Its Monday morning and you are pulling into the parking lot at work.  You start to feel your heart pumping faster than normal.  It’s starting.

You get out of your car and start making your way towards the entrance.  You start thinking about the meeting with your boss today.

Now you feel your heart pounding even faster, you start to sweat, you start to tremble.

Soon, the familiar feeling of dread takes control of you as you walk through the door to start your day.

But it doesn’t stop there, you’re noticing that you are constantly feeling this way – 24 hours a day;  irritable, antsy, can’t sleep, maxed out at work and at home.

If this describes you.  You are not alone.  Anxiety affects 18% of the U.S. population.  83% of U.S. workers report being stressed.   In a survey conducted by stress.org, 46% of respondents reported that workplace anxiety caused their stress.

That’s bad news.   Work is where we spend most of our waking hours, and how we process our work lives has a dramatic effect on our well-being.

The problem is, most people don’t know why they’re feeling it, so they have difficulty dealing with it. 

Lets look at the leading causes of workplace anxiety.

Relationships with coworkers and peers

A considerable number of job types today require regular contact with other people while at work. Therefore, poor work relationships with your colleagues or supervisor can lead to stress and anxiety.  Technology, for better or worse, has made communication a 24/7 endeavor.   If you feel isolated and lonely or unfairly treated at work, you may end up developing workplace anxiety.

Some of the relationship issues that may lead to workplace anxiety include:

  • Poor support from your colleagues
  • An aggressive management system
  • Poor leadership and a lack of understanding
  • Harassment and bullying at work
  • Poor communication

Workplace performance

The way responsibilities and tasks are assigned at work can lead to stress and anxiety. Long hours, heavy workloads, unnecessary meetings, and a misunderstanding of your work skills can all be very stressful. These conditions will only make you feel tired. Your exhaustion will then interfere with your focus and productivity, making you feel more anxious about it.

Uncertain or conflicting work expectations are another common cause of workplace anxiety today. Such scenarios may make you feel like you’ve been given too much responsibility or too much work to deliver within a short period of time. If this is your current situation, you may want to consider switching jobs.

Many have taken to working from home as here they can better control their work environment and set their own hours. It’s worth asking if you can work remotely a few times a week. 

Insufficient pay and benefits

Finances are usually a source of anxiety, so it makes sense that your pay could be another cause of your workplace anxiety. While financial rewards and benefits may not be your sole motivator, a lower pay with high levels of responsibility can be overwhelming. Generally, your salary and benefits indicate your value and worth to your employer.  As a consequence, a lower compensation can make you feel inferior and powerless.

These negative feelings are a straight path towards workplace anxiety. Consider having a meeting with your employer about a better wage. You can state your contributions to the company to support your request. Either they will up your pay, or reduce your responsibilities so your current wage seems fair. 

What can you do?

Regardless of the cause, workplace anxiety may make you feel inferior, discouraged, or even fatigued. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are three options.   You could look for another job, talk to someone, or train your mind to better manage your anxiety triggers at work.

It is perfectly OK to feel sad, anxious, angry, and fearful…it is our natural reaction to situations we encounter in life each and every day.

Just don’t let your emotions control you.