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Executive Function Strategies to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Apr 9, 2024

In the fast-paced world we live in, stress and anxiety are common experiences for many. For those struggling with executive function challenges, such as ADHD or executive dysfunction, managing these feelings can be even more challenging. However, there are strategies rooted in executive function skills that can help individuals reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.

Time Management: Effective time management is crucial for reducing stress. Use tools like planners, calendars, or digital apps to organize your day and prioritize tasks. Break down larger tasks into smaller, manageable ones to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Organization: Keeping your physical and digital spaces organized can help reduce feelings of chaos and anxiety. Designate specific places for important items and regularly declutter your surroundings.

Planning and Prioritizing: Create a daily or weekly plan outlining your tasks and goals. Prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance, and focus on completing one task at a time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Decision-Making: Difficulty making decisions can contribute to stress. Use strategies like pros and cons lists, decision matrices, or seeking advice from others to make the decision-making process more manageable.

Cognitive Flexibility: Practice flexibility in your thinking to adapt to changes and challenges. Remind yourself that setbacks are a natural part of life and focus on finding alternative solutions.

Attention Control: Improve your ability to focus by minimizing distractions. Use techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for a set amount of time and then taking a short break, to maintain focus and avoid burnout.

Emotional Regulation: Learn to recognize and manage your emotions effectively. Practice mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, to stay calm and centered in stressful situations.

Self-Monitoring: Pay attention to your thoughts and behaviors to identify patterns that may contribute to stress and anxiety. Use self-reflection and journaling to track your emotions and identify triggers.

Task Initiation: Overcome procrastination by breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable parts. Set specific, achievable goals and reward yourself for completing them to build momentum.

Problem Solving: Develop effective problem-solving skills to address challenges as they arise. Break down problems into smaller components, brainstorm possible solutions, and evaluate the outcomes to find the best approach.

By incorporating these executive function strategies into your daily life, you can reduce stress and anxiety, improve your overall well-being, and feel more in control of your life. Remember that building these skills takes time and practice, so be patient with yourself as you work to implement them.

April 30, 2024 - Central Ohio Mental Health Professionals Luncheon

A Learning Luncheon and social / networking event for Central Ohio Mental Health Professionals, hosted by Kaela Rae Vance LPCC-S, LLC, spotlighting featured presenter Julieann Ash, Director of Midwest Educational Services. At this luncheon, Julieann will be providing us with a presentation entitled "Stress to Success: Executive Function Strategies to Reduce Stress and Anxiety".

Register for this and other events!

Executive Functioning

Emotional Regulation

Time Management

Problem Solving






Cognitive Flexibility

Mental Wellness

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