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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: June 6th, 2024

Do you often find yourself unable to stop worrying about the future and struggling to live in the present? Maybe you stress about deadlines, money, or relationships. Worrying can take over our lives, leaving us anxious and making it hard to work or enjoy ourselves. All those “what ifs” and scary thoughts can leave us feeling exhausted and helpless.

Do you know that Up to 20% of adults are affected by anxiety disorders each year? And the major cause of this serious mental disorder is worry. Yes, according to experts When you worry excessively for 6 months, it can convert into a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). 

It is very important to put a halt to this worry. I know saying is easier than doing and stopping worrying seems to be a huge task. 

But what if I told you there are simple yet powerful ways that can help you stop worrying and lead in the best way? Continue reading to find out the valuable techniques for mindful and effective leadership.

Strategy 1: Mindfulness Meditation

Turn Down the Mental Noise

Imagine your mind is like a bustling airport, with thoughts constantly taking off and landing and worries circling overhead.  Mindfulness meditation is like finding a quiet corner in that airport. Sit comfortably and simply observe your thoughts as they arrive and depart without getting caught up in them. 

Notice any worries that linger acknowledge them, and then shift your focus back to your breath.  Your breath is like the airport’s PA system, a steady guide bringing you back to the present moment.  Remember, even short moments of mindfulness offer your busy mind a chance to relax and reset.

Digital Detox: Give Rest to Your Mind

Imagine giving your mind regular mini-vacations. Turn off those notifications for an hour – seriously, you’ll be okay!  Go for a walk, meditate, or even stare at the ceiling – anything but scrolling through the latest bad news. These breaks are like power naps for your brain – you’ll come back refreshed and ready to focus.

Mindful Tech Use

Tech is like that overexcited puppy – adorable but needs boundaries! Check your email at set times; don’t let it interrupt you constantly. This means you’ll work through information methodically instead of always feeling distracted. It puts you back in control of your mental space.

We’re not going off the grid! The goal is to be intentional about tech use. You want to use your tech tools, not let them use you.  This is how you create space for clear thinking and those legendary leadership moments!

stop worrying
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Strategy 2: Get Physical

Punch Stress in the Face

Picture your worries as… well, targets for your anger!  Okay, maybe don’t actually try that, but intense exercise lets you do it metaphorically. Running, boxing, or even a wild dance session—these turn stress into something useful. You’ll get sweaty, maybe even sore, but also feel amazing afterwards.

Yoga: Channel Your Inner Zen

Yoga is like stretching out a tense mind. It loosens up those anxiety knots and teaches you to breathe calmly even when it feels like everything’s going wrong. Think of it as making your mind as strong and flexible as your body will be.

HIIT: Quick Stress Relief

No time?  No problem! HIIT(High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts are amazing. 30 seconds of all-out sprinting followed by 60 seconds of walking. This cycle is repeated several times.

Short bursts of intense exercise give you a full workout. Expect sweating, maybe some cursing, and a major boost of happy brain chemicals to get you through those long meetings.

Don’t see exercise as a chore.  Find something you enjoy, even if it’s quirky (zombie apocalypse training, maybe?). This is about taking time for yourself, releasing that mental pressure, and becoming a stronger person overall. Because a healthy leader is the most effective kind of leader.

stop worrying
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Strategy 3: Scheduled Worry Time

Outsmart, Those Mental Telemarketers

Think of your worries as those annoying callers who always interrupt you at the worst moment. Scheduled worry time is like giving them a specific time slot: “Okay, I’ll panic about the time from 3–3:30 pm, but the rest of the time, leave me alone!” It seems weird, but this really does free up your mind to focus on the important stuff.

Clear the Fog for Better Decisions

Worry time is when you tackle those nagging decisions. Imagine a mental whiteboard: write down the problem, then honestly decide if you can solve it right now or not.  This simple act of sorting helps you focus on what you can control.

Instead of endlessly asking, “What if?” you’re making steps and setting deadlines. You’ve turned your worry into a plan, and that’s exactly what strong leaders do.

Stop worrying; Start Leading

This isn’t just about emotional relief; it’s about being a smarter leader. By giving worry a place and a time, you stop it from controlling your whole day. You can focus, give clear direction, and be the decisive leader your team needs. Scheduled worry time is the ultimate power move – you’re taming your mental chaos and becoming the leader everyone wants to follow.

stop worrying
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Strategy 4: Start Journaling

Create Your Journal

Think of your journal as a magical mirror. Instead of showing your face, it reveals your inner workings –  chaotic emotions transformed into organized thoughts.  Journaling reveals hidden truths, helping you navigate your own unique leadership journey.

