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Can Anxiety Heavily Affect Decision Making in Top Executives?

Executives experience immense amount of stress and pressure, as the weight of their organization’s success rests in their hands. Meetings, project deadlines, and research all require long hours and thought, which can drain mental and physical energy. Over time, even the most seasoned professional can become riddled with anxiety – especially if they have high expectations for themselves and their company. Once anxiety begins to fester, rumination and worry can occur, which can become debilitating; in turn, this can make your personal and professional success compromised.

A 2015 study published in the Strategic Management Journal sought to explore this phenomenon, especially considering anxiety is not as openly discussed amongst business professionals. A total of 84 top executives participated in the study, with 79% of participants being the CEO of a company and 21% being the “president” or another related position of a business. Researchers wanted to explore the experience of anxiety among these executives, as well as the effects that anxiety has had on their business-related decisions. The following results were found:

  • Top executives who experienced anxiety utilize a social buffer by surrounding themselves with supportive decision-making teams
  • Those with anxiety tended to pursue lower-risk firm strategies

A total of 184 strategic decisions made by the professionals were analyzed, which led the researchers to derive the findings listed above. If you are a business professional with anxiety, recovery from this is possible – it’s all about using the right resources. Business Insider suggests first accepting your anxiety rather than trying to suppress it. Ultimately, this can lessen your worry as you have acknowledged its presence. As you practice mindfulness and accept whatever thoughts come your way, be particularly diligent about self-care. Ensure that you are getting a good night’s sleep, are taking adequate breaks throughout the day, and are spending time with those you love.

Andy Murphy of Mindset by Design provided Forbes Magazine with a helpful perspective to take as you manage your anxiety day-to-day: “What thought and feeling is going through your head right now? What version of me do I need to step into now, to win? What feeling, belief, and focus is going to get results?”

If you or someone you know has struggled immensely with trauma, help is available. Call The Guest House Ocala today for information on our residential treatment programs for trauma, addiction, and related mental health issues. 1-855-483-7800