Coping with Anxiety as a Professional

Professional women deal with a lot of mixed responsibilities that arise through work and at home. This can sometimes bring on an overwhelming sensation of anxiety and make it difficult to focus and deliver their usual strong performance. There are ways that you can learn to cope with anxiety.

Recently I saw a talk by Mandy Mecuri, who has lived with pain for most of her life. She explained about her journey with pain. She would see pain as the enemy and would try and fight it or run away. After going on a 3-week pain management course, she learned that pain was to be with her. It was not the enemy. She had to learn to accept the pain and then she could control how she responded to the pain.

Anxiety requires a similar step. Anxiety feels very uncomfortable. Your thoughts are all-consuming. Your thought is the terror that the anxiety will not end. At that time, it is so self-absorbing, you use all your energy and focus to ensure no one else can tell what is going on side your mind and body. The sheer effort to maintain your work self is THE most important thing. The worst would be to be found out. You ask yourself “Will I lose my status; the esteem colleagues hold me in? Will people presume I will be unfit to take on the next challenge or will they just not trust in me or my judgements once they know?” Fundamentally, you are desperately breathing from one moment to the next just to survive the working day, minute by minute, until you can retreat to a space where you are alone and can let go.

Before I was able to release my anxiety and claustrophobia through hypnosis, I learned how to recognise and cope with it. I would stand in a lift and move my head, move my toes and focus on breathing. These conscious choices or taking control of my actions while breathing calmly and focusing on being OK, enabled me to live with anxiety with reduced impact. I have since been able to help other anxious people to learn how to cope if anxiety arises, before we look at coaching them through a transformation of releasing the anxiety and living a life where they are able to live with the daily discomforts that arise, as well as bring more comfort into their life.

Here are my suggestions on how to move to accepting your anxiety and learn have to respond to it in a more positive way:

  • Learn meditation, mindfulness or self-hypnosis, so you can detach yourself from the anxiety and begin to accept that it is not who you are, it is just something that is happening to you
  • Journal when you feel the anxiety. Describe when it started, what you were thinking about, what you were doing, who else was around, what was happening in your environment, such as what was on TV. This will help you become more aware of when the anxiety is starting
  • Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that the anxiety is impacting you
  • Gain clarification about what your anxiety is all about. Sit comfortably with your eyes shut and focus on where the anxiety sits inside you. Imagine you can communicate with it and it can talk back to you. Ask the anxiety why is it there? What is it trying to tell you? Become aware of what thoughts come to your mind. DO NOT disregard anything, as the unconscious mind knows the reason why you are experiencing anxiety, it will let you know if you ask it
  • Become aware of those people at work or home who may cause your anxiety to become worse. Many of the experts in dealing with anxiety suggest that you need to be surrounded with only those who support you. If there are others around who are not supportive or are part of the cause, then find ways to remove them from your life, even if it is temporary
  • Learn to do relaxing breathing. This helps you when you become aware the anxiety is starting, for you to Stop and start to focus on relaxing your body through your breathing. Breathing is the main way to cope if you are beginning to feel anxious, because it makes you focus on what you can control and bring in more positive feelings and thoughts.
  • Ask yourself if what you are thinking is fact or fiction? Beginning to separate the actual from supposed is a key tool you have in your tool box ready at any moment. Defining the difference between what is and isn’t happening keeps you in the moment and allows you begin to recognise when your feelings or emotions are running the show without checking in on your brain.

If you want to discuss\resolve\heal your anxiety with David and discover how, at The Eyes of Horus, our guiding light can transform your dreams of being free of the anxiety into reality, please book a complementary discovery session by visiting: Scroll to the bottom of the home page for the booking calendar.


David Donahoo

Coach and NLP Trainer, and Hypnotherapist

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