How Business Stress Affects Your Health
Many new business owners suffer from business stress because they struggle with cash flow problems during the first year or so after starting a new business. Is your business not performing as well as you would like? If not, and particularly if the main issue is cash flow problems, then you probably pay a lot of attention to your bank balance and budgets, but what you may not realize is how much being snowed under with balancing the books worries can affect your health.
According to a recently release report on business stress the number of companies entering some form of insolvency administration in the month of April 2011 is the highest April number recorded since 1999. It is a 10% increase over the previous April and a 23% increase over the average of the previous 5 years.
Business stress management is not a joke. If you don’t take early physical signs seriously, you could run the risk of serious health issues such as heart disease, migraines and a plethora of other health problems that will cost you more then your business in the long run.
Business Stress Indicators
When it comes to budgeting and cash flow management, it’s extremely important to set and achieve your goals. However, if this effort stresses you to the level where it becomes a major health issue, it simply isn’t worth it. That isn’t to say that taking financial responsibility is a bad thing, but if you’re overdoing, it could defeat the very reason of why you’re doing it in first instance – to build a prosperous business and live a comfortable lifestyle.
A study by Associated Press and AOL includes the following statistics:
Ulcers: 27% of people with financial problems suffer from ulcers or other digestive tract problems versus just 8% of people without financial worries.
Migraine: 44% of people with high financial stress have suffered from migraines or other headaches as opposed to only 15% of those with low levels of stress.
High Blood Pressure: 33% of people facing financial issues have problems with high blood pressure or hypertension compared to only 26% of those with low levels of stress from financial worries.
Other health problems experienced at a higher rate by people in financial trouble include anxiety, depression, heart attack and insomnia. If you’re prone to any of these ailments, it’s time to take stock and start dealing with your business stress
Business Stress Management
If your business finances are getting out of control or any other business issues seem to throw up major hurdles, it’s time to take action. Business stress can arise from several situations. Identify the underlying issues and then start working to eliminate them from your business.
Debt: If your outstanding accounts are piling up and you wonder how to get on top of it, start by looking for professional help either by going to a financial advisor or enrolling in a small business course. I know from experience that it can be hard to acknowledge the reality of your financial situation, but continuing with angst and uncertainty is not going to improve your business. The sooner you start to tackle the problem head on the better it will be for you your personal health as well as the health of your business.
The longer you delay taking action, the more you’ll damage yourself emotionally, mentally as well as physically and the more that your business will suffer. Remind yourself why you’re working so hard to build your business in the first place. It certainly isn’t just so you can keep you worrying about it forever.
Coping with Stress
When a new business owner is trying to deal with financial stress, it is not unusual to feel totally engulfed in it even though it’s often just one aspect of the overall picture. Successfully coping with your business pressures requires proper recognition of all the demands that are placed on you and that making your body react in this way.
Once you are able to do that, try to work out if these demands and your expectations are actually realistic and achievable. If not, re-state and refine your goals to targets that are more reasonable. If you find that your existing goals are realistic then have a close look at why you are missing your targets. More often then not, coping with business stress is actually as simple as becoming more accountable for tracking the measurements that you’ve set to achieve your goals.
One final and most important point; try to find time to relax regularly even if it is only short breaks and don’t forget to make time for some exercise. Physical health promotes mental health which in turn is a major factor in how to deal with stress. Your business is a sizable combination of varying aspects. Don’t allow one specific problem area to dictate everything else. Make sure that you allocate at least a small part of your day to enjoying the things that take you away from the business and that you love doing. Be that a stroll in the park, relaxing with a good book or watching your favorite TV show or movie, make sure that you find time to appreciate the finer things in your life and your business.
Building a successful new business may be your primary goal in life but if you don’t stop to think about how business stress can affect your health you may well find yourself in a position where you won’t be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.