Feeling stressed? You’re not alone.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), Americans’ stress levels have steadily risen since the beginning of the pandemic.
About a fifth of Americans said their mental health was worse in 2020 than the previous year. By 2021, a third were feeling more stressed just making day-to-day decisions. And here we are, in 2022, and stress statistics gathered by the APA indicate our stress levels are at “alarming levels.”
Clearly, Americans could use some strategies for relieving all that stress. In this article, we zero-in on the unique ways entrepreneurs feel stress and offer up some stress-relieving tips tailor-made for enterprising spirits like yours.
Stress Impacts Entrepreneurs’ Health
You already know entrepreneurs are wired differently. According to an article published in the Journal of Managerial Issues, entrepreneurs tend to have one of two personality types, Type A and Type B. Each of these types is suited to running a business. Stress also impacts each of these personality types differently.
Psychologists already know that people with a Type A personality tend to feel more stress and experience stress-related health problems. Their competitiveness, high level of motivation, and tendency to overwork make those with a Type A personality prone to coronary heart disease, regardless of their profession.
Type B personalities tend to feel less stress than their Type A counterparts. That doesn’t mean you’re out of the cross hairs when it comes to stress-induced health problems if you’re an entrepreneur with a Type B personality. As it turns out, Type B’s running their own business are prone to a particular type of stress.
Stressors Unique to Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs are in a league of their own when it comes to the variety of stress they experience.
- The pressure of responsibility is a big deal for entrepreneurs. You have to make difficult, risky decisions that can impact your business, your family, and your employees.
- Entrepreneurs fulfill many roles. Salesperson, manager, recruiter, job creator, financial forecaster—just to name a few. If you literally wore all those hats, you’d only be missing the unicycle for a great circus act.
- Roles tend to conflict. The sheer number of a business owner’s roles is one thing. But a whole new level of stress occurs when those roles collide, especially when work roles collide with family roles. As it turns out, Type B entrepreneurs find the tension between work responsibilities and home roles the most stressful.
Ways Entrepreneurs Can Relieve Stress
Obviously, being among the 16% of the American workforce hustling to build a successful business means you have more than your fair share of stress. Here, we’ve got you covered with the best stress-relieving tips for entrepreneurs as you wind your day down.
- Write it down. Stress tends to create looping thoughts in our heads. These loops make the solution difficult to see. When you write the sources of your stress down in an entrepreneurial journal, your brain switches into high-level, problem-solving mode.
- Make a plan for the following day. Even after you pin those worries down in your journal, you still have your to-do tasks orbiting around like an asteroid belt in your mind. Make like Bruce Willis and blow them out of the sky by writing them down as part of a plan for the following day.
- Review your roles. Revisit Stephen Covey’s seminal book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, Covey talks about the concepts of roles and making sure you’re paying attention to your most important roles. When you feel like your work life is bulldozing your home life, plan small ways to refocus on the people closest to you.
- Meditate. That means you, too, Type As. Meditation isn’t just for the granola-types. Research shows meditating thickens your pre-frontal cortex. Not only will you be reducing stress, you’ll be super-charging your powers of concentration and decision-making. And that sounds like a pretty good way to avoid stress altogether.
There’s a gazillion tips out there to destress at the end of the day. To find the best stress-relieving tips for entrepreneurs, it’s important to recognize all the unique ways running your own business creates stress. Then, figure out what—specifically—is responsible for the flash flood of all those stress hormones. And if all else fails, clear your mind the way Bill Gates does—by washing the dishes every night.