Book Review: How Not to Worry

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by Paul McGee

How Not to Worry by Pail McGee
How Not to Worry by Pail McGee

It's hard not to be anxious about work now that we're in another recession. Being a manager is a stressful occupation anyway, without having to worry about whether or not your charity will be here this time next year. But there are ways to stay calm and in control, according to the psychologist Paul McGee - even during these tough times.

The ability to worry less relies on your ability to think more rationally about your anxieties. To achieve this, McGee advocates a "Triple A" strategy. First, you should raise your awareness about your worries - in other words, be conscious of what precisely you are worrying about. Then you need to analyse your worries to understand what is within your control and what is beyond it. Finally, you need to take action to address them. It's helpful to ask yourself: "What am I actually worried about?"

If it's a problem you're facing now, such as an employee who's messed up a project, then it's called "situational stress". If, on the other hand, it's something that you are expecting to happen in the future - looming redundancies, for example - then it's termed "anticipatory stress". Both are anxieties managers face today. It's how much you worry about them that will determine how much peace of mind you possess.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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