Dear Aunty B,
I’m under a lot of pressure in my business at the moment and feel really stressed. All I can think about is where I’m going to get the next sale and the million-and-one things on my to-do-list. I know stress can be very unhealthy so how do I make my life more stress free when I am busy running a business?
Dear Stressed out,
Guess what? Running your own business is stressful. Besides throwing in the towel altogether (which is also likely to be stressful) it’s virtually impossible to live a stress-free existence when you have all that responsibility.
Anyway, Alia Crum and Thomas Crum, writing in the Harvard Business Review, say stress can be a good thing if you know how to use it.
They say stress can be beneficial if you harness its power using these three steps:
1. See it
Don’t deny that you are stressed. Label your stress and acknowledge it. For example: “I’m stressed about year end numbers”.
2. Own it
Recognise that we need to stress about things that matter to us. Stress shows us that we care.
3. Use it
The body’s stress response was not designed to kill us. Instead it helps heighten your responses. It’s all about reframing your response. Instead of looking at it as anxiety call it excitement.
The Crums say as a society we largely fail to frame stress as potentially enhancing and often miss opportunities to learn from and grow from stressful moments.
“That does not mean that we advocate viewing all stressors as a positive thing; but we do advocate that you embrace your stress response as a powerful tool for helping you overcome the inevitable challenges in life that can—and will—arise,” they say.
As I like to say pressure creates diamonds!