Untangle those Emotions

Sometimes, leadership feels like an emotional rollercoaster (without the tasty snacks).  Journaling lets you step off the ride and examine it: “Why did that meeting make me so angry? What makes me lose patience?” Naming your emotions helps you take control of them.  Think of writing as a way to disarm those worry monsters.

Get More Deeper in Situation

Get even deeper with targeted journal prompts.  Ask things like “What made me feel proudest this week?” or “What emotions are toughest for me, and why?”.  This gives you an X-ray vision of your inner world, exposing patterns and triggers and how to manage them best.

It’s easy to focus on problems and miss all the good stuff.  Keep a gratitude journal to force yourself to notice even small wins: “Meeting went well, got great coffee, that client actually laughed at my joke…”. Shifting your focus builds resilience like nothing else– it’s basically optimism training!

Journaling isn’t just about venting; it’s about deep self-understanding. This awareness makes you a more compassionate, focused leader. So grab your favorite pen, make some tea (or something stronger!), and let your journal be where you discover your best leadership self.

stop worrying
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Strategy 5: Build Your Support Network

Think of work-life balance as a high-wire act. Your support network is the safety net below – there to catch you when you fall and give you the courage to take bold steps. Here’s how it works:

Tap into the Wisdom of Others

Imagine a secret club of executives who have this “balance” thing down. Support networks are just like that, minus the weird handshakes. You get honest tips, learn what works (and what doesn’t), and share those life-changing “aha!” moments. It’s your shortcut to the work-life balance cheat sheet.

Find Your Work-Life Yoda

Mentors are likewise guides. Seek out those whose life looks like what you want – successful and sane. They’ll help you steer clear of burnout traps, teach you to prioritize, and remind you that having a life actually makes you a better leader.

Your Tribe of Champions

Peer groups are your people. They understand the struggle, celebrate your wins, and help you stay on track when you slip into old habits.  This is about creating a space where work-life balance becomes a shared goal. It’s motivating, inspiring, and exactly what you need to keep going.

Asking for help isn’t a weakness; it’s smart leadership. Building a support network makes you more resilient, resourceful, and happier overall. So go find your tribe! They’re the ones who’ll help you master that high-wire act of work-life balance and maybe even enjoy the view along the way.

stop worrying
Click on the image to see a full infographic (opens in new tab)

From Worry Warrior to Zen Master

This isn’t just about stop worrying; it’s about unlocking your best leadership self.  Mindfulness, exercise, and strategic worry sessions are the tools that create the kind of leader people trust and follow.  A leader who’s present, adaptable, and has that calm, confident energy we all want at work.

Experiment! Some of these strategies will work instantly, but others will require time. Don’t chase perfection; chase progress. Every mindful moment, every action-focused worry session, every time you prioritize your well-being – that’s a win. This journey is yours, and the results will be amazing.

The Ultimate Result

Remember, mindful leadership isn’t just about you. You’re changing the whole vibe of your team. Imagine a workplace where clarity, creativity, and well-being are the standard. It starts with you.

As you start this awesome adventure, the only real worry should be whether your coffee is worthy of your newfound enlightenment!  Because guess what?  Mindful leaders make better coffee choices, too. Embrace this journey, embrace the changes, and let’s show the world what truly awesome leadership looks like.

Feeling confident in your understanding? Test what you’ve learned by taking this quiz on the main points of the article.

stop worrying

Stop Worrying

How will YOU stop worrying?

1 / 10

What does GAD stand for?

2 / 10

How long does excessive worrying need to persist before it can develop into GAD?

3 / 10

How does scheduled worry time help manage anxiety?

4 / 10

What type of exercise is recommended for quickly relieving stress?

5 / 10

How can journaling help manage emotions and reduce worry?

6 / 10

What role does a support network play in achieving work-life balance?

7 / 10

How can mentors help in mindful leadership?

8 / 10

How does physical exercise contribute to managing worry and stress?

9 / 10

What is the benefit of turning off notifications for an hour?

10 / 10

What is the purpose of mindful tech use?

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