As an entrepreneur, It’s critical to know how to combat stress. Whilst a small amount of stress can be a good thing as it pushes you to work harder and propel your business forward, too much stress can take all the joy out of entrepreneurship, harm your health and hinder your productivity. Studies show that people who suffer from prolonged stress experience a range of nasty side effects. These include insomnia, low self-esteem, and frequent colds or infections. Whilst stress is part and parcel of entrepreneurship, there are plenty of realistic ways to manage it.
The first step towards reducing stress is lightening the load. Entrepreneurs often try to tackle everything themselves which is unrealistic and leads to burnout. To achieve long-term success as a business owner, you have to know when to delegate. Identify which tasks need your expertise and delegate the rest. If you’re a sole trader, you can outsource certain tasks to freelancers or virtual assistants. This allows you to concentrate on growing your business. It also helps to preserve your creativity.
Adding another task to your to-do list might seem counterintuitive, but regular exercise is an incredibly effective stress buster. Richard Branson, for example, has stated that his commitment to health and fitness has played a vital role in his success.
Firstly, exercise releases endorphins which help to combat stress and fatigue. Better still, exercise improves cognitive function, strengthening your memory and sharpening your focus. This means that exercise can result in a boost in productivity, which may further reduce your stress levels. Essentially, it kicks off a positive cycle that can really make a difference when it comes to keeping stress under control.
You don’t have to run miles every day or spend hours in the gym. Even a small amount of daily exercise can be useful in managing stress. If you’re pressed for time, why not try a 15-minute HIIT session in the morning to get those endorphins flowing?
Meditation has been around for thousands of years and is celebrated for its stress-busting benefits. You can meditate anytime, anywhere. But it’s best to set aside a designated time slot each morning or evening so that you don’t forget to do it.
Studies have shown that daily meditation is an effective way to treat stress and anxiety. Regular meditation also increases your attention span and self-awareness. This can help you become an even better entrepreneur.
4. Find a Hobby
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to let your work consume your whole life. But it’s important that you make an effort to maintain other interests. A fun hobby is a great way to unwind. Remember that not everything you do has to make you money.
Besides, relaxation is essential to creativity. Doing something for fun triggers a release of dopamine in the brain, a feel-good hormone that gets those good ideas flowing. So, taking up a seemingly trivial hobby not only helps to combat stress but may also benefit your business.
5. Take Regular Breaks
Many entrepreneurs are guilty of working solidly through the day. But did you know that neglecting to take breaks actually damages your productivity? If you struggle to remember when to press pause, try setting a timer on your phone to remind you to take a break every hour. Stepping outside for just five minutes can help to refresh your brain and allow you to gain a new perspective.
As an entrepreneur, it’s important that you control your stress, rather than allowing your stress to control you. Whilst it’s tempting to neglect breaks and devote your entire life to running your business, this is short-sighted and will lead to burnout. Effective stress management is essential for the long-term health of your business. So make sure you’re committed to keeping it under control.