By Syed Balkhi, co-founder of OptinMonster.
All of us experience stress from time to time. While a little stress can be a good thing as it can motivate you, too much stress can greatly affect your physical, emotional and mental well-being. Since you can't necessarily avoid all stress triggers in your life, especially as a busy entrepreneur, learning how to deal with it is essential. Let's take a look at five useful tactics to alleviate stress:
Learn Stress Management Techniques
The easiest way to reduce stress is to incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine. To relieve stress and anxiety, consider practicing relaxation techniques like rhythmic breathing, meditation or yoga on a regular basis.
Clinical and sports psychologist Leah Lagos, PsyD., suggests using deep breath exercises daily to relieve stress. Here's a simple exercise: Inhale for four seconds, focusing on feelings of anxiety and stress, and exhale for six seconds, focusing on feelings of releasing and letting them go. I personally use the deep breathing exercise in combination with brain.fm relaxation music.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. Your ability to manage stress is compromised if you don't get enough quality sleep. To get enough rest, the most important thing you should do is go to bed at the same time so it becomes a habit.
Make sure to set a stable sleep routine because it reduces stress and helps you remain productive the following day. That said, when it comes to sleep, everyone is different. For example, if you're not a morning person, you don't have to force yourself to wake up early. Listen to your body and figure out the best times for you to get a good night's sleep.
Take Regular Breaks
Taking regular breaks from your business is essential for you to reduce stress. It's believed that when people take regular breaks from work, they are more productive as well as more accurate.
I take two trips a year with my wife, which helps me recharge and boost my energy for when I come back. Now, a break doesn't have to be a long vacation: It can be just one day off, or even a short break during your workday to sit back and relax.
On a regular basis, you can spend your time doing things you love to do. As an entrepreneur, you likely love your work, but you should still have hobbies that have nothing to do with your business in order to give your brain a break. Even an hour or two a week can make a difference in your stress levels.
In order to work more efficiently and minimize stress, you need to set boundaries between your work life and personal life. The advancement of technology has made those boundaries murkier because your clients can access you anywhere at any time. Setting up work life balance takes commitment and time, but it's worth it. Here are a few tips that might help:
- Define your work hours and hours you spend with family and friends, and then stick with it.
- Keep your work activities and personal activities completely separate. For example, no checking your work emails when you're spending time with family.
- Focus on being in the moment when you're spending time with family and friends instead of thinking about your business.
To accomplish more in your business and to remain happy, you need to practice gratitude daily. According to research conducted by renowned psychologists Dr. Robert A. Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough, people who focus on gratitude experience greater emotional well-being and physical health than those who don't.
When you express gratitude, you can enhance your positive sense of self, detach from a stressful period and maintain a more positive outlook on life. Best of all, when you have a more positive outlook, you remain happier and more productive.
As an entrepreneur, stress inevitably will find you. But with the above strategies, you can look to reduce stress, increase your productivity and improve your overall health.
Syed Balkhi is the co-founder of OptinMonster, a conversion rate optimization software to help recover abandoning website visitors and turn them into customers.