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12 min read

How To Deal With Layoff Anxiety

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Jan 4, 2023

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

You’re not alone if you’re worried about losing your job and anxiety constantly affects your day-to-day. Layoff anxiety is experienced by 48% of employed Americans, especially in times of economic uncertainty or during periods of corporate restructuring. This persistent anxiety can negatively impact your job performance and overall well-being.

In this article, we’ll discuss layoff anxiety and how you can cope with it so that you can show up to work each day feeling at ease and ready to advocate for yourself. We’ll discuss—

  • What is layoff anxiety?
  • How job loss anxiety impacts your working life satisfaction and mental health
  • Crucial tips for dealing with job insecurity fears

If you are experiencing constant job loss anxiety and it’s starting to take its toll on your mental health, you don’t have to suffer alone. Klarity can help. Take this brief self-evaluation, and we’ll connect you with a licensed health care provider within 48 hours.

What is Layoff Anxiety?

Layoff anxiety is a type of anxiety specifically related to the fear of losing your job. It can be triggered by various factors, including rumors of layoffs, economic troubles, company downsizing, or job insecurity. Your anxiety can range from mild to severe, manifesting in physical symptoms such as sleep issues, difficulty concentrating, and increased irritability.

How Layoff Anxiety Impacts Your Health and Job

Job insecurity and fears of job loss can have negative effects on your physical well-being and mental health. When your mental health and physical health suffer, it can start to impact your job performance in the workplace.

Also, when your physical and mental health are taxed, it increases the physical stress your body experiences. When stressed, physical symptoms like increased blood pressure and a weakened immune system are possible.

Additionally, job loss anxiety can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. It can also cause a loss of self-esteem and confidence, making it harder to find the motivation to perform well at your current job.

Ask Yourself: Is it Logical or Likely That You’ll Lose Your Job?

When facing layoffs or job insecurity, it’s easy to spiral into negative thinking and assume the worst. However, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself: is it logical or likely that you’ll lose your job? Are you potentially catastrophizing about losing your job?

Consider the facts and assess the situation objectively—

  • Are there signs that your company is under financial strain?
  • Is your industry or the greater economy under financial strain?
  • Are there rumors or concrete evidence of upcoming layoffs?
  • Is there hard evidence that you are being scrutinized for your job performance?

If so, it’s important to prepare yourself for the possibility of job loss, but it’s also important to remember that not all layoffs are personal and that your job loss may be due to factors beyond your control. Recognize that layoffs can happen for various reasons and that even if they do occur, you have skills and experiences that can be valuable in finding a new job.

On the other hand, if there are no concrete indications that your job is at risk, try to focus on the positive aspects of your job and the contributions you bring to the company. 

Taking a rational and objective approach can reduce your job loss anxiety and better prepare yourself for whatever may come. Remember that your job does not define your worth and that opportunities for growth and change always exist. You don’t want your job loss anxiety to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Ready for the next step in your mental health journey? Book an appointment with a licensed provider on Klarity today.

How to Cope With Job Loss Anxiety

If you’re experiencing layoff anxiety, finding healthy ways to cope, boost self-confidence, and improve mental health and well-being are important priorities. Remember, it is natural to feel anxious when faced with the possibility of losing your job. You’ll need to develop coping techniques to reduce the negative effects of job loss anxiety.

By managing your job loss anxiety and seeking support if needed, you can reduce its impact on your life and protect your mental well-being.

Here are some easy tips for managing mental health issues surrounding layoff anxiety.

Ensure You’re Working On High-Value Projects

One way to help manage job loss anxiety is to focus on projects that are high value for your organization. You can increase your job security by demonstrating your value to the company.

Try reaching out to your supervisor to discuss your opportunities for growth. Doing so shows initiative and keeps you top-of-mind as someone willing to work to improve. And, even if you are laid off, you can cite those high-value projects as advanced experience when you apply for your next position. 

Create a Layoff Backup Plan

A concrete plan to secure a new job provides a sense of control and helps reduce job loss anxiety and negative thoughts associated with job loss anxiety. This may include updating your resume, networking with other professionals in your field, working on aspects of career development, starting a job search, and developing new skills.

Creating that backup plan can also be a clarifying exercise, showing you that you still have options and aren’t free-falling into the unknown. 

Separate Your Identity From Work

Your job is not your entire identity. When you perform well, it can create a positive feedback loop for your mental health. However, you can’t completely identify with your job.

Don’t attach your self-worth to what you do for a living. Instead, make time for people and activities you enjoy outside of work and try to maintain a balance in your life. That could look like yoga, journaling, dinner with friends, taking a dance class, and so much more!

Don’t Jump to Conclusions

It can be easy to jump to conclusions when you’re worried about losing your job. However, remember that until you have confirmation, it’s not helpful to assume the worst. By endlessly speculating, you can drive yourself to unending distraction. Instead, try to focus on what you can control, such as your work performance and attitude.

It can also help to ask yourself questions that will help ground you in reality, like:

  • Has your workload changed?
  • Has your supervisor asked you to make budget cuts?
  • Are sales up or down?
  • Is your employer currently hiring?
  • Are fellow employees starting the job search process?

The answers to these questions will give you a better idea of the truth of your thoughts. Because while your anxious thoughts are real, they’re not always true. 

How to Seek Anxiety Treatment

If your job loss anxiety is causing significant distress or impacting your daily life, reporting psychological problems to a trained medical provider may be helpful. You must determine if your job loss anxiety relates to your physical health or an underlying medical condition. Experiencing severe anxiety symptoms may mean you need to see a mental health specialist.

A therapist or counselor can provide you with strategies tailored to meet your individual needs so you can start to manage your job loss anxiety symptoms. Your HR department may have a list of resources your employer provides to support employee mental health. Or, you could seek out a therapist outside of your work environment.

Thankfully, many providers offer sliding scale options, so if you don’t have health insurance, you don’t have to worry about staggering treatment fees.

Additionally, you can pursue anxiety treatment through telemedicine, which provides convenient access to mental health professionals who can help diagnose and treat your job loss anxiety symptoms. With telehealth, you can see your provider online, and you don’t have to endure long waitlists. 

Speak to a Healthcare Provider About Job Loss Anxiety in Just 48 Hours

If you feel overwhelmed about what the future holds regarding your employment status and financial security, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Fears of losing your job don’t have to derail your mental health. Speak to a medical provider on Klarity about anxiety treatment options.

When you book on Klarity, you don’t have to take off work, face long wait times, or endure inconvenient commutes to get the anxiety treatment you need. With the health care providers on our platform, you can be seen right from the comfort of your own home in 48 hours or less.

All you need to do to get started is take our brief mental health assessment to connect with a provider through Klarity.


James Davis. “Layoff Anxiety and Approaches to Termination” Hr Daily Advisor

Jantra. “4 ways to deal with layoff anxiety” Pacific Prime

Snigdha Biswas. “Layoff Stats and Anxiety: Examples That Will Help” SaaSworthy

Melody Wilding. “How to Deal with Layoff Anxiety” Harvard Business Review

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Stress Symptoms: Effects on Your Body and Behavior” Mayo Clinic

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