Feeling stressed and overwhelmed at times is part of the entrepreneur’s journey. While many more experienced entrepreneurs have learned how to manage their stress, quite a few new entrepreneurs still wrestle with this issue. I personally, often feel this way while juggling my online business and motherhood commitments.
Unfortunately, an overabundance of stress can affect a person’s decision-making capabilities. Stress reduces the ability to weigh out high risk versus reward, meaning that stress causes people to overlook certain risks and to go straight for the reward, regardless of the cost. For entrepreneurs, this could mean making costly mistakes when it comes to creating business goals.
In light of this, learning how to distress is an essential skill for the business owner. As such, the most enlightened businessperson embraces stress relief activities as a way to ensure business success. Here are five tools for entrepreneurs to use when they feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Meditation and Mindfulness
According to numerous studies, meditation is one of the most effective ways to deal with feeling stressed and overwhelmed. When you practice meditation daily, the brain changes. Its neural pathways change. This change eventually makes you more mentally resilient to stress. There are few incredible books written about the way our brain works in a state of stress or calm. I will talk about them in my future posts.
Further, meditation may be the entrepreneur’s go-to problem-solving tool. Studies have shown that people who meditate develop problem-solving strategies after only a few weeks of taking up a meditation practice. This happens because meditation allows people to sidestep their habitual thinking, thus allowing them to access higher thinking skills.
Personally, when I face a tough decision-making task I meditate on it first. Meditation helps me to shut down the constant chatterbox in my head and hear the inner voice or inner feeling, which is always giving me a correct answer. Sometimes it doesn’t come easily, I have to wait for some time, could be days, but eventually, only during meditation right decisions come from the place of a clear mind.
Get Your Heart Pumping
Practicing in rigorous exercise counts as a favorite stress-relief technique for many people. It is paradoxical; the more physical stress the body endures from exercise, the more mental stress relief results.
Exercise has been shown to lower stress hormones in the body. Ardent exercisers also get a big boost of the feel-good endorphins that people associate with runner’s high. Finally, partaking in regular exercise is associated with better sleep, a welcome result for the new entrepreneur who is often kept awake at night, puzzling over how to accomplish his/ her business goals.
Yoga brings a couple of benefits to the stress-relief table. For one thing, it encourages participants to breathe deeply; breathing deeply is associated with reduced stress levels. For another thing, the practice of yoga increases a person’s bodily awareness. Doing this allows the yoga practitioner to notice where the body holds tension and to ultimately release it.
Also of note is yoga’s effect on depression. Some evidence suggests that doing yoga is shown to be just as effective as those antidepressant drugs for depression relief.
15-20 min yoga helps me to release the tension and get back to the present moment. In general, I don’t have time to go to proper yoga classes, can’t afford a personal trainer or spend hours in meditation. I use three listed above techniques whenever I can and whatever I feel like I need the most at the particular moment, whether it is 20 min meditation or a brisk walk in the park with a buggy.
Engage Your Senses
Your senses are not only your gateway to experiencing the beauty of the natural world, but they’re also the key to stress relief. Actively engaging your senses counts as one of the most effective ways to combat stress. It’s also a stress-relieving method that’s readily available to you when you’re short on time, like me.
I adore massage. Massage is a powerful way to relieve stress. The benefits of massage will be the topic of another blog post. But a quick tip that I use to engage with my senses is a 5 min head massage. Just with your own hands in sitting or lying position massage your head, neck, and ears. Great stuff!!!
If you’re a sketcher, then take out your sketchbook for a few minutes. If you love music, then spend a few minutes listening to calming music. You can also burn a scented candle or even linger slowly over a cup of your favorite tea. The key to doing these activities is to do them mindfully and to engage the senses fully.
Tap Your Support Network
This stress-reliever serves double duty. Emotional support from friends, family, and colleagues helps people actively manage their stress. However, also forwards a person’s business goals by allowing him/ her to reach out to your business network on a regular basis.
While it may not feel comfortable getting really personal with some business colleagues, others will welcome the attempt at connection. This depends largely on the type of business a person owns. For example, for those in the helping professions like therapists this type of support may be entirely normal.
Luckily, the educational program that I am using provides me with a great opportunity to share my struggles, doubts, and fears in a very safe and non-judgemental environment. The group of like-minded entrepreneurs is always here for me to advise, support and help.
Stress can kill the productivity of even the most ardent entrepreneurs. However, participating in stress-relieving techniques can greatly reduce the amount of stress a person feels. This, in turn, allows for better decision-making and a greater likelihood that a business owner’s business goals can be reached.
with much love