How do I manage anxiety at work?

Imagine that you are minutes away from an important presentation to your senior management team. This is the first time that you’ve presented to this group and while you’ve rehearsed your speaking notes many times, you can’t help but feel anxious. As the countdown continues and the minutes turn into seconds, you’re now anxious about being anxious. Will they see that I’m anxious? Will I have what it takes to deliver this presentation? What if I forget everything and make a fool of myself?

Has this ever happened to you?  Anxiety usually comes up when you’re extremely worried about something in the future. This could be about an upcoming presentation, an interview for a promotion or even just a monthly touch base meeting with your manager. But we also know that there’s a way to manage that anxiety when it surfaces: 

ਚਰਨ ਕਮਲ ਅਰਾਧਿ ਭਗਵੰਤਾ ॥
ਹਰਿ ਸਿਮਰਨ ਤੇ ਮਿਟੀ ਮੇਰੀ ਚਿੰਤਾ ॥੨॥
Worship and adore the Lotus Feet of the Lord God.
Meditating in remembrance on the Lord, my anxiety has come to an end. ||2||

Ultimately, anxiety stems from fear no matter how minimal it might be. Sometimes that fear might be due to not having enough time to prepare, simply not having done the work, or an overwhelming need to impress your manager. Gurbani teaches us that fear is everywhere, but the ‘best’ thing to fear is the Divine:

ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੰਮੈ ਭੈ ਮਰੈ ਭੀ ਭਉ ਮਨ ਮਹਿ ਹੋਇ ॥
ਨਾਨਕ ਭੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਜੇ ਮਰੈ ਸਹਿਲਾ ਆਇਆ ਸੋਇ ॥੧॥
In fear we are born, and in fear we die. Fear is always present in the mind.
O Nanak, if one dies in the fear of God, his coming into the world is blessed and approved. ||1||

A Present Mind 

Perhaps you have some kind of routine or process to help you when you start to feel anxious. Maybe it’s self talk, breathing deeply or staying hydrated. Why not Simran?

Simran is a tool to help us not let past or future emotions or feelings get the better of us. Through the process of Simran, we learn how to keep our mind present and better manage the extreme highs and lows that we may experience in the workplace. Learn more about The Power of Being Present and Steps to Achieve It.

As we work in our respective industries, let’s remember that mental health is just as important as physical or emotional health. Take the time to declutter your mind, do things that bring you joy, and reflect on how to improve certain skill sets. 

Above all else stay present, because a present mind is a powerful mind!

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