Let’s face it – being an entrepreneur or business owner is not the easiest job in the world. You are expected to have passion and purpose and an almost superhuman capacity for staying positive in the face of disaster.
Your ‘never surrender’ attitude must be of a calibre that would have made Winston Churchill proud.
That’s what the job requires, but who can manage that 24×7 in real life? In my experience, most of us face anxiety, low moods and loss of faith at least some of the time – especially during prolonged periods of stress.
Changing the stress mindset
The Institute of HeartMath in the US has done extensive research on the link between stress and our ability to think clearly and solve our problems. One of their key insights is that stress measurably inhibits clear thinking and problem-solving ability.
A second insight is that we can stop stress reactions by actively creating and imagining a feeling of wellbeing.
Their biofeedback research shows that when you imagine a good feeling, your body takes it as real and creates the life-enhancing biochemicals that support it. The result is that you actually start feeling genuinely good. And when you are feeling good, your brain and heart work in sync, giving you access to enormous resources of intuition and mental clarity.
So what does this mean for us? Well, it means that when we get hit by the inevitable downers we don’t have to stay there – we can recognise that it’s just a biochemical and electrical state, and we can easily change to another state.
I want to share a technique with you that I have adapted from the HeartMath work. It’s really simple, but it contains powerful elements for balancing the body’s nervous and chemical systems and shifting to a state of power and inner alignment.
The Quick Resourcing technique
- Stop: Take your mind off whatever problem or question you are thinking about and just pay attention to your breathing.
- Breathe: Focusing all your attention on the breath, begin breathing in to a count of 4 or 5 and out to the same count. By balancing the breath you balance the nervous system and neutralise the fight/flight response.
- Feel: Keeping the breath slow, deep and even, imagine you are breathing in wellbeing, appreciation or any other positive feeling. Radiate it from your chest and heart on the out-breath. Keep this going until the positive feeling is well established.
Activating a positive feeling in step 3 actually changes your chemical balance as you are doing it. And remember, it’s quite OK to feel like you’re faking the emotion – if you do it with intent to feel good, you will actually feel genuinely good.
There is a 4th step you can add to the Quick Resourcing technique. Once you have stabilised a positive feeling in the body and mind, look at the problem situation again. Does it seem different to you now? Be open to any solutions that arise spontaneously from your intuition.
There is a simple rule I now follow in my personal and professional life: Never take a decision while feeling stressed, anxious or depressed.
No matter how much the situation cries out for some kind of action, I won’t do anything until I am feeling better and I have full access to the resources of both heart and mind. The Quick Resourcing technique has become a part of my daily life and I share it with all my clients.
Try it yourself and see how it can shift you out of the blues and get you back in the game again.
Suggested Reading: Tips for Stress Recovery