By Kristin Woodling
Anxiety is the number one mental health issue for American women. The uncertainty faced by women in business can ignite this issue, even in the most experienced professionals. Our personality, genetics, past experiences, and current circumstances are factors that influence the degree of anxiety we feel when faced with uncertainty.
Next time you feel heightened anxiety, find a quiet space to calm your physical symptoms. Use deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation, or guided imagery to decrease heart rate, increase oxygen intake, bring down blood pressure, and settle racing thoughts. Once you are able to physically slow down, try digging deeper beyond the presenting anxiety and notice what really feels uncertain.
You may find that you are feeling anxious at work when the real issue is actually in your personal life or vice versa. Once you accurately identify what the problem is, you should make a list of what you have control over (choices) and consciously work to let go of what is out of your control. More long-term solutions include maintaining a lifestyle with healthy levels of stress.
A businesswoman’s day-to-day (often overambitious) “to-do” lists can be a significant trigger for anxiety. Each time you make a conscious effort to work through your anxiety you will gain confidence in your ability to cope or resolve problems as they present themselves, letting go of the need to obsess over predicting possible negative outcomes.
To read the my full column in this week’s FLORIDA TODAY, click here.