November 24, 2014
I suffer from anxiety. I sometimes feel that dread and agitation in my chest associated with an unidentified danger that only exists in my mind. I start to worry about the future and things that have not happened (but they could) and forget to enjoy the moment. This is something I deal with, and so do many adults: 40 million of them in the U.S., to be more exact (18% of the U.S population).
Only recently have entrepreneurs in the tech industry started talking about the toll that startup life has on their mental health. Companies and even founders themselves have started to take the steps to create a work-life balance that help them keep their bodies and minds healthy. It’s not an easy task, but there are habits you can avoid that trigger your anxiety:
1. Too Much Coffee
This is a no-brainer but a tough one to give up when you’re working long hours. Caffeine is a stimulant and it directly affects your “fight or flight” response which is not good, unless you actually need to fight or run away. Drink tea instead.
2. Sleep Deprivation
If you are not sleeping enough hours, it’s time to figure out that sleep schedule. New research shows sleep deprivation can trigger anxiety. Making it even worse, anxiety can cause insomnia.
3. Lack of Control Over Schedule
If your weekly schedule is hectic and you feel like you’re losing control over time, let’s be honest; ANYONE will feel anxious. Feeling rushed or out of control can produce anxiety. So every Monday morning, take a look at your week and make sure all of your scheduled meetings are doable.
4. Too Much Sugar
This is my number one issue. The mood spike and then the drop is not good. Try switching to sweet potatoes or avocado instead, which have a mild sweetness, but can also produce a calming effect.
5. You Fear Being Wrong
For an industry that embraces failure and lessons learned, lots of entrepreneurs don’t like to be wrong. It’s a pride thing. But to accept your fault is empowering. Just like a startup, you can learn from these mistakes and use the information to be happy. By fearing the idea of being wrong, we are evading the opportunity to discover such happiness. Being open to relying on what’s left to learn rather than only what we know allows us every day to learn to let go.
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