How do you handle stress and anxiety as an entrepreneur? These tips on stress and anxiety management might help, so read on to learn more.
In this article:
- Listen to Your Body
- Remind Yourself That You Are Not Your Anxiety
- Pause and Defend Yourself
- Don’t Let Things Pile Up
- Take Breaks
- Schedule Catch-Up Days
- Watch Your Diet and Sleep Schedule
- Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
- Don’t Let Perfectionism Take Its Toll on You
- Join Communities of Like-Minded Entrepreneur
11 Tips on How to Reduce Anxiety and Stress for Entrepreneurs
1. Listen to Your Body
Awareness of your body’s anxiety and stress signals is important in managing and reducing their negative effects. Some of the typical indicators are:
- Elevated heart rate
Always pay attention to these signs and get them under control. Even simple deep-breathing can help you handle stressful situations.
2. Remind Yourself That You Are Not Your Anxiety
Anxiety and irrationality are two sides of the same coin. When the former kicks in, the latter takes over your mind.
One of the most helpful things to do when experiencing bouts of anxiety is to remind yourself that these fears, feelings, and negative thoughts don’t define you as a person. Something has triggered this response and it’s just the anxiety talking at the moment.
Remind yourself of who you really are — the talented, hardworking, hopeful entrepreneur who has overcome similar episodes, and maybe even worse, before. Ground yourself in reality and fight the irrational thoughts.
3. Pause and Defend Yourself
It’s best not to make any decisions when you’re anxious and feeling stressed. If you do this with your cognitive abilities impaired, there can be serious consequences.
Try to calm yourself down first. Deep breathing is proven to help in stressful situations.
As you slowly take control of your mind again, defend yourself from the negative self-talk weighing you down. Help the real you take over again by disproving these flawed thoughts.
4. Don’t Let Things Pile Up
Once you’ve tamed the demons in your head, deal with what’s causing the stress or anxiety right on. Avoid procrastination and letting things pile up.
The mere thought of having to work on massive backlogs can make you feel overwhelmed and stress you out again. So, may it be a phone call from an irate client or a challenging business decision, get a handle of it then and there.
Having a lot on your plate on the daily can also stress you out. Consider delegating some tasks to an assistant or your employees.
Constant micro-managing will do you no good. Sharing the load will free up time and relieve stress.
5. Take Breaks
When you feel anxiety or stress at work are looming, step away for a moment and do something else. Taking quick walks outside, grabbing a bite, or doing an activity that calms you can provide short-term stress relief.
Taking a breather can also give you a different perspective on the situations.
6. Schedule Catch-Up Days
What you thought to be a light week can become a massive one as new tasks pile up throughout the week. A long list of to-dos can be intimidating and stressful.
Consider using your Saturdays or Sundays for less important tasks. This allows you to clear out your plate and start the next week fresh.
Exercise can help in maintaining one’s mental health and stress levels. Studies have shown its effectivity in reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and enhancing overall cognitive abilities.
These are benefits you’d need when chronic stress has already sucked out all the energy and focus in you.
Even the simplest physical activities like walking or jogging can induce the release of endorphins. These happy hormones are actually effective stress relievers and mood stabilizers.
Regularly allot at least five minutes of physical activity in the morning and you’ll begin to notice it’s anti-anxiety and stress-relieving effects.
8. Watch Your Diet and Sleep Schedule
According to clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, you can reduce your anxiety levels and deal with stress better if you change the way you eat breakfast. His advice is to eat a protein and fat heavy breakfast every day.
According to Peterson, people with anxiety disorders and anxious tendencies usually have hyperactive nervous systems. When these people stress over things too much, their bodies overproduce insulin resulting in a state of hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia symptoms include anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, forgetfulness, and elevated heart rate.
In a 2016 Case Reports in Psychiatry study, researchers sought to find the link between the diet and symptoms of a 15-year-old with a generalized anxiety disorder and hypoglycemia symptoms whose diet is primarily composed of refined carbs.
Upon adding more protein, fat, and fiber to her diet for a month, her anxiety symptoms dramatically decreased and she also showed improved energy, concentration, and mood. After going back to her usual diet after a few weeks, her anxiety symptoms resurfaced.
Try reducing your carb intake for a month and see how this affects your anxious tendencies.
According to Peterson, it’s also important to stabilize your circadian rhythms by waking up and sleeping at the same time every day. People who feel stressed, anxious, or emotional tend to have an unstable circadian rhythm, so having a regular sleep-wake cycle can help offset its effects.
9. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Before you were an entrepreneur, you were first a father, mother, daughter, son, or friend. Your business isn’t your whole life.
You have a lot of responsibilities outside work that needs to be taken care of, too. And in the hectic world of entrepreneurship, mastering how to balance work and life can be a real challenge.
Don’t forget you take time off and do the things you love with the people close to you.
10. Don’t Let Perfectionism Take Its Toll on You
Don’t let perfectionism get the best of you. Sure, the world of business is a competitive gig, but an irrational inclination to perfection is nothing but a self-defeating mindset.
You can dedicate effort to provide quality products or services without obsessing about the little flaws. Try practicing a healthy level of attention to details and quality without putting much pressure on yourself.
11. Join Communities of Like-Minded Entrepreneur
Make friends and build your very own support system. Talking to other businessmen about the challenges you’re facing can help in finding solutions.
This is also a great opportunity to network with entrepreneurs in other industries to gain insights on how they handle stressful situations and similar challenges.
You don’t have to go through it all alone.
Successful entrepreneurs are masters of anxiety and stress management strategies and skills. By adding these simple tips to your toolkit, you too can be one percent better every day by learning how to minimize the negative effects of stress and anxiety.
Do you have any personal tips on how to handle stress and anxiety? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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