The Simplest Way (I Know) to Reduce Stress
Do you ever feel totally stressed about running your business? (duh!)
You wish things would come together more quickly.
You wish people would do what they say they'll do (like pay their bill).
You wish your Google ads would have a higher click rate.
The risk and roller coaster-itus that is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey can shake our security lovin' nerves to the core, no?
When I start feeling this way, my auto-response is to flip into control mode (aka my inner dictator).
And when I call forth my inner dictator, the next thing that happens is I begin doubting that I even know enough to be doing this.
Which leads to:
I start trying to plug all the holes in my skill set by reading more marketing blogs, signing up for more business-building webinars, and highlighting my way through, yet more, personal development paperbacks.
And here's what THAT gets me:
A chronic and miserable state of I-don't-know-enough-and-this-isn't-far-enough-along overwhelm that all but sucks every last droplet of joy out of why I started doing this in the first place.
But there's another option.
...and trust me, your inner dictator is going to throw a tizzy fit (mine sure did).
Stop personally developing and perpetually researching and start reading (gasp!)
just for the fun of it.
I know you think you don't have the time.
I told myself that too.
I know you would rather listen to Audible.
You'll be fast asleep in seven minutes.
I know you think things will go to hell in a handbasket.
But seriously, they won't.
Give your brain, creativity, and nervous system a break.
That's what your stress is trying to tell you. You need a break.
I reunited with reading for the fun of it a while back (even though I thought I didn't have time) - and I can honestly say... my world relaxed, my creativity seemed to increase, and I fell in love with what I do even more.
Come to find out, there are some reasons for this:
"Reading is a refuge. It stops you from multitasking and lets you become absorbed into another world," says David Mikics, author of Slow Reading in a Hurried Age.
According to a study by MindLab Intelligent Insights, reading an engrossing story for a mere six minutes can reduce your stress by 60 percent.
What's even more interesting is that reading literature can positively impact the way you relate to other people.
A psychologist from York University in Toronto, Raymond Mar, conducted three separate studies and found that "the more fiction people read, the better they are at empathizing with others."
As it turns out, reading increases our ability to notice and comprehend the feelings of other people.
I'm not a betting woman, but if I were, I'd place a wager that increased empathy will serve our business-building efforts far better than yet another SEO webinar.
Today I encourage you to give it a whirl.
How about you hit the library this weekend and grab a novel. And chillax...
If you have any awesome book recommendations (fiction), feel free to share them in the comments below!