4 Signs of Stress That Could Be Damaging You And Your Business

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4 Signs of Stress That Could Be Damaging You And Your Business

April 20, 2021

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you probably won’t admit to yourself when you’re feeling stressed. When you’re running your own business, you can end up wearing many hats. You’re the visionary, sales & marketing manager, office clerk, and accountant. You can feel pulled in different directions and that to-do list just doesn’t stop growing. That’s just part of running a business, right? You have your goals to reach, after all. Yes, but if you prioritise your business above your own physical and mental wellbeing, you’ll lose out in the long run. Discover 4 Signs of Stress That Could Be Damaging You And Your Business.

You might be saying to yourself, “I’m not stressed”, but, your body could be telling you a different story, read on to find out more.

What is stress?

The word ‘stress’ has a bad image these days, “I’m stressed”, “this ‘nightmare client’ totally stresses me out”, but ‘stress’ is completely natural. It’s actually your body’s physical response to danger. Maybe you’ve heard of the “fight or flight” response, it’s that state when your body is primed for action. That’s great in small doses, like when you’re negotiating with a client (or wrestling over the last pair of Jimmy Choos at 70% off). But when your body is in this state for prolonged periods of time, it can lead to burnout and other serious, long-term health problems.

But, by learning how to tell when you are in a state of stress, you can spot it early and limit the negative effects. 

How to recognise the symptoms of stress

It’s not always easy to recognise the symptoms. Stress can manifest itself in many different ways and they vary dramatically from person to person. It can show up in every area of your life; your thinking ability, your emotions, your physical health or your behaviour. 

4 Signs of Stress That Could Be Damaging You And Your Business

What are some typical signs of stress you need to look out for?

Psychological signs

  • Inability to concentrate or make simple decisions
  • Memory lapses
  • Becoming rather vague
  • Easily distracted
  • Less intuitive & creative
  • Worrying
  • Negative thinking
  • Depression & anxiety

Emotional signs

  • Tearful
  • Irritable
  • Mood swings
  • Extra sensitive to criticism
  • Defensive
  • Feeling out of control
  • Lack of motivation
  • Angry
  • Frustrated
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of self-esteem

Physical signs

  • Aches/pains & muscle tension/grinding teeth
  • Frequent colds/infections
  • Allergies/rashes/skin irritations
  • Constipation/diarrhoea/ IBS
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Indigestion/heartburn/ulcers
  • Hyperventilating/lump in the throat/pins & needles
  • Dizziness/palpitations
  • Panic attacks/nausea
  • Physical tiredness
  • Menstrual changes/loss of libido/sexual problems
  • Heart problems/high blood pressure

Behavioural signs

  • No time for relaxation or pleasurable activities
  • Prone to accidents, forgetfulness
  • Increased reliance on alcohol, smoking, caffeine, recreational or illegal drugs
  • Becoming a workaholic
  • Poor time management and/or poor standards of work
  • Absenteeism
  • Self-neglect/change in appearance
  • Social withdrawal
  • Relationship problems
  • Insomnia or waking tired
  • Reckless
  • Aggressive/anger outbursts
  • Nervous
  • Uncharacteristically lying

What to do when you recognise signs of stress

  1. First and foremost, you need to recognise these symptoms for what they are: your body’s warning system. Listen to your body and don’t just brush them under the carpet and rationalise them away.
  2. Try simple breathing exercises. This will activate the parasympathetic nervous system and counteract your body’s ‘fight or flight’ response.
  3. If the symptoms are more severe, it’s time for some self-care. Take a day off, spend some time in nature or put your feet up.
  4. Try to reflect on what may be causing you to feel too much pressure. It could be coming from yourself, work, home, or maybe even all three.
  5. If you identify what’s at the root of it, think about what changes you can make to your lifestyle and routine
  6. If the symptoms continue or become severe, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor. Stress-related illness is very serious.

The goal should be to develop an awareness of your own personal response to stress. As you do, you will tune in to your ‘early warning system’ so you know when you’re pushing your limits and you can bounce back to optimum health quicker.

Ultimately as an entrepreneur, you should be aiming to implement self-care and stress management into your daily routine. Eventually, you won’t even get as far as noticing the early warning signs as you’re no longer doing the things that cause stress in the first place.

How Coaching can help

Friends and relatives can help you to identify the symptoms, especially regarding your behaviour, but it can be difficult to be open about your feelings with them. An experienced coach can guide you through this process in a safe, non-judgemental environment. They will ask questions and offer insights that will give you a deeper understanding of your own stress-responses, allowing you to quickly reach the root causes. 

Understanding the root cause of your stress will allow you to develop strategies for identifying and coping with stress when it shows up. A coach can give you professional advice, helping you change your habits, behaviours, mindset, and diet to support this.

At Be Well In Business, our mission is to empower women in business. Whatever your relationship with stress, our professional coaching services, courses and retreats are designed to give you the tools to avoid or recover from the damaging effects of stress and burnout. To help you become more healthy, balanced and powerful in business and in life.
Find out more here.

Let’s put a plan of action in place and take some of the stress of your plate immediately. 

Why don’t you book in for a complimentary call.

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