If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you need a high threshold for stress. Use these 6 science-backed ways to manage stress and anxiety so you can achieve more.
There’s no question that entrepreneurs are masters at handling stress simply because the lifestyle choice requires someone who can handle unpredictability.
In fact, it’s arguable that the majority of individuals who succumb to trading time for dollars for decades at a 9-5 do so primarily to avoid stress with a measly but stable income.
Here’s a little secret about stress that you might not know…
Stress isn’t what happens to you, stress is how you react.
So if you want to take control of your stress, all you need to do is re-condition how you react to circumstances.
And to help you do just that, here are 6 ways to manage stress like a pro.
1. Amplify Your Stress
This is unbelievably counter-intuitive, but it works.
If a situation, person or circumstance starts to stress you out, allow your mind to exaggerate the scenario and delve into whatever is causing you stress. Play scenarios out in your mind with your imagination to experience how you would handle it.
When you use your imagination, you force your brain to get out of your stress mindset and realize that no matter what may happen, you’ll make it through. A fringe benefit here is that you’ll also prepare yourself which helps to decrease stress too.
2. Turn Off False Alarms
If you’re the type of person who likes to plan and create contingencies, there is a good chance that at least some of your stress is based on fear. More specifically, fear of the unknown.
Don’t allow yourself to get stressed out by improbable and unlikely situations.
Instead, make peace with the fact that life always entails an element of the unknown. It’s not about controlling the infinite variables that may or may not occur, it’s about your reactions.
3. Plan Your Thoughts
The most common reason that people get stressed out is because you spend time thinking rather than doing.
Overthinking locks you into a state of analysis paralysis filled with stress and anxiety. You must recognize that thinking and planning go hand in hand.
Whenever you are thinking, use a pen and paper to jot down your thoughts and follow-up with concrete plans. Of course you’re going to get stressed out if you are only reacting to circumstances, so instead be proactive about potential stress threats with planning.
4. Slow Down
Stress is an emergency response to something that feels out of your control. In other words, stress makes you feel like everything is an emergency.
Be sure to control your stress response by asking yourself, “How would I feel about this in a week or a month from now?“.
As you start to imagine yourself in the future looking back, that feeling of temporary panic dissipates. Truth is, it’s never as bad as it seems so long as you’re not on high-alert.
5. Make Task Lists
At the very start of every day, write down a list of what you intend to get done.
Fact of the matter is, if you’re like most entrepreneurs it’s likely that you have more than a dozen projects whirling around in your mind at any given time. And as great as that can be, sometimes the buzz of creativity creates stress and inaction.
Instead, make yourself a task list at the start of the day and general timeline so you know exactly what and when to take on new tasks. This not only helps to control your stress response, it also boosts your productivity.
Humour is the antithesis of stress.
If your mind starts racing and your stress levels rise, try to laugh it off.
Take a break and watch a funny YouTube clip, read a light article, or just picture a goofy character you like.
Get yourself smiling and laughing to remind yourself that even your stress is just a part of the grand comedy of life.
Don’t let stress stop you from living the life you want.
Stress is a cyclical cycle because you’ll start to feel anxious, sleep less and have difficulty focusing on what matters.
Instead, recognize that stress is simply a negative response to a situation or circumstance you don’t control.
Take a few deep breathes and remember instead what you do control.
You control your behavior, your actions, your thoughts and even your stress levels.