Dealing with the Stress of Running a Business

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Stress is the response of the body to dangerous circumstances — both actual and imagined. When you feel vulnerable, your body may experience a chemical reaction that acts as a warning sign.

You will then undergo what is described as the “fight or flight” response or the stress reaction, which results in intellectual, emotional, cognitive, and physical responses. Amid stress, you may begin to breathe faster, muscles tighten, high blood pressure occurs, and your cardiac rate increases. That’s how your body guards itself.

Small doses of stress are beneficial to us, keeping us motivated, alert, positive, and well equipped to avoid dangerous situations. For instance, an upcoming exam’s stress may motivate you to stay alert longer and study harder. In running a business, the pressure of meeting a client’s deadline request may encourage you to achieve results faster. These are the results of healthy doses of stress necessary to survive.


However, when your stress reaction goes on for long periods, it becomes chronic, affecting your well-being and making you ill.

Common Side Effects of Stress

Running a business is no mean feat, and while you may be realizing your dreams, the load of responsibility and decision-making that comes with it can sometimes weigh you down. From tight deadlines to lack of incoming business to insufficient funds for salaries, utility bills, licensing, and product purchase. Stress can become a large part of your day-to-day activities.

When your body continues to activate your stress response for longer than is necessary for survival then emotional, behavioral, physical, and cognitive symptoms arise. Some of the common side effects of stress are:

Mental & Emotional Symptoms

  • Depression, sadness, low self-esteem, avoiding others
  • Panic attacks
  • Irritability

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Overeating, increased alcohol intake, drug use
  • Procrastination
  • Gambling and indulging in compulsive sex

Physical Symptoms

  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive issues
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Clenched jaw
  • Skin problems, such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Disorganization or forgetfulness
  • Poor judgment and inability to focus
  • Racing thoughts, constant worrying, and pessimism

Stress Management

There are several ways you can handle stress related to running your business that will benefit your overall well-being.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure

When you realize you are undergoing stress, monitor your blood pressure. It helps to stay alert of your risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke (both preventable) and high blood pressure. Hypertension is not always preventable though the risk can be reduced. You can purchase a blood pressure monitoring kit that you can conveniently use at the office or in the car.

Work with a Schedule

The more you prepare, the more you can adequately predict eventualities. Planning allows you to feel a greater sense of faith in your abilities to navigate whatever comes your way. Working with a daily schedule will give you a sense of control and make it easier to keep stress at bay.

Outsource Work

Leadership sometimes makes it tough to let go and relinquish control. Learning how to delegate certain aspects of your company is vital for its growth and your mental well-being. Recognizing your shortcomings helps you to empower certain areas to others who are more qualified. You can’t do it all on your own; else, you will end up compromising on quality and your health.

Take Time Out

It is essential to make time for yourself to maintain a stable emotional state. To keep tension under balance, you should prioritize self-care. Spending time with family and friends serves to reaffirm your confidence in running your business.

Eat, Sleep and Exercise

This trilogy means that you will live a better and more active lifestyle. Regular exercise benefits your physical health. It also improves your mental health by increasing your endorphin levels, making you feel stronger and healthier. Physical workouts can help prevent elevated blood pressure, leading to other issues affecting the brain, liver, and heart. Getting adequate sleep is critical as it reduces stress, increases efficiency, and clears your mind. Make a deliberate effort to consume safe, organic, well-balanced meals.

In Conclusion

It is no secret that running a business is one of the most complex and exhausting endeavors you can undertake. However, it is also one of the most satisfying. If you take care of your well-being and plan adequately, you will efficiently take care of your business.

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