10 Effective Stress Release Tips for Entrepreneurs

Stressed Entrepreneur

There are plenty of things to love about being an entrepreneur. The unlimited potential and the freedom and flexibility to create your own path can’t be matched. However, entrepreneurial life also comes with some drawbacks.

The fast-paced, high-pressure life of an entrepreneur or business owner inevitably leads to stress. While stress can’t be completely avoided, there are techniques you can use to reduce stress and provide relief.

This article includes practical tips from 10 entrepreneurs who share their strategies and techniques for managing and reducing stress in daily life. Find a few that will be a good fit for you and try implementing them.

1. Just Breathe

My one tip for stress relief is “Just Breathe.” We don’t realize how fast we go through the day, from task to task and email to email. If we stopped once an hour and took a few deep breaths while we closed our eyes, this in itself would give us the opportunity to refocus and relieve stress.

If you have the opportunity, go outside and take a deep breath. This will only improve your performance, relieve stress, and give you a moment of stress relief.

Galit Ventura-Rozen, MA, Co-Founder of Everyday Woman

Galit Ventura-Rozen

2. Try Journaling

Writing about your thoughts and feelings can provide clarity, release pent-up emotions, and promote self-awareness. The act of journaling can be therapeutic.

It works because it activates the relaxation response, which counteracts the physiological effects of the stress response, like increased heart rate and muscle tension. It also encourages mindfulness, which prevents you from becoming overwhelmed by anxious thoughts about the future or past.

Dr. Brandy Zachary, DC, IFMCP, Founder & Practitioner at Functional Medicine Academy

Dr. Brandy Zachary

3. Try Coloring

Zen doesn’t come naturally to most founders. We know about the impact of breathwork on reducing stress, but the idea of attempting mediation is daunting and almost laughable when you’re in the startup phase. Our brains are wired to think all day, and then suddenly, we’re supposed to stop for 10 minutes. It’s just not realistic without a little help…

The low-cost (and doable) version of meditation for high-functioning founders is adult coloring. Even if your brain starts to wander a bit back to work, you snap out of it when you need a new pen color. And then the refocusing and breathing happens again.

The best part is you even feel a little productive when you finish because you’ve created something beautiful and unique – compared to sitting on the floor cross-legged, trying to breathe with your eyes closed.

Christine Landis, Founder of Peacock Parent

Christine Landis

4. Take a Walk

Reducing stress starts with the simple practice of taking an outdoor walk. From my 4+ year daily walk streak, I can attest to the power of this stress-reducing activity.

Taking 15-20 minutes to literally step away from it all benefits your well-being in several ways. Stress comes from pressure and fears closing in on you, so walking in nature resets your nervous system by grounding you in the world around you and calming your primal brain.

Deeper breathing supports this process as well, letting a sense of calm wash over you with each step. As the mind relaxes, insights of clarity are able to pop through and inspire a way through the stresses with more ease.

You’ll come back from your walk with the benefit of seeing things from a different perspective and a calmer state of being so you can better focus on putting your energy into the things that truly matter and move the needle in your life and business.

Stephanie Rose, Founder of Firefly Scout

Stephanie Rose

5. Reconnect With Your Purpose

As an entrepreneur, I understand the importance of finding balance under the pressures of running a business. One strategy that has proven effective for me is to periodically reconnect with my purpose and impact. Whether it’s through physical visits to locations where my work makes a tangible difference, such as the Philippines, or virtual interactions with my team, I find that taking the time to reflect on why I started this journey helps me maintain perspective and resilience.

By focusing on the positive impact of our efforts and reminding ourselves of the greater purpose behind our work, we’re better equipped to navigate stress and find fulfillment in our entrepreneurial endeavors. It is always refreshing and empowering to remember why you started.”

Craig Goodliffe, CEO and Founder at Cyberbacker

Craig Goodliffe

6. Focus on Gratitude

We live in a world where it’s easy to find things to complain about and criticize. Focusing on negativity only creates more of it. Here’s an exercise that can quickly and easily change your attitude. Used regularly, it will change your outlook on life.

