What To Do When Anxiety About Work is Ruining Your Life

Cheryl Deaner, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist on Jul 25, 2022 in Mood and Feelings

Anxiety manifests at work as trying to get everything perfect to the point where one ends up burnt out — doing more and more with less and less heart, spirit, time, clarity, or sense of self worth. It takes a toll on one's performance at work, creating an exhausted and “hollowed out” feeling by the end of the day. And it can be ruinous for one’s personal relationships.

Anxiety is almost always the cause of overworking. The temporary relief one receives from having worked too hard is a temporary lessening of anxiety. But the anxiety will return, and overwork will become an ingrained habit that will eventually lead to even deeper problems and even more anxiety.

To end the self-defeating loop of anxiety and overwork, you may need to work with an expert who can offer you solutions such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness therapy, or helping you develop life-work balance. These approaches have a good track record because they get at the root of the problem: anxiety.

By utilizing professional support, one can begin to see the "why" of the problem. For instance, was anxiety a part of one's family growing up? Does one's anxiety have a biochemical component? Is the job basically so demanding that any reasonable person would develop anxiety?

One can also find ways to cope with workplace anxiety by reading books such as Feeling Good, the New Mood Therapy by David Burns or Dare, the New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks by Barry McDonagh.

Whatever method one uses to disrupt habitual anxiety, the first step is to realize that anxiety is the cause of the problem and overworking is the symptom. Then follow that anxiety back to its sources and start there.

Regards, Cheryl Deaner LMFT #36764

Cheryl Deaner is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, .

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