Entrepreneurial stress is real!
Here is what you can do about it.
Besides being passionate about startups and entrepreneurship, I have had a long-time interest to sciences, behaviors and neurological discoveries. As a happy corporate dropout, my first step was to take some time to regroup and studied some more of that stuff.
Let’s talk about stress. Every entrepreneur faces extraordinary amount of stress when starting and running a business, but they handle it differently. Here is a little background and simple way to deal with it.
Your body responds to any dangerous situations, perceived by your brain, by increasing your strength and stamina, reaction time, focus, etc…preparing you to fight or to flee from danger. This stress response is contained within the amygdala, a small almond shaped portion of your primitive brain located at the base of your head. This ancestral trait was inherited from times where humans were consumed by survival.
When a threat is perceived, the sympathetic nervous system responds by releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Your senses are heightened, your heart rate and blood pressure rise, your breathing quickens, and your muscles tighten. It’s like having your own Jedi, protecting you at all time. Pretty awesome! Well, not exactly…
Your personal Obi-Wan Kenobi turns out to be more of low-tech smoke detector than a Jedi Master! Let me explain. This warrior of yours can’t make the difference between a house fire and a burnt toast. It will respond the same way to an attack from a grizzly bear or from your ticked-out spouse, and so will you.
When you feel your stress and anxiety gearing up, before you find yourself in an intergalactic cubicles war, BREATHE! Deep breathing activates your parasympathetic system, reducing your blood flow and heart rate within a couple of minutes.
I’ll share more tips and tricks. Stay tune and…
May the fourth be with you!
Carine Dieudé is a Partner & Director of Strategy, and Entrepreneurship Aficionado, at Altima Business Solutions: Capital Acquisition, Critical Path, Outsourced CFO, Strategic Selling and Advisory Board, for startup, small and medium-sized businesses.