One of the many techniques that I’ve learned over the years from professionals is exposure therapy. The majority of my anxiety comes from large crowds, and my latest therapist told me to overcome the fear and danger I would need to immerse myself in it.

The day after that session, I went to our local mall and just sat in the center of all the hustle and bustle. I could feel my throat starting to close up as many people bumped into me and my immediate decision was to leave and try again at another point. I fought that decision and continued to sit in that spot for roughly an hour. By the end of it, I felt drained, but I was quite proud that I was able to combat my automatic thoughts

Unfortunately, I know many people who wouldn’t even fathom doing something like this alone. I don’t blame you! It took me many years and a lot more sessions to be able to love and trust myself to be self-reliant. There is no harm in needing that extra help, and I’m quite pleased to say that a great friend of mine is helping combat this issue with a remarkable improve class for anxiety.

He and I share many things in common, especially our need to help out our local community when it comes to mental health. I cannot stress enough how improv relates to exposure therapy and how it can make any social situation easier. I know that if you were to join us at one of these times, you’d be in great hands. I’m so incredibly proud of him for starting this class, and I cannot wait to join him in support!44792251_505971553146875_1871752494263042048_n

Roughly three out of four people deal with work-related stress or anxiety. Anxiety can affect your performance at work and your relationships with colleagues, so, how can you overcome these challenges?

Reducing anxiety at work requires more than mindfulness or a Friday Yoga Class – You must look inside yourself and ask how you function within your team and the company as a whole. Do you pipe up in team meetings? Do you try to work from home a lot to avoid confrontations? There are a few strategies to help you feel more in control and help reduce your anxiety levels

Communicate with Teammates & Be Present
Trying to make an effort to talk to everyone on your team will make it easier to address any future problems. You don’t want to go around and talk behind someone’s back to vent about an issue, talk to them directly. Though it might be difficult at first, you can reduce your anxiety by approaching the individual and communicating the facts of the situation. Don’t think it’s too late to start building relationships with your teammates. You never know, you might end up finding trust in someone whom you can open up with in regards to your anxieties.
It’s instinct to avoid people who make us uncomfortable, and the workplace is no exception. Avoidance is only a temporary solution, and you need to start being conscious of tackling these issues head-on. The more you do, the less anxious you’ll feel over time.

Know When to Ask For Help
Pride is always hard to manage, and it’s no different in the workplace. You need to learn how to start saying “yes” to others when they offer their help. Work will always become hectic, and a helping hand could be a straightforward step to avoid any sense of being overwhelmed.
If you’re not sure about a specific responsibility that your manager gives to you, don’t be afraid to pipe up either. Your superiors will appreciate all questions – it shows that you genuinely care about your job!

Avoid the Office Drama & Don’t Bring Work Home
Even though office drama can be entertaining at times, it ultimately makes your environment stressful and can lower everyone’s morale. Don’t let that negativity grow! When someone talks poorly of others, try to change the subject or call them out if you’re so bold. If we all start encouraging others and lifting them up when needed – the positivity will become infectious!

There will be times when it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and it’s hard to hang up your work hat at the end of the day. If you’re like me, it’s imperative for you to switch off and relax. How can you do this? Well, to be honest, it’s something I still struggle with at times! I found that having an end-of-work habit sometimes helps. The last half hour of my workday I reserve for tying up my loose ends at work while listening to “Epic Film Scores.” The act of putting on this music can unwind my anxious mind while my countdown to home begins

Change Your Habits
Small alterations in your day-to-day activities can drastically help reduce your anxiety. If the majority of your day fixates on your monitor, get up and move! Taking regular breaks throughout your day can give you a renewed focus and might even make you more productive.

Access Resources
If things at work are too severe for your anxiety, reach out to your manager or supervisor and ask if there is an Employee Assistance Program. EAP’s can connect you to different resources to help manage your anxiety. Many workplaces offer a couple of free counseling sessions; you should most definitely take advantage of this!

Although anxiety is an unpleasant emotion, it can be an opportunity for you to grow in your career. Show others that you can face anxiety in the workplace rather than run away from it or complain about it.