How Great Leaders Manage Deep Stress and Anxiety – Isabel William

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When you launched your company, you probably thought that having a killer business idea was all you needed. Then, a chain of unexpected events occurs and you see that you were wrong. You need to choose the right funding sources and keep your finances healthy. Finding top-notch employees and retaining them is more difficult than you thought. Then come your strong competition, product development, business promotion, customer acquisition, and crazy working hours. Not to mention the constant feeling of uncertainty and unexpected problems you come across.

Sooner or later, all this will take its toll on both your physical and mental wellness.

Exhausted by harsh schedules and high expectations, most business owners feel extremely anxious. Stress triggers some other worrisome issues, such as health problems, poor workplace performance, deteriorating communication, and bad decision making.

But, instead of taking out your problems on your employees or ignoring your personal needs, you should focus on finding a more effective way to beat such problems.

Find a Healthy Balance

One of the major problems all business leaders face is the fast pace of their work life. You probably have an extremely busy schedule and your goal is to do your job according to it. This includes running from one meeting to another, barely having a few minutes to eat or to go to the bathroom. The number of documents you need to sign and emails to answer keeps growing. And, everyone, from your clients and employees to business partners, expects you to be available 24/7.

If I’ve just described your life in these few sentences, it’s no good. You need to manage your work-private life more effectively. Spending a few hours not thinking about work won’t jeopardize your career. On the contrary, it’s a long-term investment in it. It will help you boost your productivity, think critically, deal with problems faster, and make the right decisions.

Start small. Leave your problems and projects at the office- they can wait until tomorrow. Listen to music on your way home. Turn off your cell phone during your family hours and tell your employees not to call you then. Spend a few quality hours with your kids, go out with your friends, take a long bath, meditate, go fishing. Whatever it is, choose an activity or a hobby that helps you relax.

Focus on your Capabilities, not Limitations

How often do you say something like:“Life isn’t fair?”That’s because most of us have adopted the famous Murphy’s “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”law.

To be a successful leader, you need to get this mantra out of your head. It is a voice of fear, anger, lethargy, and despair.

Don’t build your success on things you don’t know or you cannot do. Spread your wings and focus on new challenges and your abilities to change the world around you. There are numerous practices, such as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) or hypnosis or meditation that will help you do so.

For example, the NLP approach teaches us the basics of our self-recognition. It helps you change how you perceive the world, communicate with yourself and the world around you and, most importantly, how you operate in this world. It helps you understand that the skills some of the most charismatic business leaders have are available to you, as well. And, by observing your leadership and the world around you through these lenses, you will be surprised how much control you can actually gain and how much you can achieve.

Be Serious about your Health

Once you launch your company, your life will turn upside down. As the levels of your stress are growing, your healthy habits will gradually drop off your must-do list. Under continuous pressure, you will start overeating or stop eating at all. Sooner or later, you will come to a conclusion that going to the gym is a waste of time. To keep yourself awake and focused, you consume lots of coffee and energy drinks. And, as the lights go down and all the problems start pressuring you, you will start self-medicating with sleeping pills or a few drinks.

Such lifestyle leads nowhere. Don’t wait until you have more time to change your habits. Start today. Change your eating habits at work. Most importantly, start working out.

Regular exercise is one of the most powerful ways to beat stress. Apart from its well-known physical benefits, it also improves your mental health. It serves as an awesome distraction from your work-related problems, helping your body dissipate stress hormones and relax. It helps you think faster, strengthens your self-esteem, and boosts your sense of being in charge. In other words, it gives you a chance to become a better leader. Studies show that the executives that work out regularly are rated more effective than those who don’t exercise.

Make Plans More Effectively

Organize your tasks effectively. By making plans in both short-run and long-run, you will be able to predict all major changes, mitigate potential risks, and complete your tasks faster. It’s important to know how to define roles, manage project schedules, and prioritize your obligations. By sharpening your focus this way, you will be able to invest more time and effort in the projects crucial to your business.

Additionally, if there are any problems or dilemmas that keep you up at night, write them down. Anticipate all the potential problems and changes your business might come across. Knowing that you are prepared to solve them right away, you will manage to reduce your anxiety levels, too.

Back to You

When you’re at the top, things become difficult. But, this doesn’t mean you should give up. To save your sanity, start by making small changes and then build on them. Hopefully, these strategies will help you reduce anxiety levels more effectively.


Biography: Isabel William – Consultant by day, and Freelance Writer by night.

Areas of interest are well being, mental health, self improvement as well as beauty of millennial transitions in all aspect of life. Health & Mental Health

Editor on and regular contributor on various sites.