We all know that stress is bad for us; we hear it all of the time, but what we may not know is that that chronic stress, i.e. stress that extends over a long period of time, can actually lead to anxiety, depression and even heart disease.
In the day-to-day life of an entrepreneur it can be easy to ignore these alarming facts because you are too busy; and stressed, to think about it.
When you’re the one in charge of paying the bills, taking care of your business and achieving your goals; or taking care of your health can sometimes take a back seat. So how can we manage our stress better, even when we are busy? Here are The Top 10 Stress Management Techniques For Entrepreneurs.
The Top 10 Stress Management Techniques For Entrepreneurs.
When you feel the tension of your day rising up, one of the best things you can do is to get your body moving. When you do, your brain releases endorphins; the body’s “feel good” chemical. And even better, how you move doesn’t matter. Whether its yoga, a swim or a weight session, what’s important is that you get moving.
Science has proven that meditation can actually change the structure of the brain. So when you are feeling like your head may explode, there really is no greater solution than a five or ten minute meditation. Try a few and find what works for you. Guided meditations are great if you like to listen to a calming voice while you meditate, or you could try binaural beats, which aim to accelerate the process of relaxation by inducing targeted brainwave states.
Yes you are probably already doing that, but are you doing it properly? In times of stress we tend to shorten or even hold our breath, and keep it high up in our chest. When you deepen your breath, you allow your body to be flooded with more oxygen and therefore induce a state of relaxation. Try this simple breathing technique right now: Sit comfortably and take a long, slow, deep breath in for the count of 4. Then, without exhaling, hold your breath for a count of 4. Then, slowly release your breath for a count of 4. Repeat this process several times and notice how much calmer you feel.
4- Eat well.
If your body is not properly nourished you are putting yourself into stress even before you think about all of the things you need to get done. Eating well means making sure you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Don’t overdose on coffee as a way to cope with your workload, it will only cause you to crash later on. The same goes for refined sugars and highly processed white carbohydrates like bread, cakes or pastry.
5- Take a break.
Maybe you can’t afford to take a long vacation to a tropical island. But you can afford to take a 5-minute break. Step away from your computer and put down your phone. Give yourself a moment away from the task at hand. It will be there when you get back. I promise.
6- Get more sleep.
In times of stress the need for sleep is even higher than normal. When we don’t get enough sleep our brain responds slower and we aren’t able to make good decisions. To make sure you are getting enough sleep, be sure to get away from technology, including your phone, at least an hour before bed. The light from the screen messes with your brain’s ability to produce melatonin, your body’s natural sleep aid. Also, avoid caffeine after 3pm, and be sure eat a proper dinner so that your body doesn’t wake you up in the night because you are hungry.
7- Get outdoors.
Spending time locked inside with your to do list is enough to make anyone stressed. So take yourself out! There is a strong correlation between being outdoors and your body’s stress hormone, cortisol. Even 5 minutes outdoors taking a short walk, can increase your mood significantly. If you are really pushed for time, try taking your work outdoors in the sunshine and fresh air for part of the day.
8- Master your time.
It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘busy’ trap when you are an entrepreneur, and often we identify with being busy so that we can perpetuate the behaviour and feel justified in doing so! But busy is not cool. ‘Busy’ means a lack of planning and poor time management. To combat this, try setting aside an hour every week to plan your week ahead. Make sure you plot out all of the things you need to get done, starting with highest priorities. Be sure to include time for exercise and social time.
9- Listen to music.
Music makes you feel things. Whenever we watch a Hollywood film, it’s not so much the action that makes us feel something, but the music that goes with it! If you need to relax, try listening to some calming or upbeat music. You could even have a private dance party in your office if you really feel like shaking it out!
10- Open up to someone.
This one may be the hardest one to do. When we feel stressed and agitated we tend to keep it to ourselves; we tell ourselves stories about how busy we are and how we will never get things done. Perhaps worst of all, we convince ourselves that we are alone with all of the responsibility! Most of the time that isn’t true. Reaching out to a friend or family member and letting them know how you feel will not only make you feel better, but you may even find that you get some help.
Do you have any stress management techniques that you use? I’d love to hear them! Share in the comments below.