Managing the stress of a high-stress job

People with high stress jobs—surgeons, lawyers, entrepreneurs, business owner—carry more stress and anxiety than do others, as the name suggests. They are more likely to have anxiety disorders, be depressed, and feel guilt and shame when they fail.

Shame is highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, and eating disorders. Luckily, there are ways to combat this shame. 

1)      Be vulnerable.

We believe we should be able to do it all. We believe we should be able to do everything perfectly. But we can’t. When we fail we try to put on a strong demeanor, but inside we feel broken.

This is probably the biggest source of stress for business people, but it doesn’t have to be. Reveling in your vulnerability can be life-altering. Learn to lean on your friends and family. Bounce your ideas and worries off your loved ones. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and then be there for your loved ones when they are vulnerable.


2)      Don’t worry about the competition.

Other people are making similar products as you and offering similar services. You will always have competitors, but you cannot control what they do. You can only control your own actions, strategies, and reactions. Don’t worry about the competition.


3)      Focus on real people.

You have a high-stress job and you are all always “on.” Your phone is constantly buzzing with emails and calls. You can’t go to the movies without being interrupted by an angry email from a client about “something you must attend to right NOW.” It is okay to give yourself time off.

 Don’t forsake your relationships under the guise of moving your business forward. When you are with your loved ones be all there. There are apps and plugins to help you do this. Chrome Nanny is a good one, but you know what’s even better? Leave your phone at home or in the glove box. Just for an hour or two.


4)      Exercise often and eat well.

Exercise is an excellent stress reliever. Diet and exercise are associated with improved energy, but they also ward off sickness. We all know what a sick day or three can be devastating for your career.  Exercise gets your body moving, but your brain will follow. Experiencing an "block?" Hop on the treadmill for 20 minutes and see what you come up with.


Written by Catherine Clubb-Brown, intern

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