What to do to Reduce Anxiety

Moving on with Elements of Value, from life changing to emotional values.  As we descend Bain’s pyramid, the scope of these values narrows.  Perhaps these next 10 values are about self-control.  They aim to help you follow the course you are on and not so much change course.  Remember, with emotional stability, we are more likely to make life changing decisions.   One important emotional issue is how to reduce anxiety.

What is It?

Anxiety is an emotion we all experience and sometimes find hard to name.  In the body it often accompanies tightening of the muscles on either side of the abdomen.  This correlates with taking part in any stressful activity, eg public speaking.

Different people are anxious about different things.  For example, public speaking energises me.  I often do my best work speaking and cannot remember a time I felt anxious about it.

On the other hand I find interacting with people much more stressful, often becoming tongue-tied or expressing myself badly.  This is odd because I can speak to an audience without a script but get anxious when speaking one to one.  So, this is not about rationality.  If your client is anxious about something, they may be aware it is irrational (I am) but that doesn’t really help.

Value for the Client

The aim according to Bain is to help the client worry less and feel more secure.

Worry builds into stress and so anxiety is often a prelude to stress.  Strengthening resilience may be important.  Social meetings make me anxious but I go to them.  If anxiety means we stop doing things, it becomes a serious problem.

I don’t generally worry about meetings.  I’ve been to hundreds and know what to do.  I still feel anxious but I don’t worry.  What I have to do is find a purpose so that I don’t spend all the time hiding in a corner or seeming bad-tempered.  Public speaking can provide the role I seek, for example.

Feeling secure, perhaps better termed confidence, is where we are not obsessed by what can go wrong and can actually function.  We all have coping strategies and perhaps to be more effective we need to change them.  This is the role of a coach, to help the client work out the most effective way they can use their strengths to bolster their weaker aspects.

Your Offer

This may be stress coaching but I find, as a marketing coach, elements of reducing anxiety are necessary.  Sometimes we find workarounds together.  Maybe some clients need more specialist help.

One of my roles as a coach is to help clients name their problems and if it is anxiety we can look at the specifics together and work out support the client needs.

I suspect most coaches need to reduce anxiety because it is a common reason clients do not perform at their best.

This is the eighth of 31 posts about elements of value.  Make sure you don’t miss any by signing up for the offer below.  The posts in this sequence can be accessed below:

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About the Author

I've been a community development worker since the early 1980s in Tyneside, Teesside and South Yorkshire. I've also worked nationally for the Methodist Church for eight years supporting community projects through the church's grants programme. These days I am developing an online community development practice combining non-directive consultancy, strategic management, participatory methods and development work online and offline. If you're interested contact me for a free consultation.

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