Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Getting to know “Mr or Ms Anxiety” so you can be more effective





Each of us at different times of our lives experience Anxiety, the following 2 minute YouTube can help you to see Anxiety in the human form
 
So now you have met an interpretation of Anxiety, let me offer you an approach that might support you to manage your Mr or Ms Anxiety when it tries to take over your 'Way of Being'.

The main thing to understand about Anxiety is that it is created by you in your language. It first starts with your private conversation in your head when you are ‘uncertain’ about something. Uncertainty is what you assess you cannot predict or control in the future. You  ‘oppose’ what is going on. For example in organisational life there may be cuts to your funding contract, a change of leadership, a new boss or an increase in your workload. All these things can create uncertainty which you don’t accept. The second thing about Anxiety is how is can manifest in your behaviour, some examples include:   
  • Making excuses to avoid doing something;
  • Rushing out of places or situations when feeling anxious;
  • Going to the toilet to escape from things;
  • Not saying anything when with other people;
  • Talking all the time to avoid feeling uncomfortable;
  • Ready to attack and ready to defend;
  • Being continually alert for threats.
The third thing about Anxiety is how the mood is held or reflected in your body/posture, some examples include:

  • Diminished posture, not wanting to be prominent and become a target;
  • Tightness across the chest, which might be subtly concave in a ‘already protective body’;
  • Shallow breathing, neck and eyes forward;
  • Eyes and ears scanning for threats.

The first step in managing your anxiety is to observe the three domains that make up your Way of Being (your language, moods/emotions and body). Start noticing what you are saying to yourself, how you are behaving and how you are holding your body.

This can start with you asking yourself:
  • why am I not accepting the uncertainty of the situation?
  • what are the effects of me not accepting uncertainty on my effectiveness?
  • what is the first thing I could do? 
For a detailed exploration of anxiety see Sieler's book Coaching to the Human Soul Vol II.  

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