Stress sucks. There’s really no other way to put it. As a busy bee working to build a business, you’ve no doubt found yourself in stressful situations. The hustle is real and so is the struggle. This is especially true for you solopreneurs out there trying to do it all on your own.
Stress and anxiety can become these annoying gnats that follow you around. In fact, you might be so used to stress in certain situations that you just accept it as a cost of doing business. Don’t! The costs are just too high.
Physically, stress wreaks havoc on your body in ways big and small. Stress related hormones cause wrinkles, weight gain, inflammation, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s. Not to mention, bad habits like a poor diet, lack of sleep, and non-existent fitness routines can also be affected. In other words, stress can seriously limit the quality, and in some cases, the longevity of your life.
So what’s a girl to do?
No worries, we’ve got your back. Below are six of the very best TED talks on managing and dealing with stress. Each talk approaches the topic from a slightly different angle, but watch them all and you’ll be well on your way to taming the stress monster in your life.
How To Make Stress Your Friend – Kelly McGonigal
Kelly McGonigal wants you to change the way you think about stress. Research has shown that the belief that stress is harmful, more so than stress itself, is actually what harms your body. According to McGonigal, you can stop the negative effects of stress simply by believing stress is helpful. She also explains the “cuddle hormone” and the way in which stress is designed to help us seek out connection. Cuddle anyone?
All It Takes Is Ten Mindful Minutes – Andy Puddicombe
Ask any expert on stress and they will tell you mindfulness, aka staying in the present moment, is one of the most effective ways to stop stress in its tracks. The challenge is that our minds are lost in thought 47% of the time, making mindfulness and uphill battle. In this talk, Andy Puddicombe will share his story of staying in the now through meditation. As he puts it, the goal is not to stop thoughts or control the mind, but to step back and witness the thoughts coming and going without judgement.
How To Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed – Daniel Levitin
Stress releases the hormone cortisol into your bloodstream, which clouds your thinking. If you want to make better decisions when you’re under pressure, Daniel Levitin suggests something called “prospective hindsight.” Prospective hindsight is when you imagine everything that could go wrong in a situation and then make a plan to prevent it ahead of time. In other words, you plan ahead so you won’t have to make critical decisions when the temperature rises. This doesn’t eliminate stress, but it will help you perform better in a stressful situation.
You Are Your Greatest Ally – Jessica Amos
Anxiety is apprehension over possible misfortune or danger which may, or may not, ever actually materialize. We spend countless hours wringing our hands over things that may never occur. In this quick talk, Jessica Amos shares a guided mediation to help you get centered, be present, and drop the worry.
Be The Warrior, Not The Worrier – Angela Cerberano
Like Kelly McGonigal, Angela Cerberano wants you to change the way you think about anxiety. She believes anxiety is a strength you can use to your advantage if you’re willing to take it head-on. A go-getter, Cerberano started her own public relations company in her twenties and realized that while she was confident and outgoing in her professional life, she was anxious and withdrawn in her personal life. She leaned into her fear by starting a YouTube channel and shows us all that by becoming a fear warrior, you can increase your happiness and reduce your anxiety. Doesn’t that sound good?
The Art of Stillness – Pico Iyer
As Pico Iyer states in his talk, “It’s not our experience that makes our lives, it’s what we do with it.” Iyer shares his story of stillness and his decision to move to Kyoto, Japan where he created more by having less. Only by stepping back and being still can we really see the canvas that is our lives.