How To Deal With Anxiety At Work: 9 Practical Tips 2023

Reviewed by Dr. Theresa Bautista, OTD, OTR

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how to deal with anxiety at work
9 simple ways to reduce anxiety at work. Photo: Shutterstock

It’s normal to feel some level of stress at work. Some days can be more challenging than others, especially when you are confronted with imminent deadlines or important presentations. However, if anxiety becomes a constant presence affecting your work performance and personal life,this may indicate a need for intervention.

Anxiety disorder is real and one of the most prevalent mental disorders.[1] Finding effective ways on how to deal with stress and anxiety at work is critical to the success of your career as well as your overall health and well-being.

In this article, we will provide ten tips for effectively managing workplace stress and anxiety, empowering you to find a healthy work-life balance.

How To Deal With Anxiety At Work?

The first step to dealing with anxiety at work involves identifying your stress triggers. Once these triggers are recognized, appropriate actions can then be taken to address them. If you feel it’s beyond what you can manage, do not hesitate to seek professional help. If you are diagnosed with anxiety, it is important to communicate with your employer and request reasonable accommodations that can support your well-being in the workplace. The American Disability Act (ADA, 1990)[2] should protect you from discrimination.

9 Tips To Manage Anxiety At Work

Attempting to suppress anxiety by sheer willpower is nearly impossible. If you’re seeking effective strategies to deal with anxiety at work, consider the following strategies:

Identify Your Anxiety Triggers

The first step to managing your work anxiety is by taking the time to identify your triggers. Do you often find yourself plagued by negative thoughts at the beginning of the day? Does the weight of your backlogs leave you feeling overwhelmed?

These are just examples of questions you can ask yourself. Writing down a list of your triggers could be helpful, too. Once you have a good understanding of what sets you off, you can then begin thinking about practical strategies to help manage your anxiety.

Make Self-Care A Priority

Your health and wellness should take precedence, even as you focus on working towards a successful career. Practice good health habits, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, eating regularly, and ensuring a balanced diet. Check out CBDfx for a range of supplements or find the best CBD oil for anxiety that work for you.

Anxiety disorders can also affect your sleep patterns and cause further work anxiety. Dealing with work anxiety often calls for prioritizing adequate rest and rejuvenation. Here are some additional tips on how to use CBD oil for anxiety.

Practice Organization And Time Management

Create to-do lists that help break down your daily work-related tasks. Write down important dates, set mini deadlines, and ensure you dedicate enough minutes for each job. Simplify larger tasks by splitting them into smaller tasks and itemizing the steps for each task.

Avoid Toxic And Motivation-Zapping Workers

Anxiety disorders can be exacerbated by toxic co-workers. It’s best to shy away from people who are always involved in gossip and those who incessantly complains, engages in passive aggression, or displays bully behavior. Instead, surround yourself with co-workers who work well and inspire you.

Speak With A Trusted Co-worker

If you feel overwhelmed by a job, don’t hesitate to ask for help from a trusted co-worker. If you need a hand on your backlogs or just a listening ear at the end of the day, there is no shame in reaching out to a friend. They may not solve all your problems but feeling supported may just be the thing you need to get you through the week.

Celebrate Your Accomplishments

Treat every success after a simple or complicated task as unique. Take yourself out for a treat, savor the moment, and be proud of yourself.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Include helpful relaxation techniques in your daily work routine. Activities like breathing exercises for anxiety, stretching, and mindfulness meditation can help you ease some of the physical symptoms associated with anxiety and ground you in the present moment.

Effective Communication

When faced with workplace anxiety, do not hesitate to communicate these issues to your supervisor. Just ensure to be diplomatic about it. You could ask for an extension, but try to let them reason with you.

Seek Professional Help

If all the tips above fail to make a difference in your anxiety at work, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. Counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists are valuable resources that can provide guidance and support in navigating feelings of work stress and intense anxiety symptoms.

Why Is It Important To Manage Anxiety At Work? 

how to deal with anxiety at work
Workplace stress may take up your personal time. Photo: Shutterstock

Managing work anxiety disorder[3] is crucial as it may negatively affect your career. For example, too much anxiety and stress at work can make you turn down career opportunities because of fear of failure or the increased workload.

Below are other reasons to effectively manage anxiety at work:

  • It can reduce the quality of your work output, ability to complete tasks, and overall performance.
  • Uncontrolled work anxiety can negatively alter your physical health and general well-being.
  • Work-related stress and anxiety bring self-doubt and reduce job satisfaction.
  • It can also affect your relationship with team members, co-workers, supervisors, etc.

Causes Of Anxiety At Work

We already mentioned some potential work triggers. However, below is a more extensive list of things that may be causing you to feel anxious. 

