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Six Tips Leaders Can Use to Reduce Anxiety

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As an esteemed mental health expert, bestselling author and the host of his own show on the Ramsey Network, Dr. John Delony has helped people from all walks of life reduce anxiety and improve their lives.

Delony discusses his insights on the subject as a guest on “The Curious CEO,” a web series hosted by Buffini & Company CEO Dermot Buffini. Delony shares why he believes leaders are lonelier than ever and the strategies they can use to reduce anxiety and bring balance back into their lives and businesses.

The Loneliest Generation

“We’ve created the loneliest generation in human history,” Delony said. “And leaders find themselves out in front, often in really uncertain times.”

There is intense pressure to perform, no matter the circumstances, he added. Personal and business margins are razor thin or non-existent. That pressure can all too often eliminate the space needed to recover from a setback or mistake. It also, he believes, creates an unhealthy obsession with work, leaving little to no time for the other parts of our lives.   

“The only place we have left for any sort of meaning and purpose is work,” he said.

Focus on Your Six Buckets 

Delony suggests that instead of continuing to lean into our chaotic ways, we should instead focus on creating a life “where we’re intentionally not anxious.”

The first step is to stop looking at anxiety, stress and burnout as something to fix and rather, as a symptom of something not in balance, he said.  

“Start looking at those as your body’s way of getting your attention and saying, ‘Hey, things aren’t all right,’” he added.   

Delony suggests focusing on six buckets: 

  1. Choose reality — He recommends that you take the time to think about what is truly important in your life and what is a distraction.
  2. Choose connection — Too often, leaders feel they must go it alone in the business world, he said.  

“You’ve got to choose to have other people in your life,” he stressed.

Connect with someone, he added, who will offer you the chance to talk things out. Many times, that will lead to you to the realization that you are not the only one going through a particular situation.

  1. Choose freedom — This trait also relates to the concept of choosing reality, Delony said. An example could mean, he suggested, that you choose not to be beholden to an expensive home with a high mortgage that impacts your family’s overall finances.     
  2. Mindfulness — Be aware and choose curiosity over a rush to judgement, he advises. You never can always know what someone else is going through and why they are making a particular choice. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with you.  
  3. Health and healing — Anxiety is a symptom, he said, that your body is calling out for attention — that something is off-kilter. Before you can reduce that sensation, you must address any medical concerns (mental or physical) that you are having with a qualified professional.
  4. Belief — In order to truly achieve peace, you need to have a belief in God or a higher power, he said. In essence, you need to believe that there is a force at work that is bigger than you. You need to realize that although you can control some things, there are other things that you cannot. And acknowledging — and respecting — that difference is crucial.  

“Until you do that, when your body believes it is holding up your family and your work and the US economy and the climate and space and Mars and whatever Elon just tweeted, it will crumble under the weight,” Delony said. “That is anxiety. Let it go. Subscribe and watch “The Curious CEO” episode featuring Dr. John Delony, plus others,

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