Suggestions about how to deal with Stress and overcome Anxiety in business
Rising debt, inaccurate projections, an endless workload… Life can be extremely stressful for an entrepreneur. At times it can seem relentless, which can lead to excessive worry and anxiety. A little anxiety is not a big issue, but frequent stress can build up, causing anxiety problems that can have a real impact on your day-to-day life.
And if this sounds familiar, don’t be surprised – it’s extremely common. Anxiety disorders affect just under 20% of the adult population in both the US and the UK. And for entrepreneurs, that number balloons to 27%. The good news? Anxiety is highly controllable and there are a number of proven methods for keeping it in check.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of being panicked, frightened, or excessively nervous or distracted.
It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious from time to time – before a speech or a job interview, or when experiencing financial difficulties. But when anxiety starts intruding on your day-to-day life, causing problems in your work or personal life, having a grip on how you view the world, it’s time to do something about it.
There are a number of signs to look out for such as excessive worry, restless nights, chronic indigestion, irrational fears, and self-consciousness. If the issue is not addressed, it can develop into an anxiety disorder such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (a frequently occurring prolonged sensation of anxiety for no logical reason) or frequent anxiety attacks (short, intense bursts of extreme panic or anxiety).
What can entrepreneurs do to deal with anxiety?
Not to worry, help is at hand! Anxiety has been extensively researched and is very manageable. Here are some of the things that have been proven to help overcome anxiety:
1. Business isn’t everything – make time for your interests
Set aside an hour of the day to do something completely unrelated to work. Play the guitar, read a novel, go for a jog… It doesn’t matter what – just do something that takes your mind off work and makes you happy!
2. Practice 10-15 minutes of mindfulness
It’s not just a buzzword – mindfulness is a great anxiety manager! Go sit on a park bench or grab a light meal somewhere, set yourself a timer, and get mindful! Try to clear your mind and focus on the moment. Notice and appreciate the sensations all around you. The taste of the food, the feeling of the seat beneath you, the sounds around you. If you find your mind wandering, bring it back to the moment. When your time is up, you can get back to work.
3. Learn to tolerate the imperfect
Being an entrepreneur is tough work, and things will most likely not go entirely to plan. Accept the fact that you will not be perfect at what you are trying to achieve straight away. There will be bumps along the road. Some of your work will not be to the standard that you want it to be. Remember that that is true for every business.
4. Learn to trust others
Perhaps both you and your business could benefit by you delegating or outsourcing some of your workload to others. They might not do the work as well as you, at least at first. But who knows? They might do it better! And in any case, shedding some of your workload will give you less to stress over – and leave you with more time to focus on the more important tasks.
5. Try cognitive behavioral therapy
If you’re finding it tough to do it alone, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Cognitive behavioral therapy has consistently been proven to be effective in controlling a wide variety of (both mild and extreme) anxiety disorders. With professional training, you can learn to notice and effectively control the thoughts and behaviour that can trigger your anxiety. Through this therapy, you can regain control over your thoughts, emotions, and behaviour – which is good news for you and your business!
From time to time, everyone suffers from stress and anxiety. Entrepreneur or not, these tips can help you overcome anxiety, regain control of your life, and become happier, healthier, and more successful.