Entrepreneurship is a challenging endeavor that requires a lot of effort and dedication. Entrepreneurship is full of times when stress and pressure come into play, but most entrepreneurs will only show the sales and hundreds of orders. Nobody shows the slow months, disputes, rude customers and difficult vendors, lost packages, delayed shipments and long work days. In reality, entrepreneurs are forced to overwork, experience doubt and worry about getting consistent sales.
Keeping up with the demands of running a business is difficult, but it is a worthwhile endeavor. A correct approach can make it easier for you to run a “small” business and make it happen! This article will discuss a few solutions that can help you to manage pressure and stress in running your business. Let’s dive in!
1. Have a positive attitude
A positive attitude is one of the most important traits of a successful entrepreneur. A positive attitude towards work, customers and business partners is essential to achieving goals and building a successful business. Stress and pressure are inevitable in any business, but a positive attitude can help you deal with them and stay focused on your goals. A positive attitude can also help you to see challenges as opportunities, and it can also help you to stay motivated and focused on your goals. A positive attitude is not always easy, but it is worth it.
2. Find a support system
Support systems can be a helpful way of managing stress and pressure as an entrepreneur. Many people find them helpful in relieving the pressure and helping to stay organized. Many different support systems are available, so it is important to find the one most comfortable for you. Some of the most common support systems include joining an entrepreneurial community and finding a mentor.
A properly functioning support system can help entrepreneurs deal with issues without worrying about them. This can help them to focus on their business and not have to worry about the personal aspects of their life. An effective support system translates to increased individual and business productivity.
3. Maintain a work-life balance
A work-life balance is something that is often talked about but not always practiced. Many people consider work-life balance a luxury, but it’s not. With the ever-growing levels of pressure and stress in today’s society, finding a way to balance your work and personal life is more important than ever. Working too much and neglecting our personal lives can lead to much pressure and stress.
Lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, and too much caffeine can all add up over the long run and hurt our mental and physical health. Without mental and physical fitness, we may feel like we can’t succeed without putting in the extra hours, and we may start to feel overwhelmed by our work. While there are many ways to maintain a work-life balance, some of the most common methods are setting reasonable expectations, exercising, resting and maintaining a healthy diet.
4. Find a hobby
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands of being an entrepreneur, consider finding a hobby to help take your mind off things. Hobbies offer a sense of relaxation, a diversion from the hectic tasks of running a business and the opportunity to share one’s creativity with others. Choosing something you’re passionate about can help reignite your enthusiasm and help you stay focused.
Many options are available when choosing a hobby, and you don’t have to be an expert to start. Just be sure to choose something you’ll enjoy, and you’ll be able to stay focused while you work. Hobbies can provide a sense of accomplishment and contribute to a sense of well-being.
5. Hire staff to help or delegate duties
Delegating duties as a way of dealing with pressure and stress can be difficult, but with the help of the right people, it can be done. When faced with high-stress levels, many entrepreneurs turn to hiring staff or delegating some of the work to other team members. This helps them take some of the load off and enables them to create time for themselves. For example, hiring an administrative assistant can help to alleviate some of the pressure and stress associated with running a business.
6. Develop an action plan
Action plans are an essential component of any successful business. They can help you deal with pressure and stress and, ultimately, increase your chances of success. With a plan in place, you can anticipate challenges and make the necessary adjustments to keep your business on track.
An action plan can help you stay on track and set goals and progress. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating your plan. Make sure to consider your goals, the available resources, and the time commitment you’re willing to make.
7. Ask for help
Entrepreneurs are often lauded for their ability to go it alone. But many people don’t realize that even the most successful entrepreneurs have a team of people they can rely on for advice. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. It shows that you’re willing to admit when you need help and are open to suggestions from others. Asking for help is a sign of maturity and wisdom.
There’s a psychological and physical price to entrepreneurship that simply needs to be acknowledged by every entrepreneur, both novice and experienced. Building and running a business is more stressful than you initially imagine or anticipate
There’s always the pressure of failing – as simple as that. Not every business goes well. You’re taking responsibility for a team of partners and employees. You make promises you’re not always entirely sure you can deliver. Even when you’re experiencing success, it’s not entirely a 100% sure thing. I almost shut down a business that was profitable because I didn’t count on it growing so fast.
It’s a great thing to see and experience but my cash flow deficit was nine times more than in the beginning. Once that ball starts rolling, it’s difficult to stop it. You scramble to find money and solve the problem (which is a bit absurd as the business isn’t going under) in real time, all the while taking care of your employees who are hanging by a thread of your actions.
