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Do you have concerns related to your job, such as performance, work environment or leadership? Have you been off work for an extended period of time? Help is available.

What is job anxiety?

Job anxiety is anxiety related to work, including being away from work for a while, having a bad or unsafe working environment, or not enjoying your work.

Many different factors can cause job anxiety, and it can manifest in several different ways. People with job anxiety may experience a general feeling of worry, stress or fear directly related to their job.

Job anxiety is not a diagnosis in itself, but rather anxiety symptoms related to a particular situation. Help is available.

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What can cause job anxiety?

Several different factors and scenarios can lead to job anxiety. Anxiety disorders in general are often due to an combination of genetic, biological and environmental factors. In the case of job anxiety, the factors are often directly linked to work, and can include specific assigned tasks and the overall work environment. Some common causes of job anxiety are:

  1. Workload: Overwhelming amounts of work or the feeling of not being able to keep up with assigned tasks.
  2. Deadline pressure: Tight or unrealistic deadlines can increase stress levels.
  3. Job insecurity: Worrying about losing your job, especially in times of economic uncertainty.
  4. Work-life balance: Difficulties in balancing work demands with personal needs and family life.
  5. Perfectionism: Setting unrealistically high standards for yourself at work.
  6. New role or tasks: Changes in tasks or taking on new roles.
  7. Poor working environment: Unsupportive leadership can contribute to poor wellbeing at work and if bullying is present, it is important to seek help.
  8. Long-term absence: You may feel anxious about returning to work after a vacation, parental leave or long-term unemployment.

If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety related to your job, you may want to seek help. Our licensed psychologists and therapists can help you decrease your anxiety and increase your quality of life


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Managing job anxiety

Dealing with job anxiety can involve both psychotherapy and self-care. It may also include conversations with managers and occupational health providers if necessary. Trying different coping strategies and stress management techniques can be a good first step.

Addressing job anxiety is important for both mental well-being and performance. In some cases, it may be necessary to seek professional help, especially if the anxiety starts to affect other aspects of life.

Treatment with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Through CBT, individuals learn to identify, challenge and change thoughts and behaviours related to different situations. It also involves setting goals and changing behaviours, but can also work on stress management through various tools and exercises. In newer forms of therapy such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), you can also work more with mindfulness to change your approach to your thoughts. It is possible to get help with work-related anxiety and feel better.


12 common questions and answers about job anxiety

What is job anxiety?

Job anxiety is anxiety related to situations where you have been away from work for a while, have a bad working environment or do not enjoy your work.

What causes job anxiety?

Job anxiety can be caused by several different situations. Anxiety disorders in general are often due to an interaction of genetic, biological and environmental factors. In job anxiety, the situations are often directly linked to work.

What are the symptoms of job anxiety?

There is often a high level of anxiety related to work, difficulty concentrating and a tendency to become easily irritated. You may also experience physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains and tension. Sleep problems are also common.

Can job anxiety be related to other mental health problems?

Job anxiety can be a part of other mental health concerns such as anxiety disorders like social anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

How to deal with work-related anxiety?

Dealing with job anxiety can involve both psychotherapy and self-care. It may also include conversations with managers and occupational health providers if necessary. Trying different coping strategies and stress management techniques can be a good first step. It may also be necessary to seek professional help.

Can job anxiety affect physical health?

Yes, long-term job anxiety can have a physical impact, just like other types of anxiety. Symptoms can include sleep problems, digestive problems, headaches and general exhaustion. It is important to take care of both your mental and physical health, and seek medical attention if necessary.

I don’t feel supported by my manager, what should I do?

Having a supportive manager is important. If you find it difficult to be heard, you can turn to HR or the occupational health department, who may be able to help.

I have sleep problems and worry about work, what should I do?

It is common to develop sleep problems if you have a lot of work-related anxiety. Feel free to seek help from a licensed psychologist or therapist at Lavendla.

Can physical activity help reduce job anxiety?

Yes, physical activity can be an effective way to reduce symptoms of stress however formal treatment may also be needed.. Regular exercise promotes mental well-being by releasing endorphins, improving sleep quality and reducing stress.

I am afraid to change jobs, what should I do?

If you experience a lot of uncertainty in deciding whether to change jobs, you can seek help from a licensed psychologist or therapist to help you.

Can a change in lifestyle help manage job anxiety?

Sometimes a change in lifestyle can help with job-related anxiety. This can include exercising and getting better sleep, but also working on stress management.

Where can I go if I need help?

Through our site you can book an initial session with a therapist or psychologist to describe your concerns and start treatment. We will help you make the difficult easier.

Treating job anxiety with cognitive behavioural therapy

This section explains how cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can treat job anxiety.

1. Assessment of symptoms

The first step is for a licensed psychologist or qualified therapist to help you evaluate your situation and review your history. They will assess whether your anxiety may also be related to another mental health concern. You may also be asked to complete assessment forms.

2. Psychoeducation and goals

You will learn about how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours affect you both physically and mentally. You and your therapist will work on analyzing situations and also set goals for treatment.

3. Tools to change behaviours and patterns

You will work on identifying and changing patterns of thought and behaviour. Together with your therapist, you can work with different tools to overcome your concerns. You will be given homework to practice between sessions.

4. Contact occupational health and employment services

If you experience difficulties in your work environment, such as reorganization, bullying or unsupportive leadership, you can also contact your occupational health or human resource department. If you have become unemployed, employment services (found at https://www.canada.ca/) can help.

5. Follow up and evaluate progress

You will be supported by your psychologist throughout the process. At the end of the treatment, you will also receive a plan to continue practicing so that you can maintain your progress.

A first step in seeking help

If you recognize the symptoms of job anxiety in yourself, it is good to seek help. It is possible to improve your quality of life! We offer access to psychologists and therapists who are ready to support you through your journey. We make the difficult easier.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.