Overcoming Work Anxiety

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Overcoming Work Anxiety

BY: Derika Crowley

Most adults spend the majority of their time at work. In fact, many studies have proved the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime.

Whether we like or not, our jobs make a huge impact on our mood, quality of life, and emotional state. For example, one bad experience at work can impact our entire day, maybe even our entire week. Knowing this, it’s important to know how to recognize when we are experiencing work-related anxiety and how to overcome it. In addition, it’s important to understand contentment (let’s face it some occurrences are inevitable) and how to properly respond when faced with worry or anxiety.

Let’s Discuss “Contentment”

First, let’s focus on the idea of contentment. One can’t overcome anxiety unless they are able to shift their mindset back into a place of security and comfort (i.e. contentment). It’s really a simple concept…when we feel content, we are relaxed, and when we are not content, we feel anxious and worry about what’s next.

Using the elementary topic of money, think about it this way. According to CNN Money, one of the reasons why individuals are unhappy with their current place of employment is due to feeling they are underpaid. Fair enough, right? You work hard, you’re entitled to feel like you should be paid more. However, what if I was to tell you that whether you like it or not, in order to get more, you have to appreciate what you have now? Well, that the mindset we have to adopt in order to start being content.

1 Timothy 6:6 - 8 states, “Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So, if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content.”  

Based on this passage, if we have food and clothing then we should be content. We should be happy! Just those two things. There is no mention of shelter, water, or air conditioning (although perhaps the verses expanded to include basic essentials), but only food and water. Many of us believe we need so much more than food and water to be happy. We believe we need our phones, our friends, or jobs; but, according to the word, food and water are all we need.

If You Have the “Basics,” You are Good

Continuing on to 1 Timothy 6:9 - 10, it says “But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”

If we have food and clothing then technically we have everything we need, therefore we should be content. But, although we have everything we need, very few of us have everything we want – causing us to have anxiety and bringing discontentment to our lives. And when I say everything we want, I’m talking beyond the material things as well. Wanting recognition, wanting to go to a good job, wanting to pay your bills, and wanting to be debt free, also are included in the things we want.

At the end of the day, we are taken care of. Everything else is extra. Find contentment in knowing that as long as you have the basic necessities God is providing, and He hasn’t forgotten about you.

Tackling Anxiety

It’s easier said than done to find relaxation not only knowing, but believing that food and clothing are all we need. Life happens (and it can suck). So, what do we do to get us back to a state of contentment when anxiety is staring us in the face? According to the Bible, the necessary response is to pray and shift your mindset.

Philippians 4: 6 – 8 states: “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done…and now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

When faced with moments where we feel anxious or unsure, we have to step back, pray, and actively work to get back to a place a contentment.

Even when our surroundings seem grim, and we have a narrative playing over and over in our minds about how something isn’t working out, how we make so many mistakes, how so-and-so doesn’t like us, or whatever the case may be; remember that as long you have food and clothing you are deserving of contentment. Everything else you have is truly a blessing, and you should be thankful. You control your mentality and emotions. Anxiety can be controlled, so make sure to do your part in knowing when to step back and act accordingly.