How Anxiety is Affected by the Work Place

I used to work at I loved it because it was pure chaos (at the time I was also abusing alcohol, had un-diagnosed ADD and things there were so messy that I always had something for my idealism, perfectionism and unfocused mind to prey on).

BUT, I was becoming a workaholic on top of everything else. I was constantly working, never had fun (“work IS fun to me”) and never knew when I’d get a call from our support team (I was in IT and we get calls at all hours of the night).

At some point, I started identifying physical indicators of stress and anxiety.

For instance, I grind my teeth. So much so that I bit through one of those bite guards that I bought at CVS while I slept.

There’s also a lower level grinding that I learned to identify. I was sitting at my desk and would put my teeth close together. They would chatter if I was anxious. Wow. That’s kind of crazy.

There were definitely some contributing factors. Factors such as:

  1. Caffeine
  2. Lack of sleep
  3. Checking news websites
  4. Falling prey to the “do more with less” mentality
  5. Not caring for my own emotional and physical well-being.
  6. Not having a support system.

In all of that, I learned:

  1. I need to actively manage my anxiety level and take care of myself.
  2. I need to say “no” more often (in a tactful way).
  3. I need to have an escape plan in the works.
  4. I need to be closer to my users. In software, you can be close to the users or 20 layers of bureaucracy away from them. I would be the latter.
  5. I need to stop being “all-in” to my own detriment.
  6. I need to consider a career where I’m not constantly stressed.

How does stress affect you in the workplace and what are the factors that make it worse?  Let us know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “How Anxiety is Affected by the Work Place”

  1. Teeth clenching is very prominent for me too, I wake up and my jaw is clenched, not too good, I think it is stress and stress over time adds up. I found out recently that I may have been suffering from something that has gone undiagnosed too. I have these confusing moods and they are bent on quenching my progress, one step forward, three steps back… Anyway this is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder and I have an appointment at a specialist tomorrow. I hope that they can help. Don’t like moodiness, but I have been dealing with this since a very young age, I am almost giving up that the medical community can help, but still maybe there is help. I also take a medicine that is supposed to help over the years with moods, but the generic just became approved and costs as much as the brand for some reason which is over $1000/month. Wow! I don’t really know how people can survive at this price, so I am hoping to find a good/better solution. Being undiagnosed leaves one struggling on their own, I am glad that many people are able to see the weaknesses of their own physical, emotional, spiritual bodies. This is comforting.

    It takes strength to be able to find what you struggle with and confront these pulls on your freedom.

  2. Stress defined me in the workplace, which is why I never lasted long in the land of cubicles as an engineer. Self employment helped but came with a whole new set of stressful situations – such as where will my next paycheck come from! So hopefully my next attempt at a new career in Speech Language Pathology will be a happy middle ground between working independently but for a company…..we’ll see.


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