  • High workload and strict deadlines.
  • Fear of failure and perfectionism. 
  • Conflicts with co-workers, supervisor, and customers.
  • Inadequate support, motivation, and recognition.
  • Over-demanding managers and supervisors. 
  • Constant changes in organizational structure.
  • Imposter syndrome and constantly doubting your ability to perform your job.
  • Extensive work time with limited break time.
  • Low income, compensation, and benefits.
  • Setting unrealistic job goals and objectives.

Many individuals with this condition face a combination of these triggers. Effectively managing work-related anxiety begins with identifying the underlying causes. Once decoded, navigating and addressing this condition becomes more manageable.

Symptoms Of Anxiety At Work

Anxiety at work often showcases itself through various behavioral, cognitive, affective, and physical symptoms.[4] The symptoms of workplace anxiety may vary from one individual to another but often accompanies one or more of the following.

  • Persistent and excessive worry about work-related issues.
  • Finding it challenging to focus or concentrate on a single task.
  • Lacking the needed motivation to perform job tasks.
  • Feeling better at nighttime but worse in the morning when preparing for work.
  • Constant procrastination and avoidance of work tasks.
  • Heightened sensitivity and feeling triggered by constructive criticism.
  • Refusing to mingle with colleagues and team members.
  • Ceaseless agitation during work hours.


Many individuals experience work anxiety. There may not be one quick cure for it, but you can manage your feelings of worry with the practical tips listed above. If you continue to find yourself overwhelmed by anxious thoughts, remember to prioritize self-care and don’t hesitate to seek help from a professional.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can You Establish a Healthy Work-life Balance?

Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life is critical for maintaining work-life balance. As much as possible, avoid doing work at home and during days off. Once you’re off the clock, focus on relaxing and enjoying your personal time.

How Can You Create a Healthy Work Environment?

Creating a healthy working environment involves communication and willingness to offer support to team members who need it. You should look to build a relationship with co-workers on the basis of trust, accountability, cooperation, safety, support and equity. Furthermore, it is advisable to steer clear of conflicts and seek guidance from your supervisor in the event of disagreements.

What To Do When a Task Becomes Overwhelming?

Divide the work into simpler tasks and create a stepwise guide on how you would perform each task. Also, do not hesitate to delegate or ask for help if the need arises.

How to Manage Anxiety Disorder Related to Big Presentation or Public Speaking?

People are always looking for answers on how to deal with social anxiety at work, specifically public speaking. The thing that helps the most is adequate preparation. Practice your talking points ahead of time. Breathing exercises and meditation can calm the nerves. Being prepared will reflect in your work and make you feel more confident.

How To Make Self-Care a Priority?

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. Start with doing something small for yourself such as taking short breaks at work and doing breathing exercises when you feel nervous. Activities such as music therapy can also improve your mood when you are feeling anxious. Creating a schedule to establish an exercise routine might work as well.

Is Anxiety a Mental Health Issue?

Anxiety, may it be in the form of work anxiety or social anxiety disorder, should not be taken lightly. Anxiety disorders have a direct effect on your self-esteem and overall mental health.

When Should You Consider Seeking Professional Help?

If you feel like you have done everything to decrease your stress levels but continue to feel worry at work coupled with trouble concentrating, you should consider seeking guidance from a licensed mental health professional. When work anxiety remains persistent for extended periods and starts to affect your daily life, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

+ 4 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. Bandelow, B. and Michaelis, S. (2015). Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in the 21st century. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, [online] 17(3), pp.327–335. doi:
  2. US EEOC. (1997). Enforcement Guidance on the ADA and Psychiatric Disabilities. [online] Available at:
  3. Wagner, S.L., Koehn, C., White, M., Harder, H.G., Schultz, I.Z., Williams-Whitt, K., O Wärje, Dionne, C.E., Mieke Koehoorn, Pasca, R., Hsu, V., McGuire, L., Schulz, W.F., Kube, D. and Wright, M. (2016). Mental Health Interventions in the Workplace and Work Outcomes: A Best-Evidence Synthesis of SystematicReviews. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, [online] 7(1), pp.1–14. doi:
  4. Michela Vignoli, Beate Muschalla and Marco Giovanni Mariani (2017). Workplace Phobic Anxiety as a Mental Health Phenomenon in the Job Demands-Resources Model. BioMed Research International, [online] 2017, pp.1–10. doi:


Esther is a nurse practitioner and a multifaceted medical writer who has attained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Her profession in writing is driven by her unwavering commitment to enlightening individuals about the intricacies of health and wellness. She accomplished her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at the Medical College of Georgia.


Theresa is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy and a Licensed Occupational Therapist based in Texas. She specializes in content writing, research, medical review, and consulting for health websites and health tech companies. As a clinician, her expertise is in outpatient pediatric and school-based therapy. She also has experience in hand therapy, hospital, rehab, home health, and telehealth settings. Theresa employs a holistic approach to serve individuals of all age groups, from children to older adults.

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