How Much Is Too Much? – Anxiety and Stress in the Workplace


Some level of anxiety and stress in the workplace is normal. 

We all get a little bit nervous before a performance review. We feel stressed when we have to work longer hours than usual. Sometimes, a customer will ask you a question that you can’t quite answer. Perhaps a coworker will need help with something that proves to be a challenge for both of you. And naturally, being assigned to a new project always has a learning curve. 

But what if managing your anxiety and stress in the workplace doesn’t seem to get easier with experience? What if your friends seem to be much more comfortable and confident in their jobs? 

Here’s how to know if your workplace stress is normal or a cause for concern.

It Keeps You Up at Night

Do you ever find yourself tossing and turning long after you should be sleeping, simply because you can’t get work off your mind? 

If your job is quite literally giving you nightmares or has you dreading the thought of even getting out of bed for your commute in the morning, it’s a serious problem. 

Plus, feeling this way will undoubtedly affect your performance at work the next day, which will only worsen the cycle.

Feeling Physically Ill

Do you wake up with a headache on weekday mornings? Do you ever feel so nervous that you get nauseous as you walk into work? Maybe you even feel dizzy when you sit down at your desk because you’re so overwhelmed. 

Suspecting that these frustrating physical symptoms are related to your job? It might be time to start sending out applications and looking for something new. 

You could also speak to a trusted person in management about the stress you’re experiencing. 

Dreading Mornings

Drinking your morning coffee should be a peaceful ritual before you start the day. Yet, if you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety and stress in the workplace, you might not even want to leave your kitchen when your mug is empty. 

You may wish you could simply stay home in the morning instead of heading into the office, and your commute might be exceptionally anxiety-inducing. You might even wait in your car until the last minute before you have to walk into the office.

Fear of Asking for Help

We should all feel like it’s okay to ask for help at work. After all, none of us are perfect, and we all have room to improve at our jobs. We all make mistakes and need to lean on our coworkers for advice and support at times. 

If you worry that asking for help at your job will get you in trouble, you’re working in a toxic environment. 

Asking for assistance should be seen as a positive thing: it means that you care about the quality of your work, being an effective member at the team, and striving to do better at your job. 

If asking questions or admitting your mistakes is frowned upon, you’re dealing with a negative work situation. 

You Can’t Get it Off Your Mind

Do you catch yourself worrying about work even when you’re at fun social events or spending time with your loved ones? Maybe you feel a sense of relief when you can leave the office on Fridays, but by the time Saturday evening rolls around, your nerves set in again—you hate that there’s only one more day between you and your job. 

You feel like no matter what you do, you’ll never be truly at peace until you’re no longer working at this particular job. This is a serious red flag for excessive workplace anxiety.

Wondering whether you can get past your workplace anxiety, or if you should look for a new job? Counseling can help. Visit here to learn more. Or, contact us today to discuss your options for anxiety therapy in San Diego.