No entrepreneur can claim not to have experienced extreme stress at various points. After all, the journey of entrepreneurship is filled with ups and downs. Stress and anxiety are part of it all.
So many entrepreneurs experience symptoms of mental stress, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, weight changes, and similar other issues. But just because you are in a demanding profession does not imply you don’t need to pay heed to your mental health.
Understand the Effect of Stress on Your Body
Most entrepreneurs think that stress will have no effect on their work. They will eventually get over it. That’s seldom the case.
Remember, your stress hormones help your body perform optimally in the face of threat or danger. Whenever you are in the line of danger, adrenaline and cortisol release and trigger a fight or flight response.
In fact, cortisol is the stress hormone that stimulates the release of other hormones. When there’s an imbalance of these hormones, it can lead to a change in your learning ability and memory functions. They also affect areas of the brain responsible for your emotions.
If you don’t manage your anxiety in a timely manner, it won’t be long before you start feeling out of control and overwhelmed. Working to the best of your capacity won’t be a possibility then.
And it’s not only about your mental health. If your body is under excessive stress for a long time, the hormones affect your immune system leading to conditions like ulcers, high blood pressure, and chronic fatigue.
How to Handle Stress as An Entrepreneur
We get it! Every entrepreneur has to go through immense emotional and physical turmoil to set up their business. There’s a lot going on, and you can’t expect to remain calm through it all. While it’s natural to be stressed, the important thing is not to let the stress get the better of you. Here’s how.
1. Find Your Calm Place
You have to realize it’s crucial to give yourself a break. You can’t keep on thinking about work all the time. This will only contribute to your stress. Instead, take some time out to get this stuff out of your head. Your brain, too, deserves a break.
Find a sense of balance. Let your body and mind relax. You can do so via deep breathing exercises or meditation. The best thing about these practices is that you can do them just about anywhere. The benefits are holistic in managing anxiety and stress. All you have to do is retreat to a quiet place, maintain a good posture and focus on your act of breathing.
Take a deep breath and release it. This simple act has a cleansing effect on your body. It enables you to let go of your tensions. The purpose of this technique is to clear your mind of all the stress and anxiety for a while. Put an end to the array of thoughts and take some time out for yourself.
2. Let Off Steam
There’s a reason that successful entrepreneurs tend to take some time out of their busy schedules to work out. More often than not, it’s not about bodybuilding. These intense workout sessions enable them to sweat out the stress.
So no matter how busy you are, always take some time out for high-intensity cardio. If that’s not possible, simply taking a brisk stroll would suffice. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins which does wonders for your mood and managing anxiety.
In fact, studies have shown that exercise provides the perfect way to keep negative emotions at bay. It has been seen that people who exercise regularly are less likely to be stressed due to work. Even if you are an extremely busy entrepreneur, you owe yourself to take some time for routine physical activities.
3. Approach Each Day with A Fresh Mind
So many entrepreneurs complain that they wake up feeling stressed and worn out. This is because your mind did not get its well-deserved break even when you were sleeping. You went to bed stressed, and you woke up with the same feeling.
If you feel the stress clouding your mind when you wake up, take a few minutes each morning to manifest gratitude within yourself.
You can also keep a gratitude journal for the purpose. Focus on all the positive things in your life that give you a reason to be thankful. It wouldn’t take you long. Jot down whatever comes to your mind quickly. Anything that brings you joy can be a reason for gratitude.
You can also take some time to write the goals for the day. This will help you recollect your thoughts and give you a clear focus. You will stay productive, which in turn will keep stress away.
4. Be Open to Delegation
Most entrepreneurs take too much on their plate. They believe they can handle it all. If you micromanage everything, you will inevitably be stressed. Remember, it’s acceptable to take help when required.
If you want to manage your stress, it’s advisable to get rid of excessively time-consuming tasks on your plate. Don’t try to do it all alone. Delegate tasks to unburden yourself and give yourself a break. This will enable you to retain your energy. You will have enough time to dedicate to things that actually matter. Outsourcing work will take the strain off and help you perform better at work.
Don’t Let Stress Compromise Your Productivity
As an entrepreneur, you have to perform optimally at all times. And this wouldn’t be possible if your mental health is compromised. Remember, it’s not always physical illness that can slow you down. Stress and anxiety can contribute too.
If you feel things are getting too much, don’t hesitate to vent it out. In fact, hanging out with like-minded entrepreneurs can give you a way out. Not only will they understand your situation but also give you valuable feedback and tips on managing anxiety.
When you know you aren’t the only one facing the heat, it becomes easier to deal with the situation. Maintaining your mental health should always be your priority!