4 Ideas for Combatting Workplace Anxiety For Those Hating Mondays

4 thoughts on thinking differently

Eve Arnold
3 min readAug 1, 2022


Photo by Indian Yogi (Yogi Madhav) on Unsplash

Ergophobia is rife in the workplace. It’s considered a form of performance anxiety.

In the blur of LinkedIn flexes and job updates, you can forget that great philosophers of years gone by suffered the same problems as you and I.

It’s not a promise to change your life, but learning from ancient philosophy shifts your thinking having the potential to reduce work anxiety.

1. Your thresholds are not what you think

“Nothing happens to any creature beyond its own natural endurance.”- Marcus Aurelius

At the moment, at the point of no return, you think this is beyond you.

You pause, double-take, and wrack your brain wondering if this thing that you signed up for was a good idea. You think that you are the sinking ship and this is your time to fall. The workplace is full of anxiety-inducing experiences:

  • A presentation you think is beyond your capability.
  • A workshop you don’t think you have the ability to facilitate.
  • Someone 10 rungs up from you on the ladder wanting a chat.

All of these can set your alarms bells ringing but in those moments, the words of Marcus Aurelius ring true. It’s a perspective that will give you power.

2. Events and interpretations sit on different seats

“Things of themselves cannot touch the soul at all. They have no entry to the soul, and cannot turn or move it. The soul alone turns and moves itself, making all externals presented to it cohere with judgments it thinks worthy of itself.” — Marcus Aurelius

The gap between the event and feelings can oftentimes be like a blink of an eye. Barely enough time to understand the thing that has happened. Without thought or consideration, you conclude that this thing has happened and that you feel terrible about it.

But those things exist separately from one another. Something happens and you get to interpret that how you want. The good, bad, or the ugly. It’s your version of events.