Unless your job is doing absolutely nothing, you are sure to experience some level of anxiety from time to time. Maybe you have a presentation, work meeting, a tight deadline, unending emails, toxic boss or coworkers, uncertain outcomes, or uncertain job security. Whatever the case may be, anxiety originating from job-related challenges is quite common.
But here’s the silver lining. If you aren’t anxious about anything, then you’re not being challenged.
However, while challenges can be good, they’re not good when they manifest into debilitating and self-destructive anxiety.
So, how do we keep anxiety at bay so the challenges we face on the job build us rather than destroy us?
In the Gospel of Luke, one of Jesus’s disciples, named Luke, described a story that relates very well to the question of how to keep anxiety at bay. During one of their journeys, Jesus and his disciples stopped by the home of Mary and Martha, who were sisters. When they arrived, Mary devoted all her attention to Jesus, listening to what he had to say. In the meantime, Martha was preoccupied with all the preparations that needed to be done. She was an anxious mess.
Frustrated, she complained to Jesus that her sister, Mary, had left her to do all the work. Jesus’ response to her was epic.
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed–or indeed only one.”
What is that one thing?
What Jesus said is not to imply that the work Martha was trying to get done wasn’t important. Rather, it’s to say that it wasn’t the most important thing in the universe. The thing that is, in fact, most important is our relationship with God. Our anxiety is greatly reduced when we are able to redirect our attention away from ourselves and our issues and toward God.
So when you face workplace anxiety, remember that you can only do the best you can. But God is ultimately in control of outcomes. So instead of feeling worried, stress, or anxious, refocus your attention on him.
As you replace negative inner thoughts and anxiety with positive prayer and praise, you will suddenly begin to feel a little more comfort and peace.