Dear Therapist: I overwork because I am scared of losing job

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 7 Oct 2021, 6:34 PM

I constantly want to move forward in life. I feel anxious if I feel like I am stagnating, so at times I tend to overwork and overthink, to the point of feeling burnt out. How do I tell myself I’m fine where I am now, while not feeling demoralised? — Kriti J

Dear Kriti, you may be suffering from clinical anxiety and your predicament may not be just ‘nervousness’. Your workaholism and time urgency can be conceptualised as an avoidance and safety strategy developed to gain some relief from the constant need to feel fulfilled and accomplished. Mindfulness practices are highly recommended in your case, but I would like you to contemplate about where this need to be on the constant move comes from. I wonder if you are trying to prove to someone that you are worthy enough, but the thing with anxiety and low self-worth is that you may never feel at peace, no matter how hard or much you accomplish. Therefore, it’s important to recognise this, take a step back and formulate ways of being rather than doing. Setting limits for your work, creating free time and relishing it, pacing work to prevent burnout among other everyday strategies can help you overcome your anxiety. Broadening your sense of self and incorporating elements that are not related to a work identity can go a long way in freeing yourself!

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