The thing is – you can’t really shake off their pressure and incoming stress because they want to feel secure, and you project the image of that security. Even though entrepreneurs are a self-determined and intelligent bunch, many feel the profound and influencing pressure effects that the surroundings exert on them. Yet, they also feel they can’t be leaders and at the same time admit they’re struggling.
Whether as a group we are embarrassed to admit we’re vulnerable, see it as a weakness, or whatever the reason is, entrepreneurial pressure isn’t discussed nearly enough. That’s a mistake. Don’t be fooled by the successful image the leaders you look up to convey. It’s like social media – people only show the highlights. But I assure you – all entrepreneurs struggle with pressure and the sooner you address it, the faster and better you can manage it and become a better entrepreneur.
Too many times as entrepreneurs we get so focused on success that taking care of ourselves takes a backseat. Such MO takes a toll on the wellbeing of an entrepreneur. The very nature of this job is to juggle many roles while facing the constant risk of failure, various setbacks and ongoing voices in our heads and around us telling us we must succeed. And every single one of us, regardless of how experienced or inexperienced we are, face some version of these defeats along the way.
Being aware of the amount of pressure this line of work entails is an important first step in managing and mitigating the potential negative effects. For some, this is still a taboo topic despite recent efforts to popularize discussions about mental health. It shouldn’t be and we mustn’t let it be.
Dealing with pressure ultimately boils down to personal perspective and the importance you place on the task at hand. By being aware, you can prevent (or stop) sabotaging yourself and lead a healthier and more productive life and business. Will the world really end tomorrow if you don’t succeed 100% of the time? I don’t think so. And the paradox? The less stressed you’ll be, the higher your success rate.
Once you’re aware of what you’ll be likely facing down the road, it’s easier to be prepared to deal with it head-on. Learning to cope with and perform under pressure is crucial not only to be successful but also to be effective while doing it. Speaking from a competitive standpoint, you risk falling behind those who do master handling the scenarios where a major hurdle comes up. And in this often cutthroat environment, recovery will be extremely hard.
The ancients were fond of an expression: Character is fate. It means that character is deterministic, that who you are determines what you will do. Self-discipline is one of those special things that is both predictive and deterministic. It both predicts that you will be great, AND it makes whatever you are doing great. It is not a means to an end.
It is not just something we value until we get something we think we might really value—this job title, that amount of money, winning the biggest game, landing the best opportunity. No. Discipline is the win. When you are disciplined about your craft…you win. When you know you put your best into something…you win. When your self-worth is tied to things you can control (effort, for example)…you win.
This is what I mean when I say, as I titled my latest book, Discipline is Destiny. Who we are, the standards we hold ourselves to, the things we do regularly—in the end, these are all better predictors of the trajectory of our lives than things like talent, resources, or anything else. So here, adapted from my latest book, Discipline is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control, are 25 habits that will put you on the best trajectory possible.
1. Attack the dawn. The morning hours are the most productive hours. Because in the morning, you are free. Hemingway would talk about how he’d get up early because early, there was, “no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.” Toni Morrison found she was just more confident in the morning, before the day had exacted its toll and the mind was fresh. Like most of us, she realized she was just, “not very bright or very witty or very inventive after the sun goes down.” Who can be? After a day of banal conversations, frustrations, mistakes, and exhaustion.
2. Quit being a slave. On an ordinary afternoon in 1949, the physicist Richard Feynman was going about his business when he felt a pull to have a drink. Not an intense craving by any means, but it was a disconcerting desire for alcohol. On the spot, Feynman gave up drinking right then and there. Nothing, he felt, should have that kind of power over him. At the core of the idea of self-mastery is an instinctive reaction against anything that masters us. We have to drop bad habits. We have to quit being a slave—to cigarettes or soda, to likes on social media, to work, or your lust for power. The body can’t be in charge. Neither can the habit. We have to be the boss.
3. Just be about the work. Before he was a big time comedian, Hasan Minhaj was asked if he thought he was going to make it big. “I don’t like that question,” he said. “I fundamentally don’t like that question.” Because the question implies that doing comedy is a means to an end—the Netflix special, selling out the stadium, doing this, getting that. “No, no, no,” he said, “I get to do comedy…I won. It being predicated on doing X or being bigger than Y—no, no, no. To me, it’s always just been about the work. I’m on house money, full time.”
4. Manage the load. “Absolute activity, of whatever kind,” Goethe said, “ultimately leads to bankruptcy.” No one is invincible. No one can carry on forever. We are all susceptible to what the American swimmer Simone Manuel has helped popularize: Overtraining Syndrome. Even iron eventually breaks, or wears out.