Every time you catch yourself complaining about something, add to it, “But, I’m grateful for (whatever comes to mind that you can be grateful for).” For example, when my car broke down in the middle of six lanes of traffic, instead of focusing on being angry and frustrated, I thought, “But, I’m grateful I have roadside assistance, and a tow truck driver is coming to help me.”

Lori Saitz, Founder & CEO of ZenRabbit

Lori Saitz

7. Run a Fear Inventory

When I need to manage stress as a founder, my go-to technique is running a fear inventory. Simply put, a fear inventory is a list of all your fears. I let my imagination run wild and write down every possible thing that could be causing me stress in my business.

By teasing out my fears, I’m able to address each of them separately and avoid nervous system overwhelm. When I write out my fears, I’ll often surprise myself. Some of my fears are buried way deep down, and sometimes they’re a little ridiculous. I recommend this to all my entrepreneur friends!

Kristie Plantinga, Founder & CEO of TherapieSEO and Best Therapists

Kristie Plantinga

8. Plan for Tomorrow, Today

Use the last 10 minutes of your workday to do an “end of day” planning process. This process is incredibly helpful in reducing stress because it allows you to actually disconnect from work on evenings and weekends and recharge as you have a clear plan for the next day/week and know that nothing is hanging over your head; everything has a next action date of tomorrow or the future, so you don’t need to think about it tonight. (This is a benefit you don’t get when you plan in the morning.)

Here’s how to do it:

  • Look at your calendar for the next day and compare it to your task system
  • Ensure that you have a realistic plan for what you’ll accomplish the following day, given the time you have available
  • Make sure to leave enough buffer to fight the inevitable fires

Alexis Haselberger, Productivity, Time Management, Leadership and Stress Reduction Coach

Alexis Haselburger

9. Reflect, Recharge, and Realign

My approach to stress management is a holistic technique I’ve developed called the “Three R’s”: Reflect, Recharge, and Realign. Firstly, ‘Reflect’ involves taking a step back to acknowledge the stressor. This isn’t about finding an immediate solution but rather allowing oneself to recognize the stress without criticism or haste. It’s about permitting yourself to feel the pressure, which, paradoxically, can lessen its grip.

Secondly, ‘Recharge’ is crucial. This step is about taking deliberate action to rejuvenate the mind and body. For me, this could mean taking a nature walk, practicing deep-breathing exercises, or immersing myself in music that uplifts my spirit. It’s about finding those activities that resonate with your soul and provide a respite from the hustle of entrepreneurial life.

Lastly, ‘Realign’ is about looking at your current situation and ensuring that your daily actions and overarching strategy are in harmony with your core values and long-term objectives. It’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of day-to-day tasks, but taking the time to ensure that each effort is a stepping stone toward your vision can alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed.

By incorporating the “Three R’s” into my routine, I’ve found a sustainable way to manage stress that not only preserves my mental health but also enhances my effectiveness as an entrepreneur. It’s a dynamic process that fosters resilience, encourages personal growth, and supports the continuous innovation required to thrive in the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship.

Dr. Christina Rahm, Founder of Deep Rooted Causes Ventures

Dr. Christine Rahm

10. S.S.T.A.

One practical technique I advocate for stress reduction is S.S.T.A., which stands for:

  • Stop
  • Slow down
  • Think
  • Act

This method is particularly beneficial for high-performing entrepreneurs who often operate in fast-paced environments where stress levels can run high. In moments of intense pressure or uncertainty, applying the S.S.T.A. approach allows entrepreneurs to pause and regain perspective.

By stopping momentarily, slowing down their thought process, engaging in critical thinking, and then taking action, entrepreneurs can make more informed decisions and better manage their emotional responses. This strategy empowers them to navigate challenges with greater clarity, composure, and resilience. 

Dr. Ryan C. Warner

Dr. Ryan C. Warner, Founder and CEO of RC Warner

About the Author

Marc has been building websites and online businesses since 2007. He's built successful businesses in several industries, including web/graphic design, photography, travel, and personal finance. Marc has been featured on Forbes, Business Insider, Flippa, and many others.

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