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5 Signs Work Anxiety Is Affecting Your Professional Life

How Can Job Anxiety Affect My Mental Health And Workplace Performance?

There is a distinct difference between anxiety and stress. Professionals who are living with anxiety might experience the stress of anxiety in their work life specifically. Work anxiety is becoming an increasingly common experience for professionals.


  • Worrisome thoughts about work keep you up at night: Insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety.  When you are experiencing chronic anxiety from work, your thoughts are likely to keep you awake at night. You feel as though you can’t stop worrying about work, unable to turn your mind off. Tossing and turning, you feel the anxiety build as you worry about not sleeping, how tired you will be the next day, and how your growing exhaustion will affect your work overall. Anxiety often evolves out of itself as the sympathetic nervous system misinterprets its own responses as stressors and fear.
  • You are obsessive and critical over small details: Anxiety can include irrational fears of failure, as well as success, making perfectionism a frequent plight among professionals with work anxiety. Scrutinizing over small, insignificant details over and over prevents you from moving forward in your work and focusing on the bigger picture. Though you feel you are securing perfection and thereby relieving anxiety, you are creating more anxiety by not moving onto what your job demands of you next.
  • Drinking at the office or using drugs is common: Anxiety and substance use are often co-occurring. To try and cope with your work anxiety, you’ve turned to drugs and alcohol. Whether you are moderately abusing substances or severely abusing substances, they are making your situation worse rather than better. Substance use can feel as though it is numbing your anxiety when in fact it is enhancing your anxiety’s dysfunction.
  • You turn to social media as an escape: Social media has become a “drug” for people on the job who become overwhelmed, stressed, and feel the need to tune out. Brain imaging studies have found that interacting with social media platforms produces the same responses in the brain as cocaine. Instead of a hyper-focus on work, your anxiety about work gets redirected into distractions like social media.
  • Projects have become unmanageable: Anxiety can cause professionals to feel as though they are out of control of their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In response, professionals seek control in other areas, like projects or tasks. Delegation is a key ability in any professional in any field. Trying to control everything in the work area creates more anxiety.


The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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