Today is National Stress Awareness Day and a great topic for small business owners, right? I've almost never consulted with or coached someone who didn't admit to feeling stressed now and then. But I've found that we can adapt our reaction to stress – we can either get motivated to remove the source or get depressed that stress is haunting us. Which do you do?
Some of us use stress as an excuse to avoid taking actions that would help us in business or in life. I call these folks the “crushed flower” people. If you find yourself saying, “I'm just so stressed, I just can't do anything, it's overwhelming, it's too hard to know what to do, I'm exhausted from stress” and similar phrases you'd be a member of the “crushed flower” group.
If you find yourself goaded to action by stress because the tension is unbearable and you want out of the situation you're in the “I'm handling this and moving on” group. This group of folks will take an action, even if it's not the best or most precise thing they could have done. They realize that moving the energy will help change the parameters, even if the source of the stress isn't completely dissipated. They use stress as an excuse for movement and action rather than as an excuse to do nothing.
National Stress Awareness Day is the highlight of National Stress Awareness Month, an entire month set aside by mental health organizations to bring people resources and ways to identify that stress can be harmful (technically, if stress is causing harm it is distress). What do you do when you feel stressed? Are you a “crushed flower” person or a “handle it” type of person?
One book that might be helpful for business owners particularly is Steve McClatchy's book Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example. And when all else fails, make a list of what's stressing you out. Rid yourself of 3 things, handle 3 things, delegate 3 things. You'll feel a lot better and less stressed.