Being an entrepreneur isn't easy. There are constant ups and downs and often it will feel like everything that could potentially go wrong is exploding in your face. There will be roadblocks, unplanned obstacles, arguments and setbacks that all contribute to one thing—stress, and lots of it.
While you can't avoid stress altogether, simply letting it build up and consume you can lead to a meltdown. A clear mind is a healthy, productive mind. Here are eight ways that you can rid your mind of stress, allowing you to remain focused on crushing any goal you set.
1. Talk to a friend.
Discussing your problems, obstacles and potential solutions with a friend is a great way to reduce stress. Often we, as entrepreneurs, get so intertwined with our work that we actually cause our own stress.
Simply talking things out can clear up a situation and you learn that things aren't as bad as you are imagining them to be. Also, just knowing that you have someone in your corner that is always going to be there for you gives you that extra confidence to tackle any situation.
2. Read a great book.
Picking up a book allows you to get away—without actually getting away. Take this time to learn about any topic you wish, including whatever it is that's causing your current stress. You can gain insight, advice and peace of mind by reading. If you need some good suggestions check out this list.
3. Write down your thoughts in a journal.
Writing is something that many entrepreneurs don't do enough of—yet it's such a powerful personal exercise that can help you better understand any dilemma or situation. Put a journal on your desk and throw it in your bag when you leave the office—keep it on you at all times.
When a stressful situation presents itself pull out your journal and write down the problem, what is contributing to the problem and possible ways to defuse the problem. Give it a try—I bet you will surprise yourself with how effortlessly you are able to come up with a solution to any issue.
4. Hit the gym hard.
Hitting the gym is a great way to rid your body of stress—you can literally sweat the stress out. Finding the motivation to get to the gym is often the biggest hurdle to overcome, but once you get accustomed to working out regularly you won't miss the opportunity to de-stress at the gym.
Leave your phone in your car or locker, throw on your headphones and get your blood flowing and heart rate cranking. Aside from de-stressing, the health benefits of regular exercise should be enough to convince you to make this a regular occurrence.
5. Go for a long run.
Along with the gym, I also love going for a nice long run to clear my head and escape my business. I like an outdoor run consisting of several destination points along the way—this allows me to focus on reaching each point. The physical exercise combined with the focus eliminates all of the stress.
Just like at the gym, leave your phone at home or at the office. It's too easy to take a break to check emails or voicemails if you bring your phone—a single email or message can trigger the stress to come back instantly. Throw on a comfortable pair of running shoes and make sure you have a great music playlist ready to rock. Let the run and music consume you.
6. Go punch for punch in the boxing ring.
One quick look at local gyms will show you that a lot of people are jumping in the ring for physical fitness. Many gyms that offer boxing actually advertise it as a stress-reducing workout.
I've seen men and women of all ages in the ring. Sometimes, you just need to hit something and let out a little steam. If boxing isn't your thing go to the driving range and hit a bucket of golf balls or take some swings in the batting cage. Driving a golf ball 280 yards or crushing a baseball 400 feet will make you forget that you were ever stressed.
7. Take some time to meditate.
True meditation, when you are able to remove yourself from everything going on in your world and focus only on breathing, has amazing benefits. It eliminates stress, allows you to think clearly, see the big picture and helps reduce the probability of future events stressing you out.
As entrepreneurs, we are so busy—constantly operating with the pedal to the metal—we often forget to pause for a minute and take a step back to simply breathe.
8. Unplug from technology and go for a walk or hike.
Unplug from technology and venture out into nature—a beach, park or hiking trail provides a great setting to forget the stressful situations for a minute and get lost. Connecting with nature reminds you that we, along with the things that cause us to stress out, are just small pieces of a much bigger picture.