Five Ways to Manage Stress for Entrepreneurs

Being an entrepreneur can be very stressful, with managing the demands of running your enterprise and maintaining a work-life balance.  Stress can have very negative affects in the long term, so here’s a list of five things you can do to manage your stress levels.

Take a Break

Don’t push yourself to work without any breaks – it’s quite counterproductive, and will only increase the stress that you feel.  That means that you should get up during your work day and perhaps take a step outside, as well as actually using your off days – perhaps take a vacation at some point, so that you can feel refreshed.  You’ll find that your stress from work will build up less if you don’t force yourself to work without any chance to relax.   Don’t avoid whatever is causing your stress, but it is important to take a step back from time to time.

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Fig. I – Meditation.

Meditate

Meditation is good for many things, whether it’s increasing your focus, reducing stress, or assisting in your spiritual practice.  There are several different approaches to meditation – you can sit in the lotus position, lie down, or do a slow walking meditation.  The basic idea is to soften your focus (or close your eyes, though that is less optimal), and focus on some particular thing like your breath, without letting yourself get distracted by incoming thoughts.  If you meditate regularly, it can significantly reduce your stress levels, and help you cope more easily when tensions do arise.  Mindfulness, after all, is a very good practice to incorporate into your daily life, and if you can clear your thoughts, stress won’t affect you so poignantly.

Seek Social Support

Don’t isolate yourself from everyone, you need to have friends and family to turn to in order to maintain a proper work-life balance.  If you don’t have a support network, then you’ll have no one to turn to when you’re facing significant amounts of stress.  And social interaction is very important for people generally, so that means that you would need to have other people in your life, just so you don’t lose your sanity.

Exercise

Exercise can be as good for the mind as it is for the body, it seems.  So go for a walk, go swimming, go cycling, or try dancing, because it should help you cope with stress.  Exercise has no substitute, and if you want to feel better generally, you’ll have to make it a regular (if not daily) routine.  Especially if you lead an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

Avoid Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Smoking, excess drinking, excess caffeine consumption. . . they’re all unhealthy coping mechanisms which do nothing for your stress in the long run.  It’s best to de-stress through healthier means, rather than intoxicating yourself and facing adverse effects either in the long term or short term.  After all, respiratory problems, hangovers, and the side-effects of excess caffeine consumption can only increase your stress levels, not reduce them.  Short term relief that leads to a whole host of problems later on will hardly reduce your stress in the long run.

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