We all might want the same thigs in life. To live well, be with people we love, do the things that make us happy. But sometimes things do not go according to plan and if you are an entrepreneur, every day is like being on the deck of a rolling ship. Its good, it’s bad, its somewhere in between. But none of us were born to do anything in particular so if you have created a company and love it, awesome. However, the lifestyle of an entrepreneur, especially in the early days can be quite stressful.
It seems as though stress and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. The symptoms of mental stress that come from starting and building a successful business can include anxiety, depression, poor sleeping habits, weight changes and other health concerns. But these effects are not inevitable, and being a successful owner and/or executive doesn’t require them. But you do need to be aware of potential symptoms of stress and how to cope with them.
According to a research article that covers several studies from Frontiers of Psychology, stress appears to be greater for entrepreneurs than for other workers. The experience of stress can lead some entrepreneurs to develop negative coping skills, such as alcohol or other substance abuse, overeating, and social isolation. When entrepreneurship is seen through the lens of behavioral addiction, entrepreneurs express several negative physiological outcomes, such as obsessive thoughts, withdrawal, decreased self-worth, and neglect of previously important friends and activities. On the upside of the stress, The Wall Street Journal in a November of 2021 article reported, based on research studies, that entrepreneurs are happier overall than employees.
It’s important to note that the effects of stress on your physical and mental health depend on many factors, such as genetics, gender, lifestyle, personality, coping mechanisms and resilience. As an entrepreneur, you need to recognize the threats to wellbeing, and apply the following insights to address it.
Don’t need to be perfect. 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 and still get the job done. First, practice slowing down, being present and saying today was a good day, and there is always tomorrow.
Keep moving. 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; a 30-minute walk can do just the trick and perhaps even be calming.
Delegate more. Don’t take on $,1000 tasks if your job needs to be focused on $100,000-plus projects and the bigger picture. As an entrepreneur, you must learn how to delegate. The ability to trust others to handle smaller jobs is essential to unburdening yourself and fostering creativity, and building a strong team is an excellent way to improve mental health.
Connect with other entrepreneurs. Who knows better of what you are going through than other entrepreneurs. Sometimes we just need to talk it out, or receive empathy or helpful feedback. It’s always beneficial to hear others’ experiences with similar struggles. Plus, you are also building a supportive network.
Do something else you love. A good outside-of-work passion gives the mind pause and flexibility. Akin to recess when we were young children, taking on a hobby or sport offers an opportunity for fun and light-hearted activities that can just give you joy and put things in perspective. Unless you are working on a cure for cancer or Aids, it’s just a company so relax.
Make a decision. Seven 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, then a sure antidote is action. Be decisive. The result may not be the best decision or choice, but it is better than being hobbled and stressed by indecision.
Set boundaries. Boundaries are essential for entrepreneurs, especially because they are tasked with developing an entire organization and so can easily become overwhelmed and work 24/7. So, learn to say ‘No,’ because each time you do, you say ‘Yes’ to things that are necessary. Know when enough is enough for each day. Say to yourself ‘I have done well today. I will continue the work tomorrow.’ Go home and enjoy your life with family and friends and leave the work alone.
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