• VentureWell
  • Posts
  • Easily reduce stress and anxiety with this method

Easily reduce stress and anxiety with this method

Being an entrepreneur comes with it’s fair share of stress and anxiety.

Managing this -and the many other duties of your work and life - requires a great deal of self-awareness.

Once you can acknowledge how you’re feeling, you’re better equipped to respond to events in an effective manner rather than reacting.

You can make better business decisions and move in the right direction.

How can you turn-up your self-awareness dial when stress and anxiety increase?

Mindful breathing.

Mindful breathing holds profound importance for your mental health.

You’ll often face high levels of stress and pressure, so by positively impacting your autonomic nervous system (ANS), mindful breathing will enhance your mood, reduce anxiety, and promote your overall well-being. 

“Impact my what!?”

Ya, I thought you might be wondering what that is.

Let’s get nerdy for a moment…

Mindful breathing engages the parasympathetic branch of your autonomic nervous system, allowing you to activate the body's relaxation response. 

This shift from the stress-inducing sympathetic state (fight or flight) to the calming parasympathetic state (rest and digest) promotes a decrease in your heart rate, stabilizes blood pressure, and lowers the release of stress hormones like cortisol.

These physiological changes induce a sense of calm and serenity, facilitating a more centered and focused state of mind.

Furthermore, the practice of mindful breathing redirects attention from negative thought patterns and worries, promoting a greater sense of present-moment awareness and reducing cognitive distress.

This heightened state of mindfulness will empower you to approach challenges with clarity and resilience.

Talk about a much-needed state as a busy entrepreneur!

One study published in 2014 in the Academy of Management Proceedings by Hafenbrack, Kinias, and Barsade, supports the benefits of mindful breathing for your mental health.

The study examined the impact of a brief mindfulness exercise, which included mindful breathing, on participants stress levels and decision-making performance. 

The results indicated a significant reduction in stress levels and an improvement in decision-making abilities among the participants who engaged in the mindfulness exercise.

This study provides some evidence of the positive effects of mindful breathing on stress reduction and cognitive functioning.

By positively influencing your autonomic nervous system, mindful breathing enhances your mood, reduces anxiety, and fosters resilience.

As an entrepreneur, investing time in mindful breathing isn't just good for you—it's good for your business.

By promoting mental well-being and enhancing focus and emotional stability, mindful breathing equips you with with another tool you can use to successfully navigate the entrepreneurial journey.

Practice it

Today, try spending at least one minute practicing mindfulness with one of these breathing exercises.

A great tip is to try one of these methods at transitional moments throughout your day.

For example: After waking up, before going to bed, between meetings, right before you eat a meal, shutting off your computer after work, etc.

Instead of racing into the next thing, refocus your mind by bringing attention toward your breath.

Pick one of the following breathing exercises to focus on today

Physiological Sigh - Reduce stress and anxiety

5 in 5 out - Promote calm and balance

4-7-8 breathing - Relaxation, lower anxiety, and induce sleep

Box breathing - Increase focus and clarity. Note: video is with 2 second intervals. You can also move up to 4 second intervals if you like.

Checking in

What did you notice before, during, and after you practiced your breathing exercise today? There are no wrong answers here.

References

Hafenbrack, A. C., Kinias, Z., & Barsade, S. G. (2014). Debiasing the mind through meditation: Mindfulness and the sunk-cost bias. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2014(1).

Let’s help the collective entrepreneur-sphere enhance their well-being.

Please share VentureWell with a colleague!

Join the conversation

or to participate.