Stress is a common part of life, but for an entrepreneur it can be a magnified daily reality. Recent research shows that business owners are stressed at high levels, with a Gallup Well-Being Index poll citing 45% indicate they’ve experienced it daily (versus 42% of workers).
The Mayo Clinic recommendsÂ the following five activities that are sure to put your mind at ease and relieve tension:
Get your laugh on:Â Whether it’s engaging with others in a little humorous banter or scheduling time to watch your favorite sitcom, take the time to tickle that funny bone. Research has shown that it can trigger the brain’s emotional and reward centers, spurring the release of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which, respectively help the brain to process emotional response and enhance our experience of pleasure, buoy our mood and regulate pain.
Meditate:Â A recent studyÂ found that meditation is an effective tool in helping to alleviate anxiety and depression, and since everyday stress can be major triggers to those disorders, its notable that meditation has a positive affect on the brain. Guided meditation, positive visualization and guided imagery can be done from the comfort of your office, during your lunchtime walk or even a busy commute, the Mayo Clinic notes.
Take a cat nap:Â Though inÂ some countries this is a national norm, unless you’re working at a cool startup or major media giant that offers naps as perks,Â workers in the States are often left to save the sleeping for leisure time. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, sleeping hours are at a minimum, but take the time to reevaluate your calendar, delegate some tasks or take a 15- to 30-minute lunchtime siesta with the Do Not Disturb active on your smartphones and tablets.
Schedule a “creativity” break in your work day or week:Â The Mayo Clinic recommends activities like doodling, listening to a great playlist or gardening, but whatever you choose, be sure it’s a hobby you love that has nothing to do with work. Many entrepreneurs are multi-taskers who oftentimes look for leads—- any and everywhere they go. Leave that money-making, networking bug at home and just decompress.
Â Get social and let the cat out of the bag:Â When stressed you may not want to be bothered with too many people, but going to an entrepreneurs support group meeting or attending an event with like-minded individuals you can bounce ideas off of, or even vent to, can help alleviate stress. Getting social canÂ also mean going public with your stress triggers via a one-on-one session with a licensed therapist or counselor. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if the stress is getting to be too much to handle.