How much stress or anxiety do you have? If you’re like most people you don’t realize your level of stress or anxiety until something brings it to the surface. For example, I’ve heard people say, “I was perfectly still lying in bed almost asleep when ‘Wham’ I had this terrible panic attack. I thought I was having a heart attack.”
Although it’s next to impossible to measure your level of stress or anxiety it is possible to know when you have too much. Here are some warning signs that something bigger is going on inside.
You realize after you read an entire page in a book, that you don’t have a clue what you just read.
You’re in a meeting and make an embarrassing remark and for several days each time you recall it you feel stupid all over again.
Someone on your team irritates you, so you react by ‘shutting down’ each time you’re in a meeting with that person. Everyone pays because of your irritation with one person. You find it so much easier to get irritated, quick tempered or angry with family members.
There are many common ways to reduce stress and anxiety, for example, exercise, meditation, find a coach, go to therapy, and have your doctor prescribe anti-anxiety meds. However, there are many uncommon ways as well. One of these is what psychologists call sublimation.
In layman’s terms, sublimation is something that replaces the unwanted behavior with one that produces acceptable acts and feelings, for example, a person who writes unacceptable graffiti all over a wall can be replace it with creating and selling paintings.
Sublimation is exactly what a young lady named Hilary did to handle her anxiety that was caused by a serious problem with obsessive/compulsive behavior. Hilary is a racecar driver, but she didn’t start out as a race car driver. She wanted to show horses, but due to a tragedy with one of her horses she couldn’t make herself get back in the saddle. Hilary knew she needed a replacement to help her deal with her obsessive thoughts and anxiety so she began racing sports cars. She replaced one type of horsepower for another. Hilary said it best, “it’s impossible to focus on obsessive thoughts and anxiety when you are racing a sports car 150mph.
If you struggle with stress and anxiety your challenge, as was Hilary’s, is to answer these questions. What causes your stress and anxiety? How do you handle it? Do you keep the feelings inside, have outbursts of anger; use alcohol to relax your mind or just do your best to live with it? Finally, what productive things can you do to replace the anxiety?
Dr. Bob Rausch mentors CEO's and coaches executives and leadership teams on exactly how to handle stress, anxiety and personal issues that eat away at profit and cause emerging leaders to hand in their notice. CEO Mentor—Leadership Coach—Team Development Coach—Team Communication Expert—Succession Planning. Personalized coaching programs and recently a 3-Level Servant Leadership program. The results are rewarding and dare we say...life-changing.
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