Although being an entrepreneur comes with many rewards, encountering stress is inevitable. Depending on the scope of your role, your days are chock-full of decisions about product launches, new marketing plans, cash flow concerns, hiring and firing employees — just to name a few.
All of these decisions can be stressful. Sure. There’s such a thing as good stress, “what psychologists refer to as ‘eustress,’ [it] is the type of stress we feel when we feel excited.” Good stress can often act as a motivator.
However, bad stress, over long periods of time, can be detrimental to your personal well-being and your business. Thankfully, there are proven ways to manage stress properly —here’s a look at four of them.
1. Change your perspective
Everyone has a default point of view. But first ask yourself, what impacted and informed the way you see a certain situation. That perspective may not be the best one to take. When you’re in the midst of a stressful situation, sometimes that’s all you can see.
Remind yourself that the challenges you face today are temporary. Even if you take a devastating blow in business (or in your personal life) you can still move beyond it. healthy perspective, or at least
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When you’re overly stressed consider a new and healthier perspective. Give yourself mental room to change your current perspective, especially if it is unrealistically negative.
2. Prioritize work and personal responsibilities
Is work/life separation impossible? “Research shows that when there’s a clash of demands from our different responsibilities, the fall out spreads far and wide like a common cold.” As much as you may try, there is often no wall between our work selves and our personal selves. Balance often seems laughable, especially for early-stage founders in the throes of starting a business.
But over time, you’ll learn why it is important to prioritize responsibilities and give each of them adequate attention. Contrary to popular opinion, you need a chance to unwind and focus on something other than work. In fact, hobbies help entrepreneurs develop traits needed for success.
When it comes to work, set boundaries and expectations early. Let people know when they can expect a response to emails or if you mind receiving work-related calls outside of the office, etc.
3. Create healthy coping mechanisms
How do you cope with stress? Meditation, exercise, going for a drive, and playing a musical instrument are just a few examples of healthy ways you could cope with stress. Keep in mind, though, there are just as many, or more, options to cope with stress in unhealthy ways; becoming dependent on (or abusing) food, alcohol or drugs, for example.
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There’s nothing wrong with having a glass of wine to unwind, but if you notice you’re frequently relying on substances to minimize stress, then curb your glass of rosé before it becomes a habit. Destructive patterns are easy to fall into, and hard to break.
4. Take a tech detox
Do you sleep with your phone on your pillow? Maybe you wake up and instantly grab your phone? Admittedly, it’s easier to pick up your smartphone to coordinate a meeting or Google information to help settle an argument you’re having with friends. Technology is something many people can’t do without.
As convenient as technology is, though, it can negatively impact your life and works best in moderation.
Research from the University of Illinois finds that high engagement with mobile technology is linked to anxiety and depression in college-age students, for example. Constant email notifications, texts and alerts aren’t helping you as much as you may think. “Smartphones used for social interactions are causing heightened anxiety and stress for some users,” new research suggests.
Improve the situation by turning off all technology in your bedroom before you go to sleep (or removing it completely). Get some much needed shut-eye. Sleep helps us handle stress by making it easier to regulate difficult emotions. It is also an important self-care step everyone should take to have a more productive and healthy l ife.
These proactive steps should help you get a handle on stress before it overtakes your life and your business. Good stress management skills could allow you to be a better entrepreneur, which ultimately may have a positive effect on yourself, your employees and your customers.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Savannah Flynn is a public relations specialist and online marketing enthusiast writing on behalf of WebpageFX. She is devoted to staying on top of the latest online marketing, social media and public relations trends. Connect with @WebpageFX on Twitter.
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