Starting a new job can be a nerve-wracking experience, and it will take a few weeks to adjust to the new environment and get acquainted with the people you work with. Many people experience a great deal of social anxiety when starting a new job, and if you’re already predisposed to anxiety or panic attacks, you may experience a higher degree of social anxiety during this stressful time.
Fortunately, there are several ways to cure social anxiety and find some relief from the extreme levels of anxiety you experience when meeting your new colleagues and associates. I discuss some effective strategies for lowering anxiety in my book Panic Away, and you can use the following techniques and strategies to help cure social anxiety at the new job:
1. Limit caffeine intake. If you’re used to loading up on coffee and energy drinks to get through your day, you may be triggering anxiety symptoms and making it even more difficult to handle the stresses of the day. Reduce your caffeine intake so you’re less aggravated by minor stressors throughout your busy day.
2. Get a good night’s rest. Sleep deprivation can make you vulnerable to anxiety attacks and make it difficult to handle stress. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep so you’re not setting yourself up for extreme levels of social anxiety.
3. Use positive visualization techniques. Undertake some meditation exercises before the work day starts and envision a positive outcome with all your personal interactions. This can significantly reduce the amount of anxiety you experience as you start to meet new people.
4. Practice positive thinking. Avoid unhealthy thinking styles, including catastrophizing, mind reading and personalizing. Focus instead on your surroundings and really listen to what people are saying – not the negative thoughts in your head.
5. Allow yourself to feel anxious. Acceptance changes the way you feel anxiety. It is fine to feel anxious when in a new work situation. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling anxious. The more you accept the anxiety the less frustrated you will feel.