Stress is an accepted part of business life, but left unchecked, it can transition from being an essential tool for getting through that task list to something that affects both our mental and physical health.
It is clear that actively working towards a healthy mind for the entrepreneur could translate into tangible profits and lead to a future defined by prosperity. Here are seven steps to a healthy mind for your healthy business:
1. Indulge in Exercise (It’ll Boost Your Brainpower)
Exercise of any variety has long been linked with the happiness hormone that is serotonin, and recent research has even linked exercise with reduced rates of dementia.
In business, a short amount of exercise each day can lead to mental clarity, reduced stress levels, and a chance to step away from the constantly ringing phone and always pinging email.
Quick tip: Don’t set yourself up for a fall. As a busy entrepreneur, you only have so much time and energy to commit to exercise. Start simple, perhaps with just 10 minutes walking a day, and go from there.
2. Be Curious
Recent research has found that curiosity is linked to boosted memory functions, and being committed to lifelong learning is something that every entrepreneur can benefit from.
Quick tip: Always seek out new information. Find thought leaders in your industry and be inspired by the speeches of entrepreneurs who have achieved incredible success (a great place to start is with TED Talks).
3. Live in a Simple Office Space
The saying that a cluttered home is a sign of a cluttered mind may well have just been proven to be more than an overused expression, as one study in this area found that mess is indeed linked to a reduced ability to focus.
Quick tip: Remove anything that you don’t need from your work area. This includes piles of papers, folders, and Post-it notes. Switch to one of the many paperless apps that are available and boost your productivity and organization in the process.
4. Set Aside Time for Meditation
You may hear the word meditation and instantly conquer up images of lycra, impossible yoga poses, and a group of new age hipsters sitting around humming. Yet meditation in its purest form is simply about a completely clear mind.
Quick tip: Take 10 minutes each and every day (without fail) to sit in a quiet, uncluttered space. Close your eyes, breathe slowly, and allow any thoughts that pop up to pass.
5. Indulge in Healthy Eating (and Eat These Seven Happiness Inducing Superfoods)
The connection between our diet and our mind-set is well documented, yet what is not so well known is the vast array of mood enhancing foods that can help to reduce stress, ease anxiety, and even reduce the potential for depression.
Quick tip: Regularly eating Brazil nuts, lentils, oats, oily fish, bananas, chicken, and spinach have all been linked to better mind-sets that are sustained for longer periods of time.
6. Clear Your Mind for the Day the Night Before
Going to bed with much on your mind is a fast track route to a bad night’s sleep. Not only can thoughts circle that delay sleep, they can also stop you from entering a deep sleep altogether.
Quick tip: Keep a notepad by your bed to jot down any last minute thoughts, and get into the habit of reviewing your day ahead a few hours prior to hitting the hay. You should also keep your bedroom as an exclusive area for sleeping only rather than for sending emails, taking calls, completing last minute work, and whatever else regularly pops up on your bedroom/boardroom agenda.
7. Take Time Out
This really is a no-brainer — even Richard Branson needs a holiday (and in fact, his move to offering employees unlimited holidays is a sure fire sign that recuperation is great for business).
Quick tip: Pencil in consistent time off — whether this be a single day during the week or an entire weekend — and work towards understanding when your body and brain are telling you that it’s time to take a break.
About the Author
Anna Lemos is the digital content lead at Company Formations 247, an online company formations organization.