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Hi, Dan Thurmon here, back with your second in our video series about Balancing Your Life. And, today, I want to talk with you about how to manage your anxiety, stress and tension when you find yourself to be … a little high strung.
When you are walking on a slack rope, ten feet off the ground, it can be very stressful, because the rope is constantly shifting, and the consequences for failure are steep … literally! And the same is true when you face difficult challenges in life! The problem is, when you become anxious or stressed, you are least capable and least confident, and those are the moments when you need to be the MOST capable and confident.
To perform at your best when it matters the most, you must Manage Your Anxiety. Here are three ways to do that, even in the midst of a daunting challenge:
First, control your breathing. It sounds simple, but when the rope starts shaking, manifesting your nervousness, the remedy is to take conscious, full breaths, and blow that tension out of your body. If you can control your breathing, you begin to move away from panic or fear and into a more resourceful state of mind.
The second key is to find your footing. On a slack rope, you are balancing with one foot in the air, and there is nothing to hold on to! It can also feel that way when you are dealing with uncertainty, or a difficult challenge in your life. But the key to managing anxiety is to find your footing – realize that you still have at least one point of solid contact, and make sure you are doing what it takes to maintain that foundation. So, focus on what you can control, not the areas where you are powerless.
The third key is to set your own pace. When you are anxious, it is usually time to slow down, not race ahead! Don’t succumb to arbitrary or unrealistic time frames. Better to get it right the first time, than to get it wrong quickly and repeatedly.
Use these three techniques to become a better balancer, and manage your stress and anxiety so you can enjoy the journey and rise to your highest performance!