July 23, 2024

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Job Fear: How to Overcome it


Experts explainJob Fear: How to Overcome it

As Monday approaches, you start to feel an uneasy feeling in your stomach. Two experts explain where job anxiety comes from and what you can do about it.

Monica Abdel Meze
  • A study shows: About seven percent of employees in Germany suffer from so-called job anxiety.

  • Many people in the 20 minute community are also affected by this. Some report panic attacks or other physical and psychological complaints.

  • Psychiatrist Romina Reginald explains that work anxiety is often caused by several factors.

  • According to industrial psychologist Hildegard Nibel, sufferers must perform an accurate situational analysis to overcome fear.

What is work anxiety?

According to Romina Reginald, psychologist and part of the Aepsy team, work anxiety refers to feelings of fear or anxiety related to work responsibilities. “People with work anxiety often tend to avoid certain professional situations or tasks that might trigger their anxiety,” says the expert. This can manifest in low performance and frequent errors.

According to industrial psychologist Hildegard Nibel, fear is seen as a negative emotion. “Fear of work means that work is perceived negatively.” However, he asserts that very few employees are afraid of the work task but of negative evaluation by others. If you are in a bad mood before the start of the upcoming work week, feel ill, sleep poorly, and feel rested at the end of the work week, you may recognize your own anxiety.

What motivates?

“Work anxiety has many triggers. Workplace conflicts and a hostile environment can increase anxiety,” says Reginald. Stress can lead to feeling overwhelmed. “Social fears and personal factors such as low self-esteem and self-doubt are also contributing factors.”

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Nibel affirms that job anxiety can be influenced by various factors and that a holistic approach is necessary to recognize job anxiety.

Here's how you notice work anxiety: bad mood before the start of the next work week, feeling sick, sleeping poorly, feeling rested at the end of the work week.

Here's how you notice work anxiety: bad mood before the start of the next work week, feeling sick, sleeping poorly, feeling rested at the end of the work week.

Photographer Tim Cove On that day Unsplash

What are the symptoms?

“On a physical level, job anxiety can manifest in palpitations, breathing problems, headaches, gastrointestinal complaints and muscle tension,” says Reginald. Psychological symptoms such as anxiety, self-doubt, irritability and difficulty concentrating occur. “Emotionally, victims typically react with fear, panic, frustration, anger, or even helplessness.”

Nibel adds: “Sweating, increased blood pressure, sleep disturbances, tremors, nausea and heartburn can also occur. Fear has many faces.” In worst cases, there is also the overuse of alcohol, nicotine, or psychoactive substances such as pain relievers and sedatives.

How can victims cope?

Reginald insists that the first step is to learn about them. “There are various techniques and methods to deal with it. These include relaxation exercises, breathing techniques and stress management methods. These can help reduce physical and emotional stress and better manage symptoms.

“Once you realize you're not happy going to work, you need to do a detailed analysis of the situation and ask yourself what's bothering you the most,” Nibel says. You can try to change something about the situation, such as changing teams, taking on other tasks, or taking a break. “Simply, you can analyze the situation with helpful friends, relatives or neighbors.” Both experts recommend seeking support through psychotherapy.

Should you quit if you dread the job?

“Before you leave, it's important to at least try to face your fears,” says Reginald. “Otherwise there is a risk of repeating the same problems in a new workplace.”

Nibel also advises against redundancy. “This corresponds to passive avoidance behavior, which can be very harmful in the long run.” Rather, one must first become healthy again, i.e. mentally stable and resilient. “Then let's wonder if there's a better job.”

According to Nibel, behind the statement that you don't want to work is a fear you don't want to admit.

According to Nibel, behind the statement that you don't want to work is a fear you don't want to admit.


Does everyone suffer from job anxiety to some degree?

“Yes, because job anxiety can be a natural reaction to challenges, changes, or stress at work,” says Reginald. Fear can even have a performance-enhancing effect by acting as a motivator to achieve goals or complete tasks. “However, work anxiety becomes a problem when it becomes a disease, lasts for a long time and affects daily life,” emphasizes the expert.

Industrial psychologist Nibel sees it the same way. “There are certainly times in working life when you are more or less afraid, for example during confrontations or during evaluations.” Behind the claim that you don't want to work is a fear you don't even want to admit. “It's cooler to say you don't want to work instead of saying, 'I'm dreading the next challenge,'” says the expert.

Do you or someone you know have a mental illness?

Pro healthy mind, Tel. 0848 800 858

Children's souls SwitzerlandCounseling for stressed parents and their relatives

Relatives.chAdvice and contact points

WashingRegional associations for relatives

For the youthCounseling for Children and Youth, Tel. 147

offered a handConcern Hotline, Tel. 143

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