Write to erase anxiety

This is a guest post by Kendall Martin, editorial contributor at Briefings Media Group.

On those days when I have assignments from different departments, as well as emails and phone calls waiting to be returned, my first inclination is to write. I take out a legal pad and my favorite pen and construct a working list of to-do items. The simple task of writing out all of the items filling my brain instantly relieves my anxiety.

I recently came across an article, “Writing About Worries Eases Anxiety and Improves Test Performance” in Science Daily, which explained that writing about the worry of a task or performance can relieve the anxiety surrounding it.

While the article’s focus was on a study performed using students anxious about a test, I believe it is applicable in the workplace as well. Work anxiety affects behavior in and out of the office. It can cause procrastination, lowered productivity, workplace conflict—even insomnia.

What if at the end of every business day you wrote down your work concerns? When you have an upcoming presentation, a performance evaluation, a looming deadline or new project, write them down. List the reasons you are concerned or worried. Then write out the steps for which you are responsible. Seeing the full picture on paper, along with the act of releasing those thoughts from your brain, can relieve you and even help you do a better job.

How do you relieve work anxiety?

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