Practice of the Month

Are You Feeling Tense,
Get Curious as to Why?

Are You Feeling Tense, Get Curious as to Why


An excellent way to be less anxious is to become more astute observers of our own brand of reactivity. Those behaviors we exhibit automatically when we are under pressure and then learn ways to manage ourselves so that our anxiety — and our reactive behaviors lessen over time.

Is This Me?

Check off the behaviors below that you see in yourself when you feel threatened or stressed. You may want to ask a trusted colleague or family member to check your list as well, since all of us can be blind to many of our own reactive patterns.

( ) Excessive worrying
( ) Walking and/or talking faster
( ) Interrupting others in conversation
( ) Distancing from others
( ) Becoming combative
( ) Avoiding or suppressing conflict
( ) Finding fault and blaming others
( ) Excessive efforts to control outcomes, projects, or people
( ) Pushing ourselves or others too hard
( ) Micromanaging

( ) Shutting down emotionally
( ) Seeking a quick fix rather that a permanent solution
( ) Failing to be decisive when needed
( ) Giving up our voice
( ) Resigning in place
( ) Becoming overly analytical and missing the bigger picture
( ) Being too quick to rescue others
( ) Drinking excessively or eating poorly

To Calm Yourself, Get Curious. When you sense anxiety building, stop and with genuine curiosity, ask yourself:

  • “What is causing me to feel anxious?”
  • “How is my reactivity showing up?”
  • “What will it look like if I calm down and show up at my best in the next few moments?”

Using curious self-inquiry interrupts the emotional “freight train” that is taking you over. By becoming curious, blood flow is redistributed as your brain provides less to your Limbic System (aka “Reactivity Central”) and more to your Cerebral Cortex (aka “Thoughtfulness Central”).  When this happens, you lower your anxiety, you feel more energized and creative, and you have more capacity to choose your responses, rather than suffer the consequences of being hijacked by your emotions.

Learn More.  Spend four minutes with Bridgette Theurer, RL Speaker and author, as she explains more on the value of being curious at anxious moments and offers some very helpful ideas on how to BE LESS ANXIOUS.

Click Below to watch and learn!

If you are curious about knowing more about getting a stronger grip on self-management visit our FREE RL Self-Assessment:

Resilient Leadership Self-Assessment

To learn more about how to SEE, THINK and LEAD more effectively using the principles of Resilient Leadership, please contact us.