Bust stress for more happiness

Bust stress for more happiness

from Inc.com

You could say that stress is one of those firstworldproblems. But if you're an entrepreneur, stress is far more than a hipster hashtag on Twitter. It can be distracting, lower your productivity, affect your leadership, and even damage your health. (The last comes from my own experience years ago of developing pneumonia and shingles simultaneously after a tough time trying to get a consulting business off the ground.)

Author Heidi Grant Halvorson, associate director for the Motivation Science Center at the Columbia University Business School, has a list of sound strategies that can help reduce stress and let you focus on what is important, not what is nibbling at the edges of your peace of mind. Here are four of them. I've translated them from psych talk to regular business English.

1. Stop beating yourself up.

Halvorson talks of having self compassion, but let's get to the real heart of the matter. Entrepreneurs are typically driven people and they often make the mistake of assuming that flogging the horse that has tripped will make things better. It won't. Beating up yourself (or others, for that matter) rests on an assumption that the person who makes a mistake is just lazy or intentionally dense. But no one is perfect, including you. Admit you're human and focus on finding solutions to a problem or developing systems that will shore up where you fall short.

2. Put things into context.

There are all sorts of activities that are time consuming and grinding. Anyone who disagrees should open their email and see how many unexamined or unanswered messages they have. But the proper context can make things more bearable because it helps you remember not just what you're doing, but why you're doing it. When staying late in the day to answer those emails or inputting expenses and invoices into your accounting system, remind yourself that it all goes into building your business. Suddenly what was an annoyance is a lot more important…

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