6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Take Advantage Of Stress And Turn It Into A Valuable Asset
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At some time in one’s career, they will have to face workplace stress, which can interfere with their productivity and performance, jeopardize relationships, and even lead to serious physical and mental health issues. While these risks are real, research has shown that if managed appropriately, work strain might become a valuable asset to one and enhance their job satisfaction and performance as a whole. Understanding the source of stress and taking these crucial steps below will help entrepreneurs effectively regain control and thrive under difficult situations.
What is stress? How does it affect people?
Stress is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands and responsibilities such as work, family commitments, relationships, finance, and many other situations that pose a threat or challenge to one’s health and well-being. Tight deadlines, increasing demands, struggling to meet expectations, and failed projects, etc. are some major reasons leading to workplace stress. When a person is under pressure, their hypothalamus releases a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol which increases the heart rate and blood pressure, and controls mood or motivation, triggering a reaction known as “fight-or-flight” response.
Stress might either be temporary or permanent; however, when stressors are always present, they can disrupt almost all processes of the body. Chronic stress also puts people at increased risks of many problems, such as aggressive behaviors, mental health, heart diseases, or sleep problems.
Take advantage of stress
Stress, much to people’s displease, is an inevitable part of work and life. However, it can be good or bad depending on how it is perceived. In fact, how pressures are managed defines one as a successful entrepreneur and gives them a solid career advantage. Here are 6 ways executives and employees could reduce overall stress levels and take it to propel forward.
1. Think of stress differently
It’s crucial for people to adjust their attitudes toward stress. Instead of regarding stress as a catastrophic experience, try embracing a new perspective where stress is a source of motivator, a catalyst for action. There is no success without hardship and sacrifice, which is why entrepreneurs should view stress as one of the challenges they might encounter along the way and allow them to bring inspiration, not desperation. This mindset will increase the motivation to continue working and striving to accomplish goals.
2. Act on priorities
Stress and negative feelings about it lower one’s consciousness or awareness, making it extremely easy for them to get drowned in a pool of work not knowing what to do first. To use stress effectively, slow down, develop a thorough strategy, identify the most important tasks, and prioritize them over things that could save for later. Moreover, when stressed, there is a greater sense of urgency. As such, take advantage of that urgency as it can propel people to act on those priorities and work more quickly and efficiently.
3. Manage energy properly
“The problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource, while energy definitely is not.”
When there are too many demands and responsibilities to take care of, along with the pressure of delivering them on time, most people tend to respond to such situations by putting in longer hours. The problem with working longer hours is that time is a finite resource, while energy definitely is not. Research has shown that the brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy for about one hour, followed by spurts of low energy for 15 – 20 minutes. As such, instead of working for hours on end then trying to battle through fatigue, executives and employees should know when productivity begins to dip and take a rest before it costs them physically and mentally.
4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
There are a few approaches to relieve stress, such as doing yoga exercises or meditating, etc. Another helpful method that is rather underrated is having a healthy diet. Under stressful conditions, the hormone called cortisol increases appetite, which explains why many people tend to consume alcohol and overeat lots of food high in fat and/or sugar. While it can serve as a “comfort” for a short period, in the long run, it will lead to different severe diseases like obesity or diabetes. Therefore, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is mandatory as it improves blood flow and the delivery of nutrients to the brain while reducing the negative effects of stress on bodily functions and building a solid foundation for the body.
5. Involve others
When trying to cope with stress, it is also important to reach out for the help, support, and advice of others. The more isolated people are, the more vulnerable they are to stress. On the other hand, opening up to family members, friends, or colleagues will allow people to clarify their problem, relieve a huge burden off their shoulders, view things from a different perspective, and realize new opportunities. In other words, it shows people new ways to move through problems they probably could never have thought of themselves.
6. Document the journey and learn from those struggles
Stress is, again, an unavoidable situation that almost everyone encounters at least once in their life. One could document their journey of fighting stress, what they are learning, and experiencing from those struggles and hardships. It allows people to reflect on themselves and develop a better strategy or solution in case similar situations arise again. Further, the documentation could be an aid or motivation to others who will likely face the same challenges in the future.
Stress bears many severe risks, however, it could also act as a source of energy for people depending on the way it is perceived. Under immense pressure, entrepreneurs should foster a positive mindset to turn it into a valuable asset behind their success.
According to HuffPost + Entrepreneur + Life to the fullest
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