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Anxiety - How to Reduce Stress

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I became extremely anxious at work, could not concentrate, went home sick and missed a meeting. Since then, I have overcompensated by working longer hours most evenings and taking work home over the weekend. I am feeling anxious again and unable to concentrate. Please help.


Over anxious

Dear Over anxious,

Just about everyone feels anxious, worried, or stressed at one time or another. For example, situations at work can produce anxiety if there is a deadline, meeting, or presentation to give.

Feelings of anxiety actually helps motivate people to prepare and stay focused. However, when anxiety becomes excessive and interferes with work or everyday life, then it becomes disabling.

You are probably in a vicious cycle, working longer because you feel anxious, but working evenings and weekends are making you more anxious.

The first step is to slow down and not work evenings and weekends. If your work cannot be accomplished during the normal office hours, then speak with your supervisor about the work load and having to work overtime. Perhaps assignments can be more evenly distributed among other associates. Less stress at work should help decrease your anxiety.

You do not seem to be experiencing any serious physical problems, but it may be helpful to see your physician for a check up and discussion about your anxiety. Your doctor may provide a treatment plan and medications if needed to help the anxiety.

Also, try to reduce your stress and anxiety by trying these 10 relaxation guidelines:

1. Slow breathing (take a slow breath in; hold it for a second, then let it out slowly).

2. Yoga: exercises, meditation, and stretching.

3. Muscle relaxation: tighten a muscle for several seconds, and then relax the muscle.

4. Eat Healthy. Plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains.

5. Exercise regularly. Simply walking 30 minutes three times a week is helpful.

6. Stay hydrated. Drink eight glasses of water daily.

7. Avoid caffeine.

8. Avoid alcohol.

9. Avoid tobacco.

10. Get enough sleep.