How Leaders Stop Feeling Anxious Right Now

What are you worried about?
  • Sales and revenue?
  • New changes you must make?
  • Uncertain future with unchartered waters?
  • How can you sustain your families’ schedule?
The list grows. Anxiety mounts.
For years, I was plagued by worry and worst-case scenarios. I would “awfulize” (a word I made up). “Castratrophize” (another word I made up). I made a lot of mountains out of molehills.

Did you know: Nearly 40 million Americans live with an anxiety disorder– from (GAD) generalized anxiety disorders ranging from:

►Intense worry
►Panic disorder
►Episodes of fear
►Heart palpitations, trembling, shaking, or sweating

May I suggest you try these 10 expert-backed suggestions:
(Note: Not a day goes by that I don’t practice one to three of these each day– my anxious thoughts are now level and no longer hijack my days?

1. Reel yourself back to the present
Don’t obsess over future events.
Put plans in place to face challenges.
Schedule solution times.

2. Be self-aware of “fight, flight, or freeze”
The stress hormone cortisol can remind you to “slow down”
Don’t let it overrun you. Let it be warming light of excessive anxiety.

3. Intentionally STOP
Learn to disengage for a few minutes– in order to reengage more powerfully.
Eat a healthy snack, tea, or take a brief walk.
Leaders exercise stop muscles when anxiety hits.

4. You’ve heard it before but next time practice it: breathe in, breathe out
Oxygen to the brain and blood lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
Breathing helps lower heart rate, stabilize the nervous system, and manages the emotional center of your brain, the amygdala.

5. Create “white space”
White space is scheduled “thinking time” to strategically be proactive with upcoming challenges.
Quiet, reflective time for your best “solution ideas”.

6. Get physical
Vigorous walks, strength training, yoga, biking, core work, and stretching.
I love the advice of my grandmother who lived to be 99: “Every day I get up and move.”

7. Practice good posture
Real science indicates when we are anxious we protect our heart and lungs by hunching over.
Physical antidote: stand–sit–and walk straight and open your chest.

8. Reduce sugar
Research overwhelmingly shows too much sugar worsens anxious feelings.
I have a small post-it note on our kitchen. It reads, “water”, my simple reminder for more h2o, less sugar.

9. Meditation/prayer
Start with as little as 5 minutes.
Play soft, soothing music in your mornings– I like to remind myself: “While I sleep, God works on my behalf.”

10. Be open
With a friend, a spouse, a counselor, a trusted advisor.
It’s okay to admit worries. Find solace and understanding.

Serving you at your best,

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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(For information on keynote presentations, team workshops, and one on one coaching.)

“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.