How stress affects the body
Stress hormones are released to help the body perform at its optimum level in
circumstances like dealing with an external threat or other danger. Adrenaline and
cortisol play a significant role in this fight-or-flight response. Cortisol is known as
"the stress hormone" because of its ability to contribute to the release of a cascade of
other stress hormones. It also can harm learning and memory functions and affect the
parts of the brain responsible for emotions, which is why people under stress can often
feel overwhelmed and out of control.
Keep perfectionism to a minimum
Struggling to be exceptional may feel like an admirable approach, but it can also be
counterproductive. Although you may not be able to make perfectionism go away
entirely, there is a healthy way to tone it down so you can stay in your Zen state. First,
practice being in the "here and now" daily, which will help you keep stress levels low
and anxiety about the future at bay.
Move your body
Exercise has been proven to decrease tension and short-circuit anxiety. It also causes
the body to release endorphins, which are not only natural painkillers but also produce a
feeling of wellbeing and can increase mental and physical vigor. And this doesn't require
a three-hour workout at the gym; any type of movement is great. If time is an issue, go
for a brisk walk, stretch your legs when you are on a phone call or simply stand up and
take a deep breath before starting a task. Small and simple practices are enough to
keep anxiety in check.
Don't take on $5 tasks if your job needs to be focused on $500 plus projects and the
bigger picture. An entrepreneur must know how to delegate. The ability to trust others to
handle smaller jobs is essential to unburdening yourself and fostering creativity, and
paying for such talent is an excellent way to improve mental health. Get over your
perfectionism and let them do their jobs!
Learn to pace yourself
As passionate as we are about seeing our businesses succeed, we are physically
incapable of doing so all day every day. You are not a machine, and if not careful may
end up feeling exhausted, so embrace a steady speed, as well as your limits. It's
essential to know when to turn off the laptop, take time to decompress and enjoy
yourself and your loved ones.
Serenity can come to you simply by writing down problems. I am a big advocate of
journaling — a powerful outlet for emotions that helps you understand what's going on
in life dimensionally, and a variety of mental health experts recommend it for dealing
with negative thoughts. So, take time to think of what's going on in your head and put it
on paper, and don't worry if the result is seemingly a disorganized stream of
consciousness. So much the better!
Part of getting organized is assessing tasks and assigning priority to those that need
carrying out now — in the process determining other tasks that should perhaps be
delegated. Are some of these worth stopping entirely? In my experience, it's simply
amazing how much extraneous and/or unnecessary stuff takes over our heads. I find it
helpful to make three daily tasks priorities, as well as apply the 80/20 rule: 80% of your
productivity will come from the 20% of tasks that are the most valuable.
Connect with other entrepreneurs
It's always beneficial to hear others' experiences with similar struggles — a recognition
of the stress you face is an excellent way of gaining perspective and reducing anxiety.
So, make an effort to surround yourself with peers you are comfortable with, maybe a
few with even more successful businesses for an extra dose of inspiration.
Get a hobby
A good outside-of-work passion gives the mind pause and flexibility. Akin to recess
when we were young children, taking on hobbies offers an opportunity for fun and lighthearted activities that can punctuate and brighten an intense day. Some suggestions
include golf, hiking, dancing, yoga or cooking classes.
Find your Zen state
Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that emerged in China in the 7th century AD —
one that emphasized meditation practice and insight into the mind. To we modern
adherents, it simply means embracing ways of escaping daily nagging thoughts and
other distractions. The key to Zen is finding balance, which allows the mind and body to
be in a harmonious state. Deep breathing exercises and meditation can be very
effective in this pursuit and can even be engaged in just about anywhere. They both
cleanse the consciousness and allow you to simply let go.
Action beats anxiety
Six in ten Americans report feeling anxiety or stress every day, and apart from the
negative health effects mentioned above, those feelings are debilitating for
entrepreneurs and their staff. If anxiety threatens to paralyze, I've found that a sure
antidote is action. Be decisive: The result may not be the best decision or choice, but
trust me, it is better than being hobbled.
Boundaries are essential for entrepreneurs, especially because they are tasked with
developing an entire organization and so can easily become overwhelmed. So, learn to
say "No," because each time you do, you say "Yes" to things that are necessary. Others
may not be comfortable with your "No," but that's ok. In the end, you are responsible for
your own wellbeing, as well as that of your business.
In hopes some of these tips will help with your everyday life of being a successful
For financial stress relief reach out to one of our professionals by sending a message or
call for a consultation! We can help you customize your business.