Worry and Stress Tips for Entrepreneurs
A recovering worrier myself, I've learned a thing or two about the damage worry and stress can cause. As an entrepreneur, I've worried about things like cash flow, making dumb decisions, or disappointing clients with my service. I have worried launching programs that nobody will show up for. I've worried about my health, and my work/life balance. See? I've been a champion at worry.
How has all that worrying paid off for me? Well, logically speaking, it has done nothing but cost me.
All I can say, on a positive note, is that I have learned some things in my quest to squelch my worry habit. I now understand the power of my thoughts. I understand the impact of a life filled with excessive worry. I recognize that I come from a long lineage of expert worriers. Not much of a claim to fame, right?
A long time ago, a friend shared a thought with me about worry, that has stuck. It was this:
WORRY IS FAITHLESSNESS.
Worry is not only a lack of faith that everything will work out as it's meant to, it's also one of the most abysmal wastes of time and energy. Worry causes stress. Think of a time when your worry ever had a positive impact on a situation. See? You can't think of one, can you?
And yet, our monkey mind allows us to believe the doom and gloom thoughts, and in the process of that, our physiology reacts. We shift into fight or flight mode. Our stress hormones kick in, and our body readies itself for the internal war that is sure to come. Our body suffers. Our state of mind suffers. And our precious energy is squandered.
We can agree that worry is futile and unnecessary. But how do we actually stop doing it, especially when it's become so much a part of our personality?
1. Focus on serving someone else. It's impossible to worry about yourself when your focus is not pointed in your own direction.
2. Meditate. Your monkey mind will at least slow down when you get intentionally quiet. You can take on the practice of 5 minute meditations, and use them when you feel worry and stress creeping in. It's helpful not to judge your ability to get quiet during these meditations.
3. Take a walk. Your brain loves oxygen, and so does your heart. Taking a walk energizes you. Focus on all the parts of your body receiving oxygen. It's like a walking meditation, if you want it to be.
4. Give it all away to your higher power. Surrender it. Picture your worries as a balloon filled with helium, that you're releasing. Watch it rise up in your mind's eye, gracefully moving out of your control.
5. Know that you're stronger than you imagine you are. You are perfectly equipped with everything you need to navigate any situation you may encounter. Really. And if you ever feel like you aren't equipped, there are lots of people around you who would love to help you, if you just asked.
Worry and stress are life killers. I know this intimately, and I personally practice each of the above 5 tips. The worry monster is scared of these practices I choose, because it then dies a slow and methodical death.
You're worth the effort.