Learning how to cope with anxiety
We’re programmed to notice potential safety and hurt issues before noticing feeling happy or loving both in the workplace and at home. It’s a natural response to tune into what’s not going right in our world.
If we grow up in a place where there are no tigers or lions, our body doesn’t know that. It pins those safety feelings to the scariest thing in our world. It might be as simple as a coworker looking at us in a funny way. This triggers the ‘lion’s going to eat me’ feeling. This is relevant both at home and in the workplace.
So, we have to learn to notice this feeling and deal with it. The EQ code teaches people to do that by thinking in terms of red or green. The EQ code in the workplace helps leaders and executives learn to cope with anxiety in a logical format.
Am I a green circle, feeling happy and relaxed? Or am I a red circle, feeling angry, sad or frustrated?
If you’re a red circle just notice how you’re having a safety type response. Pause and remember there are no lions or tigers, so it’s a hurt response. You’re not in an unsafe situation.
When we logically work through the workplace situation and realise that we’re safe, we start to relax. We stop breathing rapidly and start to let the tension melt away. Just bringing our attention to how we’re feeling allows us to step back from the situation. Pausing let’s the feeling wave pass and our thinking steps in to guide us on the best course of action. Executive coaching assists this using the logical frameworks to more rapidly evolve in this area.
During their lifetime, one quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition, many in a corporate setting. It’s likely you’ll have someone in your team, your family or a friend who suffers from anxiety. Some forms of anxiety are quite debilitating and may require medication and a significant time off work. But others are mild and often well hidden. Sometimes people with generalised anxiety appear to have everything going well. They work hard to appear as if they have it all together. This is highly relevant for stressed out executives in the workplace.
This keeping up appearances is a form of control. Executives may want you to think they’re in control because often anxiety can make them feel out of control.
For people struggling with anxiety, it doesn’t matter what the trigger is, everything feels like a safety trigger; a comment in the weekly meeting, an email from the CEO or just a looming work deadline. Once they learn to coach themselves at the moment, they gain power over their anxiety. Seeking an Executive coach can rapidly assist also.
In the past, their thinking made the situation worse by panicking. After working with the EQ code, they able to apply the logical frameworks and improve their coping techniques no matter what’s happening around them.
Anxiety is a type of hurt. Instead of being afraid of anxiety, we teach our leadership coaching clients to see it as a signal. Instead of always running away from it, they become comfortable with it, knowing that it’s telling them, here’s a lesson for you. Executives use this strategy in the workplace.
Hurt is a learning mechanism. When you’re feeling hurt it’s here to teach you, right now, that you don’t know how to deal with this situation yet. And that’s okay because we’re all learning how best to deal with life both at home and in the workplace.
Our EQ code frameworks make the learning curve less steep and more enjoyable.
Have you struggled with anxiety? What coping techniques have worked for you?
Share in the comments below.