Managing anxiety in the workplace

Anxiety is a pervasive and often debilitating condition that affects a vast number of individuals across the globe. While anxiety can manifest in any setting, the workplace is one area where many experience heightened levels of stress and anxiety. It's crucial for employees and employers alike to recognise the signs and develop tools to manage and alleviate workplace anxiety.


Understanding workplace anxiety

Workplace anxiety can be a result of various factors:

  • Job performance and expectations: Concerns about meeting job requirements, apprehensions about performance evaluations or worries about job security.
  • Interpersonal relations: Interactions with colleagues/managers can be sources of stress, especially if there are conflicts or communication barriers.
  • Work-life balance: Juggling the demands of work and personal life can become overwhelming, leading to increased anxiety.
  • Environmental factors: A chaotic work environment, excessive noise or even an uncomfortable desk setup can contribute to heightened anxiety levels.

Practical skills to manage workplace anxiety

Mindfulness and meditation

These practices can help individuals stay grounded, focused and calm. Simply taking a few moments to focus on your breathing or becoming aware of your surroundings can make a big difference.

Time management

Allocate specific blocks of time for tasks and take regular breaks. Prioritise your tasks and break them down into smaller, manageable steps. This can help reduce the overwhelm that can trigger anxiety.

Open communication

Discuss your feelings and concerns with managers or colleagues. This can lead to finding solutions, understanding expectations better and receiving support.

Setting boundaries

Know when to disconnect. This could mean not checking emails after a certain time or ensuring you take your lunch break away from your desk.


A comfortable workstation can significantly reduce physical stress, which in turn can alleviate psychological stress. Ensure your chair, desk and computer setup are ergonomically aligned.


Physical activity can help reduce anxiety and stress. Even short walks during breaks can help clear your mind and reduce tension.

Seek professional help

If your anxiety becomes unmanageable, it might be helpful to speak with a therapist or counsellor who can provide coping strategies tailored to your needs.

Employers role in reducing workplace anxiety

  • Provide training: Offer training sessions on stress management and communication skills.
  • Encourage breaks: Ensure that employees take regular breaks to refresh and recharge.
  • Promote a healthy work environment: This includes addressing and resolving conflicts, ensuring the physical workspace is comfortable and promoting positive team dynamics.
  • Offer flexible scheduling: If possible, allow employees some flexibility in their schedules, which can greatly alleviate the stress associated with juggling work and personal responsibilities.

Anxiety in the workplace is a challenge that many face, but with awareness, understanding and practical tools, it can be managed. 

Both employees and employers have roles to play in creating an environment where individuals feel supported and equipped to handle the stresses that come their way.

Remember, seeking help and using available resources can make a significant difference in managing and overcoming workplace anxiety. Your mental well-being is crucial for your overall health and productivity, so prioritise it always.

When you can't cope

If, after implementing various strategies, you still find that you can't cope with anxiety at work, know that you have additional options available.

Your primary recourse should be to seek treatment from a mental health professional. If you've been wrestling with feelings of unease but haven't yet sought a medical opinion, now might be the opportune moment.

Securing a diagnosis and pursuing appropriate treatment – be it in-person or online therapy or medication – is of paramount importance if severe anxiety is hampering your daily life, including your work capabilities.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Guildford GU5 & GU2
Guildford GU5 & GU2

Donna Morgan is a highly experienced Humanistic Mental Health Therapist with 26 years of practice. Her passion for helping individuals with their mental health has driven her to develop a compassionate and holistic approach to therapy. Donna firmly believes in treating each client as a unique individual and providing them with personalised support.

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