When you’re feeling anxious about a presentation, a looming deadline or even a decision you made, relaxation is likely the last thing on your mind. However, the business world is full of stressful situations, and if you want to navigate it successfully, you’ll need to pick up a positive habit or two that can help you cope when things get tough.
Anxiety doesn’t have to overwhelm you, and with the following eight tips, you’ll be better equipped to deal with it when it happens. From acknowledging your anxiety to leveraging silence, here are a few tricks you can use to get back in a healthier mindset, as recommended by the members of Young Entrepreneur Council.
Young Entrepreneur Council members share tips for calming anxious feelings you may get as an entrepreneur.
1. Practice Gratitude
There is one steadfast practice I would advise for anyone feeling overwhelmed and that is taking the time to think about what you are grateful for. While a regular gratitude practice is crucial to having the right mindset to live a fulfilling life, when times get tough, it is a priceless way to instantly gain a different perspective. I have made the mantra “love, not fear” guide every move I make, so if something doesn’t feel right or weighs on my mind, it means I am approaching the situation from the wrong angle. In that situation, the first thing to do is to change perspective, which is done by being grateful. Keeping a “gratitude rock” handy serves as a reminder to look at the grander picture and find a way to change the situation from being a source of fear to a source of love. – David Henzel, TaskDrive
2. Acknowledge And Then Refocus Your Thoughts
When you’re anxious, your mind is usually overtaken by negative thoughts. These thoughts can be overwhelming, especially if they are persistent. One great way to stop them is to simply acknowledge them and then refocus your mind on positive thoughts. Basically, acknowledge that you’re anxious and accept it, but don’t indulge in the negative feedback loop. For example, if you’re dreading a presentation and focusing on how much you’re going to mess up, try forcing yourself to focus on why you’re giving the presentation in the first place. Focusing on the positive reinforces those thoughts and helps you achieve your goals. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
3. Identify The Source Of Your Fear
I try to identify the true source of the fear. Is it that I will make a fool of myself? Or that the people I’m pitching will tell me “No, thank you”? It might even help to write “Why am I anxious?” on a piece of paper and attempt to write an answer to that question. You can use your own answer to target your efforts toward solutions. Calm your mind with the thought that you are controlling what you can control simply by putting your best, most honest effort forward. That knowledge alone will help you make peace with any outcome, even if you don’t get the one you wanted. As business leaders, we like to think we can control everything, but sometimes you can ease the pressure and anxiety on your mind by realizing this isn’t always true. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
4. Consult A Trusted Friend
Whenever I feel anxious, I like to talk it out. It can be with a friend, someone I trust, my mentor, a business partner or anyone I feel comfortable with. It helps me get the anxiousness off my chest and get back into a healthier mindset. Sometimes talking to others also helps me find a solution or way to handle the situation better. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
5. Stop And Take A Deep Breath
When I’m feeling anxious, I stop and take a deep breath. I then take some time to explore my feelings and figure out what is causing my anxiety. To continue feeling centered, I might find a calming word or phrase to repeat to myself. Lastly, I will change my thoughts by thinking of the pros and cons of the situation or decision in question. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
6. Take A Calming Walk
I’ve found that the best way to calm my mind and get back into a productive state is to go for a walk and listen to an audiobook, a podcast or some music. Whether it’s the day before a big conference or while stressing out about submitting a big project, taking a walk helps me calm down and lets my mind wander without stress. Even a 20-minute walk to a coffee shop in the area acts meditatively. Once I sit down, I come back with clarity, focus and a plethora of ideas as a bonus. – Karl Kangur, Above House
7. Leverage Silence And Meditation
Get silent. Go inside your mind and quiet it. Meditation practice is one of the best forms of training that I incorporate into my professional and personal life. The benefits cannot be overstated. When you are anxious, your mind is running a million scenarios of how poorly something might go or how wrong it has gone in the past. These exercises are completely fruitless. Be in the present and turn into your mind to quiet these past or future scenarios. They call meditation a “practice” because it takes practice to be completely tuned into present opportunities. It requires discipline, but every moment tuned in is worth a million tuned out. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
8. Consider How You Can Improve
Whenever I’m feeling anxious about something, I tend to rethink my approach for how I can successfully accomplish it without fumbling or making a mistake. Besides thorough planning, I try to consider which elements of each anxiety-triggering task actually makes me nervous and why. Then, I ask myself how I can avoid that for the next time. More specifically, I think about how I can use it as a learning opportunity for the future. Then, I plan out each step for how I’ll accomplish this more successfully next time. This could include things like planning better, getting adequate rest, eating healthy foods and avoiding any situations that might cause added stress beforehand. – John Hall, Calendar