Are you letting stress suck the life out of you?
As a business owner, you’re in a constant state of managing your stress.
You need just enough to perform optimally, but no so much that you’re pulling your hair out cursing at anyone who crosses your path.
As you know, it’s a delicate balancing act to stay adequately keyed up to meet the never ending demands of your business without letting those demands overwhelm you and bring you down.
Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
It’s a reaction to an external or internal event, which disturbs your physical or mental equilibrium. These events can range from an argument with a vendor, meeting a crucial deadline, closing a huge account or firing an employee.
Then there’s always the ongoing stress of owning a business, keeping the doors open and making money.
While you may not be able to control some of these external stressors, you can 100% alter your reaction to them.
The good news is that you’re in complete control of how you act and react to every situation, which puts you in a powerful position to manage your stress.
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. – William James
Imagine running your business with less stress
Here are 4 tips to do just that:
- Pause and Breathe: The first line of defense when you’re feeling stressed is to stop what you’re doing and take a few deep breaths to clear the mind and regain some clarity. Clearing your mind and allowing yourself to become present gives you the pause you need from the immediate stress to take control, investigate the stress and take different action.
- Get your butt outside: Remove yourself from the stressful situation and get outside. I don’t care what the conditions are, just get outdoors and go for a 5 minute walk. Allow yourself to focus on your body moving and being outside. Feel the sun warming your arms or the cool wind chilling your face. The idea here is to shift your mind and body and create space to allow you to think of a new strategy.
- Deal with the stress: Instead of staying in a stressed state, confront it head on. Have the tough conversation, take the risk you’re avoiding or just get started on the project. A lot of stress stems from your mind ruminating and running around in circles. If you simply confront whatever is stressing you, you give yourself immediate relief.
- Exercise: After a tough day running the show, engage in some really vigorous, ass-kicking exercise. Pushing your body hard forces you to release stress and refocus your mind. It also activates the pituitary and hypothalamus glands, which secrete your “feel good” hormones.
The 7 questions you need to answer
Here’s where I am going to get a little coachy on you.
In order to alleviate the stressor permanently, you need be aware of your internal dialogue around it and choose a new direction.
Sometimes this can be difficult, but if you want to truly reduce the amount of stress in your business and life, you’ll do this.
After you’ve come out of a stressful state find a quiet space and some time. Then take out a journal, yellow pad, whiteboard or stone tablet and answer the following questions:
- What am I doing or not doing that is causing this stress?
- What am I saying or not saying to others and myself that may be causing this stress?
- What am I afraid of or fearful of that may or may not happen?
- What will happen if I continue to live with this stress?
- What outcome do I desire? What do I really want? What would it look like if I did not have this stress?
- What are my options? What else can I do?
- What actions can I take to change my situation and remove the stress?
Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind. – W. Somerset Maugham
Don’t let your stress own you
Please, do me favor and and don’t ignore what is stressing you.
Don’t waste your energy or your precious time blaming the economy, the government, your customers, your employees, your spouse or whatever else you can dream of for causing your stress.
Take control, take responsibility, take action and deal with it.
Know any other business owners who could benefit from reigning in their stress? Please share this with them.