Here at the-Coaching Blog-run by Gerard O’Donovan, our aim is to constantly bring value to those seeking to improve their lives. Therefore we have a policy of publishing articles and materials by guest authors whom we value and appreciate. Today’s guest author is Larry Mager.

You hear about the necessity of stress reduction all the time. This goes double if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner with well-meaning friends, family members, and colleagues happy to dish out advice on how you should “take a break.” Business owners know that their success has been built largely on sheer determination and hard work, which naturally comes with a generous side of stress. Are you welcoming more stress into your life than you think? How much of it is necessary?

Every successful person is going to have some degree of stress in their life. Pinpointing what those stressors are, how vital they are, and how to manage them if they can’t be removed is paramount. With nearly 50 percent of entrepreneurs reporting that they’re “stressed,” and the remainder perhaps thinking feeling stressed is the norm, we’ve become a nation of business-minded but stressed out people.

Here’s how professionals and business owners are ushering more stress into their lives and what to do about it:

  1. What does “no” mean? Saying no is an art and a skill that few people have, but it’s critical for self-protection. There have been books written about the challenge of saying yes to everything for a year, but is that something to aspire towards? “Yes” opens doors, for better or worse, but “no” puts us in control of our lives. Figure out what your priorities are and start practicing saying “no” to those things that don’t make the cut.
  2. They micromanage. Micromanaging doesn’t come from a bad place, although it certainly feels that way to those on the receiving end. Micromanaging ultimately conveys to others that they’re not up for the job and that only you can do it right. It’s tempting when you own your own business, but it can set you up for failure (and makes your employees despise you). Start taking steps to stop micromanaging now.
  3. They don’t take breaks and vacations. Beyond failing to get up from the desk every hour to re-energize and move, business owners are often skipping mental health days and vacations altogether. Americans, in general, are opting out of vacation days and holidays even when they’re already paid to take these by the employer. As a business owner, you might not have “paid for” holidays, but that doesn’t make them any less important. Humans need breaks and time off, as this is what allows us to dive back into the business.
  4. They don’t prioritize sleep. Sleep is huge, but increasingly it’s becoming trendy to brag about how little sleep a person gets. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep per night, usually ranging between seven and nine hours (thus the average of eight). Ideally, you’re waking up without an alarm, which is how you can tell you’re fully rested. Prioritizing sleep is relatively simple, starting with a nighttime ritual and avoiding screens for at least two hours before bed. Getting enough Z’s is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress.
  5. They don’t surround themselves with positive, capable people. From your friends to your business partners and employees, who you spend time with says a lot about you. Negative attitudes and lethargy are contagious. Have you ever noticed how one naysayer can change the entire attitude of a room, and not in a good way? You can’t always control who’s in your life, but when you can try to choose wisely. Avoid negative people as much as possible, and make those encounters as brief as you can.
  6. They don’t know their own stress reduction strategies. There are endless ways to reduce stress, and different approaches work for different people. Figuring out what your best approaches are is vital. Otherwise, how can you tackle stress?

Stress might be inevitable, but why battle more than you need to? As a business owner or entrepreneur, there’s bound to be stress throughout the day, but what are you doing to remove it and manage it? Get a game plan in action.

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