A tight ball of tension in your tummy, jitters in your belly, a racing heart and sleepless nights – anxiety can take many forms and affect us emotionally and physically.
If you’re running your own business it’s highly likely you’ve experienced periods of worry and stress. Actually, it’s bloody likely that this is daily! Because guess what, while it’s bloody brilliant most of the time, being an entrepreneur and living the ‘Good Life’, isn’t all just idyllic workshop scenes and creative orgasms! Please hear the sarcasm in my words! There’s cash flow worries, tax deadlines, profit and loss statements, property, leases, the stress of winning orders and fulfilling them. If you’re a one-man band this stuff is even more intense.
Which is one of the reasons, why we’re here. Holly & Co is your cheerleader and your virtual business partner. The wise (hmmm!) shoulder you can cry on and ask for help, the soothing voice to calm you down in moments of panic. So how can you deal with anxiety – here are a few points:
- It’s natural – First off, did you know that anxiety is a natural instinct? Hey Sigmund, describes it well, ‘Anxiety is a call to action to fight or flee so we can move through danger.’ Anxiety is instinctive and automatic. It’s been practising its moves for thousands of years. The part of the brain that drives anxiety thinks it’s doing the right thing. The more we fight it, the harder it will work to convince us that there’s danger and that we need to act. So, if fighting an anxious mind doesn’t work, what then? As strong as a mind can be in its experience of anxiety, it can be equally strong in calming it. Anxiety might still show up, but rather than appearing as the wolf at the door and sending your fiercely protective brain into a panic, it can be greeted more in the way of, ‘Oh hey there – I know you. Take a seat over there.’ So if you start accepting your anxiety you can begin to own it and take away its power.
- Share – This may sound easier said than done, but talking to someone like-minded about it is always a good idea. This is actually exactly the reason that we launched a ‘Forum’. So you can connect to the other COs who’ve become members. Whether you just want to let off steam about the paperwork that’s stressing you out and hear from others in the same boat, or ask if anyone can recommend a great accountant, hopefully it is here to help. We hope it’s going to feel like a virtual communal kitchen, the hub where people come together for a brew and a chew over the issues they are wrestling with – minus the washing up. And hopefully you’ll leave feeling calmer and happier.
- Remember to B-R-E-A-T-H-E and smell those blinking roses – get outside and feel the sun on your face. Feel the wind in your hair. I know I am sounding a little ‘hemp shoes’, but feeling ‘outside’ makes such a difference to me. Find joy in a perfect cup of tea with a brownie. By living in the moment and focussing on the present, rather than worrying about what’s round the corner, we can begin to give our brains a break and manage our anxieties.
- Stay positive – The Calm Clinic says, ‘Learning to think positively is also an important step in learning to cope with your anxiety’. It may sound a bit ‘new age,’ but the truth is, that anxiety really does cause very negative thinking. There are ways to train yourself to think positively, including faking positivity, writing in a positivity journal, and spending time with more positive people. These really will have an impact on your ability to cope with stress.
Seek balance – As an entrepreneur, running your own small business, you’ll know that it is all encompassing living, but you, for your own mental health and the longevity of your business, need to learn to switch off and clock off – a big challenge if you work from home. Putting in too many hours, because you’re anxious you’re ‘not getting enough done’ is self defeating – only making you feel more tired, anxious and jittery. You need rest and headspace to stay productive and happy. Take regular breaks and have a time in mind each day when you’ll down tools and begin your evening.
Distract yourself – Do something that makes you feel good – whether it’s a swim, a hot bath, a visit to the gym, a country stroll or having sex. Now things are looking up, aren’t they! Well,depends if it’s after a long day, which is everyday!
You can’t just get rid of anxiety, as anyone who’s suffered from it knows. It starts with commitment. There’s no magic pill or miracle cure and I’ve only gone through a few ideas above, but they’ll not stop it overnight. If you’re not committed to eliminating your anxiety, then you’ll never be able to truly get rid of it, because it’s something you need to work on continuously until it’s gone, even if you have setbacks once in awhile.
The next step is to show a willingness to change things in your life which create that anxiety. There are going to be some challenges and tough decisions, including reducing the time you spend with those that create anxiety and avoiding anxiety fueling activities. But we’ll cover those things in different articles, I’m sure. I’m also sure that our COmmunity will share so much on this subject.
But for now, breathe, share, breathe and repeat. X