How to relish challenges and deal with anxiety

Many people deal with pressure in business but, according to a new study by the Harvard Business School, few are good at managing the accompanying anxiety.

The key, it says, is to transform anxiety into energy and excitement rather than attempting to stay calm and going about the attempt in the wrong way.

According to the study, it is mistaken to think that trying to calm down is the best way to cope with anxiety, because it encourages the focus to be on things that could go badly in the form of projecting a catastrophic outcome. This can become debilitating due to an inability to make decisions.

Actually what people should be attempting to do is to channel anxiety in a way that is productive.

It is all about using logic to put things into perspective by asking what is the worst thing that could happen and how much will it matter in, say, five years time.

A useful trick is to think about situations that are far worse than the one causing the anxiety and recognising that other people are far less concerned about your problems than you think.

Using a range of self-management techniques will reduce the anxiety and enable it to be converted into constructive, enthusiastic action.

Anxiety may be a good spur to productivity, but only if it is used to manage the emotions in a way that leads to decisions and action and not indecision and paralysis.

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