Advice if you feel worried, on edge, a sense of dread or unable to sleep.
It’s quite normal to feel anxious in certain situations, such as a job interview or an awkward social situation. But anxiety can become a problem if it is persistent, intense and out of proportion to the situation.
If your anxiety is difficult to control and affects your quality of life, then it could be a mental health problem.
Causes and symptoms
Anxiety also has social effects, and might cause you to withdraw from colleagues, friends and family – feeling unable to go to work or to socialise. This can bring relief in the short- term, but also entrenches the problem.
You might be experiencing one or more of the following:
|Mental symptoms of anxiety||Physical symptoms of anxiety|
|Dread/fearing the worst||Feeling dizzy/light-headed|
|Feeling on edge or panicky||Shortness of breath or hyperventilating|
|Lack of concentration||Panic attacks|
|Feeling irritable||Sleep problems|
|Feeling detached||Feeling wobbly or pins-and-needles|
|Sweating or nausea|
|Heart palpitations (strong, fast heartbeat).|
Managing anxiety at work
Anxiety at work can be caused by stress from a heavy workload, by job insecurity or by problems such as a personality clash or bullying.
If you already have an anxiety disorder, then work can feel difficult — but there are things you or your employer can do to help you cope.
|Things you can do||Things your employer can do|
|Make a start on the tasks which are worrying you||Offer flexibility in working hours and location, if appropriate|
|Confide in colleagues or managers||Agree a realistic workload|
|Try thought exercises or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)||Provide support or training, where required.|
Get help to deal with anxiety
You don’t have to cope with anxiety at work alone, and you can reach out to us without having to contact your manager directly.
The Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, can provide you with nine months of confidential support if you are struggling with your mental health at work.
We’re here to help you have more good days at work and feel happier in your role, at no cost to you.