Entrepreneurs are constantly under significant amounts of stress. Much of what we do requires us to live at least a little bit on the edge. We take risks. We think outside the box. We blaze trails and take the lead.
All of this can be fascinating and exciting!
But it can also lead to difficulty if you don’t have the energy you need to deliver what is needed for your business to thrive. You are responsible for yourself and others, which means you need to make sure you have the physical vitality to stay the course.
Brian had been pushing himself for many months while trying to start a new business. He burned the candle at both ends. He didn’t sleep enough. He ate unhealthy convenience foods filled with empty calories. And he certainly didn’t think he had the time or energy to exercise!
Because of this, Brian found himself exhausted all the time, barely able to keep up with the pace his life required. He fell into a vicious cycle, with big projects causing him to work late into the night and survive on fewer hours of sleep. But he was so tired that he wasn’t actually performing well. He was headed down the road toward crashing and burning.
As he was working on shifting his mindset and improving his mental toughness, Brian was working with a business mentor. At first, when his mentor asked him about his diet and exercise habits, Brian didn’t understand the connection. What he didn’t realise is that he needed to be a whole, healthy person in order to access peak performance in his business endeavors.
When Brian made the commitment to start living a healthier lifestyle all-around, he began seeing the results not only in his personal life and health, but also in his business. Some of the changes were simple (like drinking more water!) while others took a bit more discipline.
Consider just a few of the ways that Brian seeks to build into his physical health and vitality:
Healthy Sleep Habits.
According to Harvard Business Review, people who sleep better lead better. Although the work-aholic culture might purport that you don’t have time to sleep, science shows us that people who have healthy sleep habits are more creative, motivated, ethical, and inspiring. In addition, interpersonal relationships are better among teams whose leaders practice and encourage healthy sleep hygiene.
Drink Enough Water.
Most people know that our bodies are made up of a large percentage of water and it is important to stay hydrated. But many people don’t know that water not only affects our physical health but also our cognitive functioning and mood. Hydrating properly can protect the brain tissue from shrinking which can result in improved cognitive abilities, as well as regulation of body temperature, weight control, and even improved performance while driving (protecting from accidents and injuries).
The European Hydration Institute recommends that adults drink 8.5 cups / 2 liter of water per day. So fill up your water bottle and get into the simple habit of taking it with you so that you can be sure to function within peak hydration!
De-Stress using Breathing/Meditation.
The world is fast-paced and if we don’t intentionally slow down once in a while, we can find ourselves falling apart. One excellent way to remove the ill effects of stress on your mental and physical health is by practicing meditation and breathing exercises. Some experts suggest that meditation helps to reduce stress, improve emotional intelligence, intensify concentration/focus, promote creativity, and maximise performance.
Whether you meditate for an hour each morning, or simply incorporate ten minutes of breathing exercise into your lunch break, you’ll find yourself with a clear mind and healthier body.
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