8 Jun 2009

Managing Anxiety

There are two typical ways of managing anxiety. The first is an overtly reactive position, where much life energy (anger energy and/or worry energy) is focused on the other, in unsuccessful attempts to change or blame that person; th second is a covertly reactive one, where we avoid the experience of intensity by distancing from an individual or a particular issue. When these become ongoing rather than temporary ways of managing anxiety, we are bound to stay stalled.
What are your thoughts? Comments?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I'm not a psychologist by education but I lecture organizational behaviour.
    Anxiety and its cronic form, stress, is something we deal with in organizations. I tell my students that anxiety is the response to some unrecognized danger or threat (either external or external), whereas anguish is more diffuse.
    I also believe an adequate quantity of stress (it depends on individuals) may be healthy and even pushes creativity.
    I would like to know your views about this.

  3. Hello Luis. Thank you for your contribution. Your perspective as a organizational behavioural manager is quite interesting and surprisingly relevant as I had only considered a two-way dynamic when I had created the post. Organizational behaviour is centered around motivational theories, intrinsic and extrinsic. Managing anxiety in such a contex is quite similar and quite different as it deal with individuals in groups, wouldnt you say? An individual who deals with chronic anxiety (stress) may fare much better with more stucture and containment as far as concrete deadlines and responsibilites .to achieve an end or an objective. It seems to be often the case that individuals with chronic anxiety either diffuse it into a group (negative attitudes or positive and much less in the actual work), or must be incentivated to invest it into the work, from there giving origins to creativity. Anxiety sublimated may give birth to creativity or simply a job well done. From there we have all of the motivational theories (positive reinforcements, incentives, rewards, etc). Of course this all varies depending on the individuals level of responsibility, but as a organizational behaviorist, one must be adept at creating behavioural stress management plans for all levels of employees working in organizations, from the CEO to the middle man to the first rung on the ladder because in the end, it is the overall efficiency of each that makes it all function. Would you agree?

  4. Hi, I've been living here for two years now (Portuguese boyfriend...) and its the first time I lay my eyes on a anglo-portuguese blog. Isn't that nice?
    I thought stress was a bad thing and could even give you an heart attack. What do you think Helaine?
    I'm signing this com. with my own name because I don't believe in anonymity. But of course I understand there may be other opinions on this subject too.

  5. Hello Gill,
    Welcome to the blog! Yes, in English:) Gill, you are right. Stress can be a bad thing and can be the cause of many physical illness, from there the field of psychosomatics/cartesian dualism = mind body relationship or better put, dialectic, where one informs the other about its state and the other recieving the information responds and counter informs, back and forth and so on and so forth. And, like anything else, too much of anything can do more harm than good. On a positive note, stress and anxiety are like lighthouses sending out signals when one has gone out too far, calling one back into shore, safety. Unfortunately, often times people have lost conection with their instincts and do not recognize the light when it flashes, losing themselves further and further out at sea to the point of drowning, or learn to just about maintain their head above water. Some go on living their life in this state for a long time. Others wave their hands and ask to be pulled back in. Thats what treatment is afterall.
    What are your ideas?
    Helaine Almeida



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