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Eliminate Career Anxiety: 9 Stress Management Tips for Business Executives

Being a higher-up business executive comes with a lot of career anxiety. Click here for some ideas on how you can manage this stress in your everyday life.

Career anxiety can be a killer in so many ways. Your home and family life, joy at work, and even your body. It can happen all at once or over time "thanks" to the overwhelming stress it produces.

In the following article, we're giving you nine effective management strategies to keep from becoming one of the hundreds of business leaders who've succumbed to their calling. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

1. Reach Out to Peers

Job anxiety can start from a place of loneliness. You feel like you're the only one in the world who understands your situation. At least the only person in your circle of influence.

However, that's far from the truth. Today, you're surrounded by executives going through the same thing you are, either in the "real world" or the digital one.

Reach out to some of your contacts on LinkedIn or people you've met at conferences or who hold similar positions to yours within a similarly-sized (or the same) company.

You are never as alone as you feel. These individuals can help you put things into perspective or perhaps even pinpoint solutions to the problems you face. Lean on them whenever and wherever possible.

2. Make Personal Health Part of the Business

Some executives feel so consumed by work and responsibilities that they let their health take a back burner, which is one of the many obstacles we try to help using hypnotherapy. This is a major mistake. Not only do you need to make time for your health, but it also needs to be integrated into your work life.

Hit the Gym

As an executive, it's unlikely that you punch a time clock. Your job bleeds over into your personal life and vice versa. There's no reason part of that "bleeding over" can't include a trip to the gym, early morning run, or pushups by your desk.

Find time to exercise rigorously. Do it for at least 30 minutes per day. Some advice might add "at least three times per week" to that, but we say that doesn't go far enough.

You have enough muscle groups and cardio needs. There's no reason you can't focus on enough different areas to make it a daily routine. 

Eat Right

Eating right means a few different things. It has as much to do with calories as macronutrients.

First of all, determine what your goals are. Do you want to maintain weight, lose weight, or gain muscle? Your body has different calorie needs for each, so do some research before you begin tracking.

Secondly, ensure your body is getting enough protein and fiber. Additionally, minimize the number of added sugars and saturated fats that you get. Doing so will put you in a healthier place no matter what your fitness goals are.

Sleep Well

Conventional wisdom says to "get your eight hours." The truth is that we all have different sleeping needs.

Some of the most successful people in the world get only six hours per night. Don't beat yourself up if you're falling short. You could just have different needs.

Do you feel well-rested when you wake up each morning or like you could use a few more snooze buttons? If grogginess is common, consider going to bed earlier or using a sleep calculator to determine the best time to fall asleep and wake up so REM patterns aren't interrupted.

Make Room for Mental Health

How we function mentally has a lot to do with the people we surround ourselves with and the time we make for meditation. Do your best to eliminate the influence of negative people.

That might mean cutting them out altogether or scaling back the time you spend communicating with them. Likewise, turn off the television so you can spend more time in prayer or meditation. Whatever spiritual practice fulfills you is what you should be doing more of.

3. Empower Your Support

Another tactic you need when dealing with business executive anxiety is a great support unit. That means at home and at work.

At work, that can mean secretaries, support staff, and others who help take off some of the heat by accepting more responsibilities. They can be "there" when you can't be if you learn how to delegate effectively.

On the personal side, there are people at home. Household responsibilities should be weighted so as not to overwhelm you or them.

As your children get older, have them take on more responsibilities. If that's not enough, consider outsourcing things like house cleaning, yard work, and other essential activities. 

4. Tackle Your Hardest Obligation First

Pick just one major challenge each day. If nothing else, you're going to either complete it or make significant progress in completing it.

The idea is to accomplish the big things first so the little things can fall into place. Additionally, don't fret over what you can't control.

Set your goals wisely. Make sure they are your goals and not someone else's. It's possible a lot of the stress requiring these stress management tips comes from accepting responsibility for the things that are not your responsibility.

This method will help you maintain control over what you can control. From there, it will also help you better determine where you can help outside the realm of your responsibilities.

5. Remember There Is No Virtue in Long Hours

Another important aspect of stress management for business executives is controlling their quality of life. Some schools of thought focus on work-life balance as if it's possible in the smartphone age to separate the two!

A far more realistic alternative is work-life integration. Work-life integration acknowledges the fact that work is "always there," but it makes room for personal commitments, family time, downtime, and other things that keep us going.

Work-life integration gives you permission to "get to it when you get to it." That's not to say you don't have responsibilities that follow deadlines. However, it frees you from having to come up with an excuse as to why every little thing isn't done right away.

Just remember that there is no real virtue in working long hours. Long hours often happen because we force ourselves into the office without accounting for those times when things arise outside of office hours that have to be taken care of.

Integrating your work life with your personal life gives you the tools to fight back. This also keeps your productivity from being squandered via the law of diminishing returns.

6. Be Clear on What You Want

With the proper support system in place and a commitment to your physical and mental health, you should be in a clearer headspace. That means it's time to think about what you really want to accomplish.

For some executives, the goal is clear. Increase profits for shareholders. How you do that within your purview is where you focus your goals.

Others, perhaps those who are CEOs, presidents, and founders of companies, have more room to think about personal goals and values. Whatever the case, one of the things we focus on in our executive coaching program is to set benchmarks and clear goals.

Knowing what you will accept and what you won't help you set the tone for how those goals are accomplished. Clearly communicating that to your team will improve the odds that those things come to pass.

7. Grow Your Knowledge and Skills

Continuing education should always be part of your agenda. That goes for you and the people under you. The more well-trained all of you are, the easier it is to face challenges together.

Stay abreast of the training opportunities in your area. In an age where pandemics are pretty much here to stay, you might have to go more virtual. As COVID-19 recedes into bitter memory, however, you might be able to start traveling again.

Take advantage of these opportunities when and where they come. Also, read books and magazine articles within your industry.

8. Do Something for the Love of Doing It

Hobbies may or may not have anything to do with your strengths as a leader or your work expertise. That's not really the point.

The point is finding something you love to do and losing yourself in it. Doing something for the sheer love of it is energizing and will give you a better perspective when tackling workplace stress. 

9. Practice Gratitude

Lastly, be grateful for the things that you have and any accomplishments you've made along the way. Success does not occur in a vacuum.

Even "self-made" people have a laundry list of people to thank for making them into the men and women they are today. Always be mindful of that in your own life.

Practising gratitude will help you not to forget your origins. It also will help you help someone else, and that can come back to you personally and professionally. 

Career Anxiety Does Not Have to Control You

It can be easy to let it take over. The fact is, however, career anxiety is something you can master and control. Starting with your support unit, training, and attention to health and wellness, you'll get there sooner than you think.

Throw in gratitude, self-care, clarity, and strategy, and you're well on your way. Do you need help getting there?

Why not trust a life coach whose daily mission is to empower and help people like you grow beyond yourself? Learn more about Veronika today and book your first session!