Coping with Anxiety in the Workplace, part of our webinar series Leading Through Change, will help you manage your own anxiety so you can help your team members manage theirs. Then and only then can you work together to get stuff done.
Not one of us can say with any certainty how this pandemic will affect our business and our mission. For most, what little we can foresee looks pretty bleak. Opportunities may well emerge with the new economic realities this crisis brings, but we can’t yet know what those opportunities will be.
All this uncertainty brings a lot of anxiety. Everyone’s anxious — you, your family, your boss and coworkers, your team. We each show it differently, but we’re all experiencing it, at some level.
We can’t do our best work when we’re in a constant state of elevated threat response. Mastering our anxiety is a first step toward coping with our current challenges and planning for an uncertain future.
You have to start with yourself. Only when you’ve dealt with your own anxiety can you help your team members deal with theirs. Next week’s webinar Coping with Anxiety in the Workplace will give you strategies for getting the most out of your team. Today’s brief message starts at the beginning — with you.
We start with a simple (I didn’t say easy!) technique devised by Joan Rosenberg, PhD, author of Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings. (Sorry, this book is out of print, but see Resources, top right, for other options.)
The Rosenberg Reset is summarized as a 1 + 8 + 90 formula:
1 choice + 8 unpleasant feelings + 90 seconds
Your 1 choice is to stay fully present and notice your emotion.
The 8 unpleasant feelings are:
90 seconds is how long it takes to “ride the wave” of an unpleasant feeling until the worst passes over.
Really. It takes just 90 seconds to get past an unpleasant feeling — as long as you own the feeling rather than trying to tamp it down.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll conquer your anxiety completely in 90 seconds. Anxiety results when we have several of these unpleasant feelings at the same time. You can use the 1 + 8 + 90 formula to deal with multiple unpleasant feelings — but you have to take them one at a time.
Meanwhile, life goes on. Circumstances change. New unpleasant feelings arise. So the goal is to increase your comfort level with experiencing unpleasant feelings. You’re addressing your reaction to the feelings rather than to the circumstances that create them.
Developing that comfort level takes a lot of practice.
You can start right now — today — with these 4 do’s and 5 don’ts.
What you can do today
Questions for discussion