Summary: It is important to prevent entrepreneurial stress from eroding your state of being, as this can lead to serious health consequences and psychological problems, which affect you, and ultimately your business.
In this article we share 7 valuable steps to keep your stress in check.
Step 1: Look after yourself first and foremost.
As an entrepreneur you are the biggest asset in your business.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘The first wealth is health.’ Self care is vital especially for an entrepreneur who aspires for success.
Ensure you get sufficient quality sleep, eat healthy and nutritious food, maintain proper hydration by drinking plenty of still water, and get moderate exercise at least 3-4 times a week.
Avoid all stimulants such as caffeine, energy drinks, sodas, sugar and alcohol, which exacerbate stress by putting more strain and pressure on your body’s health and well being.
Entrepreneurial stress can impact your ability to look after yourself. If you’re experiencing sleeping problems, not eating properly, feeling fatigued, exhausted and overwhelmed, seek professional help ASAP.
Step 2: Plan your day.
Planning your day helps reduce daily stress.
Keep a diary and prioritised ‘to-do-list’, and update both daily. This prevents a scattered mindset, reduces forgetfulness, and improves performance whilst freeing your mind for productivity, creativity and planning.
Planning each day the night before eliminates chaos and reduces unnecessary stress and pressure. While sleeping, the subconscious mind helps prepare for the day’s tasks ahead. This simple step can significantly improve performance, productivity and creativity, and has been known to dramatically improve sales and income when combined with visualisation.
Instead of procrastinating, and where possible, handle the most difficult dreaded task first thing in the day when you are fresh. This simple step frees you from carrying unnecessary stressful burdens for the rest of the day. Just get it done and dusted!
Creative work is also best early in the morning when you feel fresh and alert. Depending on the nature of your work, set aside specific time every day for phone calls, emails, meetings and other important tasks.
Routine is critical for a well managed business. This will help you cope with stress more effectively.
Step 3: Simple daily routines take the pressure off.
Maintaining a daily routine removes that dreadful ‘rush’, reduces unnecessary stress, but more importantly gives you a bit more leisure time.
Your routine can include: the time you wake up, go to sleep, exercise, eat meals, check emails, make phone calls, plan your diary etc. The body clock prefers routine, and orderly behaviour reduces cognitive and physical stress.
Barack Obama, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg all settled on a simple wardrobe for very specific reasons. Fewer decisions. Reduced decision fatigue. Less energy and time wasted. Less expense. Less stress. More peace of mind. More time and energy available for creativity, productivity, and focus on important tasks.
Step 4: Laugh a lot more.
Laughter is a great stress reliever because it stimulates oxytocin, ‘the bliss hormone’ which counters the negative effects of stress chemicals.
Stop taking life so seriously. Make a concerted effort to have fun, and enjoy your day no matter what. Choose to laugh at yourself and life’s quirks, instead of feeling miserable and down. Laughter, like stress is contagious. Besides, what you think about, you bring about, and what you focus on expands.
Smile at others – they’ll wonder what you’ve been up to. Laughter and smiling cost nothing and you’ll feel better.
Step 5: Don’t be afraid to talk about it.
Talking to someone can relieve stress.
If you’re stressed or struggling, pick up the phone and talk to a friend or family member. A problem shared is a problem halved.
If your stress is serious, make an appointment with a professional. Let them give you objective, sound advice. If necessary, seek a 2nd and 3rd opinion before making a decision.
Find a coach or mentor. Every successful entrepreneur has one or both.
Step 6: Remember this journey is about progress, not perfection.
Perfection doesn’t exist, expect in your mind. Perfectionism disguises fears.
Success is determined by incremental and small steps. Too many people get trapped by the fear of a goal, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, and thus procrastinate. Just do it. Constant progress ensure success.
Letting go of perfection releases unnecessary stress.
Step 7: Practice gratitude every day.
Practising gratitude every day helps put things into perspective, releases happy hormones, and makes you feel positive. This reduces stress exponentially.
Keep it simple. Look for opportunities to continually show gratitude. Be thankful and always bless people who help you, support you, love you, work for you, serve you etc.
Continually repeat gratitude statements throughout the day, using opportunities like driving, cooking, cleaning, showering etc. A grateful mind is a peaceful mind.