Managing Stress for Success

Owning your own business brings a whole host of stressful situations to your day to day life.  Stressors like issues with staffing, a myriad of frustrations with suppliers, customer demands and the daily management of your company can be overwhelming.   Stress is not something that we can see or touch, but it can have devastating effects on your mental and physical health.  So how do you deal with stress to limit the adverse effects?  Read more.

We can’t eliminate stress and, in small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best.  However, if you are constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price.

This article is somewhat self serving because I can personally attest to the devastating effects of stress.  I have endured two of the most stressful situations in my life over the last three years and both had severe physical repercussions.   In both cases I thought that I had done something physical that caused problems with my lower back.  I thought too much golf and swinging a sledge hammer were the culprits, but upon reflection the main contributor was the introduction of stress that I was not use to handling.

The HelpGuide on the internet defines stress as “a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way.  When you sense danger – whether it’s real or imagined – the body’s defences kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight reaction, or the stress response”.

Positive effects of stress are that it helps you stay focused, energetic, and alert.  It helps you meet challenges like dealing with your daily work obligations. However, beyond a certain point, stress can start causing major damage to your health, mood, and productivity.  

Some of the common external and internal causes of stress are:

External:

  • Major life changes
  • Work
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial problems
  • Being too busy
  • Family

Internal:

  • Inability to accept uncertainty
  • Pessimism
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Perfectionism
  • Lack of assertiveness

Coping with owning and operating a business has its own inherent stressors that set you apart from the salaried employee.  Dealing with this stress can be broken down into the four A’s:

  1. Avoid the Stressor
  2. Alter the Stressor
  3. Adapt to the Stressor
  4. Accept the Stressor

The most valuable solution to the four A’s is the fifth A – taking Action.  My experience has taught me that the quickest and most effective way to deal with an overwhelming stressful situation is to take action.  Whether you avoid it, alter it, adapt to it or accept it, taking action provides a sense of relief that you are dealing with the situation, which automatically reduces the stress.  Procrastination is a recipe for disaster, because the stress is left to fester until you literally shut down.

Action can take on many forms, such as consulting your support network, making a plan, analyzing the problem and forming solutions, setting goals and strategies to achieve them, or simply stepping back and looking at the big picture.  You are the most valuable asset in your company and it requires you to be at the top of your game at all times.  Dealing effectively with stress is your key to success.

The following article in this newsletter represents a perfect example of a stressor that can seem overwhelming. The solution is easy, it just requires you to take action.

 If you have a business problem that is causing you concern, reduce your stress by using a second set of eyes.  Contact me for a free consultation.

For additional information and advice on stress, Google stress management and you will get the helpguide.org.  It’s free and full of great information!

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