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How to Better Manage Stress as a Small Business Owner

Working under stress, “How to Better Manage Stress as a Small Business Owner”

Do you ever wonder if your work schedule is taking its toll on your body? Are you concerned that your employees are working too many hours? Recent research shows that you may have a reason to be concerned. An August 2015 study published in The Lancet, focused on long working hours and the possible tie to coronary heart disease and stroke. Here is the final interpretation of the study:

“Employees who work long hours have a higher risk of stroke than those working standard hours; the association with coronary heart disease is weaker. These findings suggest that more attention should be paid to the management of vascular risk factors in individuals who work long hours.” These statistics, based on combined research from 25 studies, will open your eyes:

  • Working 55 hours or more per week increases the risk of stroke by 33 percent. It also increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 13 percent.
  • Working between 41 and 48 hours per week increases the risk of stroke by 10 percent.

In short, the more hours you work in excess of 40, the greater chance there is of having a stroke or developing coronary heart disease.

What is the Answer?

The easy answer is to make sure you or your employees never work more than 40 hours in a given week. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Managing stress is a big part of being a successful business owner. When you know how to deal with your emotions, regardless of what is happening around you, your chance of coming out the other side clean is much greater. You can do your best to avoid stressful situations, but there will be times when you have no choice but to face the music. For this reason, it would be in your best interest to learn how to deal with stress.

Here are three changes you can make:

1. Stay positive no matter what happens. It can be hard to keep a smile on your face and a positive outlook when stress begins to clamp down on you. This is particularly true if your business has been struck by a negative event, such as losing a big client. When you stay positive you have a much better chance of finding the silver lining.

2. Don’t search for the quick answer. While some stressors can be eliminated in a quick and efficient manner, this is not typically the case.  It would be nice to put the situation behind you once and for all, but doing so within a short period of time could be a challenge. As long as you are making progress, moving towards the end goal, you will feel good about what the future holds.

3. Give your mind a break. When you keep yourself in a stressful situation for too long it can eventually wear you out. Does this mean you should run and hide from your problems? Of course not. What it does mean is that you should give your mind a break. This can be as simple as taking an afternoon off to clear your mind. You may be surprised at how prepared you are to tackle the issue once you dive back in.

As a small business owner, one of the best skills you can have is the ability to manage stress. When you are able to handle anything that comes your way, you can grow your business and keep your health in perspective at the same time.

Learn what’s right for your business

Visit SunTrust’s Small Business Best Practices Guide for a straightforward checklist of best practices in six important areas of financial management, including growing your business.

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