3 Ways to Work Positive in an Anxious World

attract top talent increase productivity and profits reduce team turnover Jul 09, 2023

3 Ways to Work Positive in an Anxious World

What’s the anxiety volume like in your work?

Distracting? Dominating? Deafening?

You’re not alone.

Anti-anxiety prescriptions rose 30% during the pandemic. Who knows how many others find it difficult to cope who aren’t getting medical help?

So how do you create a Work Positive culture that increases productivity and profits with so much anxiety around?

Ed Friedman mentored me through his book, Generation to Generation, in what it takes to architect a positive work culture. In it, he shared four amazing positive work truths.

The first one is to separate yourself from the anxiety at work.

“But Dr. Joey,” you say. “That’s easier said than done.”

Yea it is! So here are your 3 Ways to Work Positive in an Anxious World:

Take a Breath

One of the best days of my life was when I learned I didn’t have to say everything I thought.

I’m very extroverted. So when an anxiety-ridden teammate spews all over me, I want to fix the situation or straighten them out.

I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve done this, and they’ve said, “Oh Dr. Joey! That’s brilliant. I’ll go do exactly what you said right now.”

Most of our work associates aren’t ready for a solution. They just want to vent the anxiety.

Instead of saying what I think, I take a breath. I installed a mental filter that helps focus on the positive and filter out the negative. That one breath, strategically inhaled and exhaled, has helped me separate myself from the anxiety more times than I can count.

The filter works.

Now I listen, smile, and breathe.

First, take a breath when anxiety appears.

Take a Long View

After you take a breath, ask yourself, “How much will this matter a year from now? Five years from now?”

Most anxiety is generated from situations that are more inconvenience than incapacitating, more difficult than devastating, and more temporary than timeless.

Anxiety shoves the situation to the foreground when it belongs in the background.

Take the long view and ask, “Any blood on the floor? Anybody having a stroke or heart attack?” If so, dial 9-1-1 immediately. If not, say to yourself, “Okay, good. Now take a breath and slowly describe what’s going on.”

Anxiety makes everything a crisis. A long view creates a more realistic perspective.

The situation is far less threatening and you think more clearly when you take a long view.

Take Time Away

Taking a breath and a long view help day-to-day. Let’s look beyond the daily, also.

Those teammates who contribute most to a positive work culture make a habit of taking some time away. The high level of anxiety today necessitates a regular detox.

You lessen anxiety in the system rather than add to it when you take time away. Your focus shifts to refueling your capacity to separate from it. You act like a step-down transformer rather than a step-up one.

Taking some time away increases your productivity. Your flow comes more easily when you step aside than find out how many volts of anxiety you can absorb for how long.

Short bursts of time away work well. Take a walk outside. Zoom over coffee with a friend. I do lunch with our granddaughter which includes some playtime.

Take an extended weekend quarterly. Get out of your anxiety-filled head. Go with your gut for a few days. You renew your emotional stamina to take a breath and a long view when you take time away.

Take a breath, a long view and time away so you create a Work Positive culture that increases productivity and profits.

Discover more great ways to Work Positive in an anxious world when you listen to my Work Positive podcast interview with Chester Elton at https://workpositive.today/chester-elton.

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