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How Do I Treat My Chronic Performance Anxiety & Its Side Effects?

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Every day I go to work, and I am extremely motivated to do my job as well as I can because I know that doing my job poorly will lead to greater stress and suffering for my coworkers. I take great pride in that. Every day I try to find a way to do my job a bit better, and I believe that every day I become better at my job. My job is a mix of technical sales with customers, service work, and clerical work. By all accounts, I’m very good at my job. I suffer from chronic anxiety, and every failure on my part feels like torture and lingers with me for days or weeks.

Every day when I come home, all I want to do is nothing. I can barely think, and almost every task, from cooking to cleaning to shopping to video games feels like work. Even talking with family feels like work. Without someone else affected by my inaction, I can be hardly be moved to do anything. On good days I can write things like this, but on bad days I may never leave my bedroom. It all just feels like more work. (From the USA)

How Do I Treat My Chronic Performance Anxiety & Its Side Effects?

Answered by on -

A.

You are involved with a thinking trap and what I call an “acting trap.” Being good at your job has replaced enjoying your work. When you are so drained by how you make a living that it completely exhausts you it is time for a change.

There are three things I’d recommend. The first is to go to VIAcharacter.org. On this site you’ll find a character strengths survey and I would highly recommend you take the survey and look at your top five character strengths- known signature strengths and will be important as you learn how to have more joy, pride, and a sense of accomplishment and doing your work. The character strengths survey will give you those top abilities that define you and make you who you are. Research has shown that being able to use these strengths on a regular basis and novel ways will increase your daily enjoyment while reducing stress.

Secondly, I’d recommend you looking to engage in hobbies. It could be anything from developing an interest in learning a new language to learning a musical instrument, to bike riding. Hobbies give us a chance to disengage from work in a healthy way by shifting our focus to something we enjoy.

Finally, I’d recommend group psychotherapy. Group psychotherapy allows you to engage with others as well as learning how to understand yourself more deeply.

I believe these three suggestions will help you enjoy your work and non-work time more.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

How Do I Treat My Chronic Performance Anxiety & Its Side Effects?

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Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). How Do I Treat My Chronic Performance Anxiety & Its Side Effects?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/06/18/how-do-i-treat-my-chronic-performance-anxiety-its-side-effect/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 16 Jun 2020 (Originally: 18 Jun 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 16 Jun 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.