Overwhelmed? 15 Entrepreneurs Share Their Stress-Relief Secrets

Stress is a natural part of life, especially as an entrepreneur. Running a business really can be a 24/7 job, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by your never-ending to-do list.

If you’ve reached the point where stress is hurting your ability to focus on work, that’s the time to take a deep breath and step back for a moment. Try one of these stress-relief techniques recommended by Young Entrepreneur Council.

Breathing Meditation




I simply imagine I’m breathing in white light and breathing out all the stress, anger and anxiety in the form of black smoke. By doing this for about five minutes, I find myself calming and my mind settling down. This meditation helps to wash our minds from negativity. Having thrown out painful, negative thoughts, I am then ready to regain focus on work. – Marcela De VivoMulligan Funding





When I’m overwhelmed I have a few go-to techniques to calm the system, but my number one is the foot reflexology spots that are now all over Manhattan. For only $25, you get to relax for an hour while having someone remove all the stress in your feet which travels to the rest of your body. – Michael SinenskyFunbars

Spend Time with Your Mentor




I have business mentors with whom I always share my work and progress. I talk to them every month to go through what I have been doing and the results that are being produced. These sessions help me understand the tasks that are making me overwhelmed and not producing results. Something that I could not do myself, without talking to mentors, it helps me weed out unproductive activities. – Piyush JainSIMpalm

Organize and Prioritize




I am most out of control and overwhelmed when I am doing too many things at once without any real prioritization. Last week, I had a whiteboard full of projects. I put them into four categories: 1. urgent and important, 2. not urgent and important, 3. urgent and unimportant, and 4. not urgent and not important. This made the overwhelm factor decrease because it was now a focused effort on what matters. – Klyn ElsburyLandmark Makers

Listen to Music




When things get rough in the office, I throw on my headphones and blast music to change my thought process for a few moments. I actually created a specific playlist for this that always seems to get me motivated and stress-free. – Jessica GonzalezInCharged

Draw On Inspiration




When stress climbs and focus begins to shift into the unproductive zone, I listen to a business audiobook or podcast as a way to hear how others overcame their challenges and thrived. It is a direct and personal way to problem-solve through the learning and sharing of others, and it is exciting to know my challenges can be managed and overcome as well. – Paul FordOrchestraRx





Call it animal instinct, but punching something as hard as you can over and over tends to alleviate a ton of stress, tension, and frustration. I’ve been boxing for months, and it has not only helped me remain calm in stressful situations but it starts my day in a zen-like state as I’ve already punched most of my frustrations out before even entering the office! – Kim KaupeZinePak

Fixed Firm Pose




In Bikram Yoga, there’s a pose called fixed firm pose. Think of a piece of paper: you fold the top quarter away from you and lay it down on the table. If your body is the paper, your knees are the crease. The first time I was able to get into this pose, I felt my back crack. I panicked. Thought I might not walk again. But my knees ached – I still felt my legs. That moment put life in perspective. – Stanley MeytinTrue Film Production

Leave the Office




It’s so easy for founders to get caught in the weeds. Drop what you’re doing. Go for a walk or to the gym, and think about the one or two metrics that move the needle for your business. Re-focus your time and effort around how to improve those numbers, and throw everything else off your to-do list. – Ben JabbawyPrivy





For me, the best way to alleviate stress is to sweat it out. I like to break up my week with a little kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, CrossFit, or cycling. The key is to keep moving and get some cardio in. This has always proven to be the best outlet for me to help re-center my focus on the task at hand. – Codie Sanchezwww.CodieSanchez.com

Eat Dark Chocolate




A couple squares a day keeps the stress away. Chocolate is proven to boost your serotonin levels (the feel-good hormone). It also lowers blood pressure, improves heart circulation and makes you a whole lot friendlier. The key is dark chocolate, 60 to 75 percent cacao or higher – the less sugar, the better. And remember, the moment you choose milk chocolate, all the health benefits melt away. – Michael MargolisGet Storied

Drink Tea




For me, a bit of tea and prayer are helpful in moving things along and calming down. A short walk, sometimes with the family, is also a good way to bring some relief to a weary day or troubling time. It’s best to find a bit of responsible escape and remove yourself momentarily from difficult situations to regain your focus. – Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now

Focus on One Thing




It’s easy to become overwhelmed. The simple way to cut through that and alleviate your stress is to figure out the one most important thing to do at that moment and focus on that. If you try to do too much at once, you won’t get anything done. Do one thing at a time, and you’ll quickly find yourself as a more relaxed, successful entrepreneur. – Ben LandisFanbase

Schedule Device-Free Breaks




Everyone feels like they must be available all day, every day, but it’s not healthy or necessary. Whenever stress is getting the best of you, get offline and turn off your phone. Disconnecting for 15 minutes or having lunch outside, away from your devices, can lower your stress levels. Don’t wait until you are completely overwhelmed – schedule breaks throughout your day to keep yourself grounded. – Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

Visualize Your Successful Future




Whenever I feel overwhelmed with entrepreneurial endeavors, I think back to why I started them in the first place. I channel that excitement, gratitude, and joy for how far I’ve already come. I imagine my future ‘successful self’ literally reaching back through time, encouraging me and pulling me forward towards my goal. – Rachel BeiderMassage Greenpoint

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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