Coping with Stress: Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Behind every Batman there is an infamous Joker — such is nature’s dichotomy of good and evil. Similarly, with constructive pressure that motivates and inspires, comes its oppressive adversary, detrimental stress.

As terse interactions with colleagues, corporate rivalry and lack of work-life balance becoming commonplace, poorly managed stress is a surefire way to increase friction at the workplace.

The added personal downsides aren’t all that pleasant either. High stress levels are responsible for causing an array of health issues such as sleep deprivation, high blood pressure, a compromised immune system and low energy levels. Not to mention the flood of cortisol — the stress hormone — causing massive weight gain and memory loss.

Though it may seem like a Sisyphean task to keep your stress in check, knowing how to get a handle on one’s emotions is an indispensable skill for all successful entrepreneurs — regardless of profession.

UTILISE YOUR LUNCH BREAKS

Midday meals at the workplace often takes a backseat where deadlines are concerned. In fact, studies have shown that 42% of respondents rarely take their lunch break, while 39% of participants are guilty of multitasking and eating at their desks. Be it enjoying the fresh air or soaking up some Vitamin D, do fully utilise your lunch breaks to reinvigorate yourself instead of sabotaging your emotional wellbeing.

REMEMBER TO BREATHE

Have you ever unconsciously held your breath when you were stressed, annoyed, or concentrating? Psychologists have concluded that chronic breath holding has become one of the largest constituents of modern-day stress. Holding your breath sends a message to your brain that your body is in a state of threat, thus creating higher levels of muscle tension in the body and triggering a variety of conditions including anxiety, depression, mood disorders and lowered pain tolerance.

EXERCISING RELEASES ENDORPHINS

The human body wasn’t designed to sit for 8 hours at a desk. In fact, there are theories suggesting that the human anatomy was never meant to develop sitting functions. The painful migraines and shooting back pains from long periods in an office chair are symptomatic of fundamental exercise routines — or lack thereof.

We’re not talking about cramming a set of high intensity deadlifts into your one-hour lunch break, but taking the occasional turn about the office or exercising regularly on your own time does more good than harm.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP

There’s a difference between overseeing a project and obsessing over it. Trust is the glue that holds together any great relationship, and delegating work to your team is a great way of diluting your stress. Instead of micromanaging everything, outsource to employees, freelancers, even friends. The takeaway is this: You can’t do everything yourself, so finding more effective ways to restructure the workflow will help ease the struggle and soon, the stress.

Christina Oh