Boy, I am guilty here. In fact, this blog is written for me and all those other individuals who practice the art of being a conscientious leader, and then stress out.

Not good for any one!

Anxiety. That feeling that drives those around us crazy, and keeps us from generating the calm needed as a leader. Now some stress is good. It can keep us on our toes, alert, vigilant and attentive to circumstances around us. Helps ensure we function in an optimum way. But too much stress or anxiety about the future, the past, mistakes made or concerns that maybe coming our way, is just counterproductive.

And anxiety makes us sick. It can produce extra cortisol in the body which impacts the immune system and our health. 

So what makes us turn into worry warts?

Truth be told, some of us are just wired toward more anxiety.  And if you are one of them (like me and my mother )we need to be aware of this predisposition and work even harder to counter it.

Too much anxiety may also be generated by:

  • High work ethic, that becomes compulsive in terms of doing everything for everybody, at all times
  • Perfectionist mentality – everything needs to be done exactly right – with the belief that A+ work is the only option for ALL work, when sometimes A- is just fine for the situation
  • Desire to keep everyone happy – women especially prone to this- so we feel pressure to try to fix everything
  • Desire to be well liked by everyone – with anxiety generated when something we do may tarnish that image
  • Lack of trust with others --- that they can’t do their job or function without you
  • Operating from a mindset of “the worst that can happen” vs the best that can happen. What if we assumed the best rather than worried about the worst?
  • Lack of confidence and belief in self – doubting our own capabilities

And of course Anxiety can be aggravated by poor nutrition, lack of sleep, and inactivity!

So what is the antidote to anxiety?

1.       If anxiety is severe and debilitating, it is important to seek a professional to help you learn coping skills.

2.       Slow down – in your walk and talk.  Taking the time to be in the moment, experiencing the here and now, instead of listening to chatter in your head.

3.       Breathe deeply and count your breaths for 2 minutes, to calm down when you feel anxiety increasing.

4.       Download a meditative App, like Headspace (It’s what I use…but there are many options available),  and start a daily practice of stilling the mind, to counter anxiety producing thoughts.  Recent studies show meditation and mindfulness can have a positive impact on stress, anxiety, focus, creativity and even relationships.

5.       Journal in the morning or night, and get your worries out on paper.

6.       Laugh – watch a comedy.

7.       Take time to walk in nature – and observe the little things as you walk and listen to the sounds of nature.   Walking doesn’t always have to be destination oriented.

8.       Do something for someone else… focusing on another, can stop anxious thoughts.

 Your team, your staff, those you interact with, need a conscientious leader who is both confident and CALM!

Believe in yourself and chill baby, chill!

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