius from you.
Regardless of whether you're undergoing some form of therapy or not, however, you'll hopefully find some comfort in this article. Next time you feel like your mind is your greatest enemy, try to remember these five things — and let us know in the comments below if they've made your life any easier.
When I had my first anxiety attack at work, I waited until I got physically ill to ask to go home. I guess, to me, it didn't feel like mental symptoms were as palpable, significant, or real as physical ones. Only physical symptoms could validate my troubles and make me feel less guilty and embarrassed about admitting that I needed some form of help. Thinking that mental health problems are, in some way, not as real as physical ones is not uncommon. This year, millions of Internet users have asked Google if mental illness is real, and the Internet abounds with public awareness campaigns from the government and non-profit organizations answering with a resounding "Yes!
Not only that, but "Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States. When I had my anxiety attack, my main worry was that my employer would think I was trying to skive my duties.
If you feel the same, the good news is you're not alone. In fact, a recent survey on workplace stress and anxiety reports that 38 percent of those with an anxiety disorder do not tell their employers because they fear that "their boss would interpret it as lack of interest of unwillingness to do the activity. When you're at work, a place where you're expected to perform and be at your best, it can be difficult to admit to vulnerabilities and cut yourself some slack.
But try to remember your anxiety is real, just as real as the most painful migraine or a really bad stomach ache — and you deserve to take care of yourself, just as you would if you had those physical conditions. A major part of having an anxiety attack in the workplace can be the fear that you'll get fired. The good news is — you probably won't. The fear of getting sacked is often part of the catastrophizing mechanism that is a hallmark of workplace anxiety. But should your worst "what if" scenario come true, the law is on your side.
The Americans with Disabilities Act ADA is designed to protect employees like you from job discrimination; so, if you tell your employer that you have a lasting "physical or mental impairment," they are required, by law, to not only keep you on, but also provide you with "reasonable accommodation. As the ADAA explain , your employer cannot fire you, or refuse to hire you, if you're qualified for the job and your disability stops you from performing tasks that are "not essential" to the job.
For a more detailed explanation of what that means, as well as what counts as "reasonable accommodation," check out this useful page with information put together by the U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Steven Hayes, professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Nevada in Reno, a prominent figure in the field of mental health — and, more importantly, a man who is no stranger to panic attacks himself — advocates for a more self-compassionate and self-accepting way of dealing with anxiety.
In fact, Prof. Hayes is the founder of one of the newest and most innovative forms of cognitive behavioral therapy , called acceptance commitment therapy ACT. This form of therapy starts with the acceptance and neutral, non-judgemental observation of negative thoughts, and moves toward bringing the client into the present moment and helping them lead a meaningful life. In this video, he explains why seeing anxiety as your enemy is not helpful. If you see your feelings of anxiety as your enemy, he says, then you see your personal history as your enemy; if your physical sensations are your enemy, "then your body is your enemy" — and fighting your anxiety means fighting yourself.
This self-denial and self-avoidance are what ultimately leads to psychopathologies, Prof. Hayes notes. This app takes kids through guided meditation in short increments to help them understand and practice mindfulness for feeling calm. Kids can learn to boss back their worries by reframing their thoughts and using self-talk to feel empowered.
How to manage and reduce stress
While it might feel strange for kids to talk to themselves at first, bossing back their worries in an assertive voice helps kids gain control over their anxious thoughts. Practicing self-talk is easy and can be fun for kids.
Follow these steps to work on bossing back those pesky worries:. Stop it worry brain! My friend has a friendly dog and I know I will be safe near that dog. One study found that kids who practice yoga not only experience the uplifting effects of exercise immediately following the workout, but that the results last long after they are finished. Kids also benefit from playing on team sports, taking exercise classes, and simply taking a walk through the park. Going for a nature walk, be it a hike along a trail or a walk through your neighborhood, helps kids reconnect with the world, calm anxious thoughts, and practice mindfulness.
Kids need time to vent their feelings, but they also need to learn how to get their anxious thoughts out on their own. They need strategies they can use at school, and camp, or even on a sleepover.
10 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress
Writing down anxious feelings is a great way to vent those negative emotions on paper. The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking. Exercise won't make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you're feeling, clearing your thoughts and letting you deal with your problems more calmly. There's a solution to any problem. The act of taking control is in itself empowering, and it's a crucial part of finding a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.
Get tips on how to manage your time. The activities we do with friends help us relax.
10 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress
We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever. Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don't spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build confidence.
This will help you deal with stress. We call this avoidance behaviour," says Professor Cooper.
You need to tackle the cause of your stress. Professor Cooper says evidence shows that people who help others, through activities such as volunteering or community work, become more resilient. If you don't have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. Find out more about giving for mental wellbeing.