5. Do the hard things first. The poet and pacifist William Stafford put forth a daily rule: “Do the hard things first.” Don’t wait. Don’t tell yourself you’ll warm up to it. Don’t tell yourself you’ll get this other stuff out of the way and then…No. Do it now. Do it first. Get it over with.
6. Keep the main thing the main thing. “I wish I knew how people do good and long sustained work and still keep all kinds of other lines going–social, economic, etc,” John Steinbeck once wrote in the middle of the long grind of a novel. The truth is, they don’t! It is impossible to be committed to anything–professionally or personally–without the discipline to say no to all those other superfluous things.
7. Make little progress each day. One of the best rules I’ve heard as a writer is that the way to write a book is by producing “two crappy pages a day.” It’s by carving out a small win each and every day—getting words on the page—that a book is created. Hemingway once said that “the first draft of anything is shit,” and he’s right (I actually have that on my wall as a reminder).
8. Be kind to yourself. The Stoic philosopher Cleanthes was once walking through the streets of Athens when he came across a man berating himself for some failure. Seeing how upset he was, Cleanthes–normally one to mind his own business–could not help himself but to stop and say kindly, “Remember, you’re not talking to a bad man.” Discipline isn’t about beating yourself up. There’s a firmness involved, for sure.
Ultimately, after a lifetime of study of Stoicism, this is how Seneca came to judge his own growth—“What progress have I made?” he wrote. “I have begun to be a friend to myself.” It is an act of self discipline to be kind to the self. To be a good friend. To make yourself better. To celebrate your progress, however small. That’s what friends do.
9. Bring distinction to everything you do. Plutarch tells us about a general and statesman in Greece named Epaminondas who, despite his brilliance on and off the battlefield, was appointed to an insultingly minor office in Thebes responsible for the city’s sewers. In fact, it was because of his brilliance that he was put in this role, as a number of jealous and fearful rivals thought it would effectively end his career.
But instead of being provoked or despairing at his irrelevance, Epaminondas took fully to his new job, declaring that the distinction of the office isn’t brought to the man, the man brings the distinction to the office. With discipline and earnestness, Plutarch wrote, “he proceeded to transform that insignificant office into a great and respected honor, even though previously it had involved nothing more than overseeing the clearing of dung and the diverting of water from the streets.”
10. Practice. The wonderfully curious economist Tyler Cowen has come to ask greats of various fields some version of the question: How do you practice your scales? What drills or exercises make you better at what you do? If a person wants to get better, wants to continue to develop and polish, they must know the answer to that question.
11. Be hard on yourself. “Take the cold bath bravely, ‘’ W.E.B Dubois wrote to his daughter. “Make yourself do unpleasant things so as to gain the upper hand of your soul.” By being hard on ourselves, it makes it harder for others to be hard on us. By being our own tyrant, we take away the power of tyrants over us.
12. View everything in the calm and mild light. George Washington had a mantra that always calmed him down when things seemed to be at their absolute worst. In a single two week period in 1797, Washington included it in three different letters. And later, in Washington’s greatest but probably least known moment, when he talked down the mutinous troops who were plotting to overthrow the U.S government at Newburgh, he said it, as he urged them away from acting on their anger and frustration. View everything, he liked to say, “in the calm light of mild philosophy.”
13. Stay in the saddle. There is an old German word sitzfleisch which means basically sitting your butt in the chair and not getting up until the task is complete. Even as it goes numb, even as one by one, the people around you call it a day. Showing up yourself, day after day, until your back aches, your eyes water, and your limbs turn to mush. Many a great conqueror in the days of horseback were called “Old Iron Ass” for their ability to stay in the saddle.
14. Get back up when you fall. It’s wonderfully fitting that in both the Zen tradition and the Bible, we have a version of the proverb about falling down seven times and getting up eight. Even the most self-disciplined of us will stagger. Marcus Aurelius said it was inevitable to be jarred by circumstances, but the key was to get back the rhythm as quickly as possible, to come back to yourself, rather than giving in.
15. Find your comrades. The Spartan lawgiver Lycurgus introduced the common mess hall and required that all citizens eat together. It was harder to eat more than your fair share, more than your healthy share, when you were surrounded by your comrades in battle.
16. Be a little deaf. We have to develop the ability to ignore, to endure, to forget. Not just cruel provocations from jerks, but also unintentional slights and mistakes from people we love or respect. “It helps to be a little deaf,” was the advice that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was given by her mother-in-law. It helped guide her through not just 56 years of marriage, but also a 27-year career on the court with colleagues she adored–but surely disagreed with on a regular basis.
17. Speak little. Robert Greene puts it perfectly: “Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.” They have the discipline and this discipline creates a powerful presence.
18. Focus. Ludwig van Beethoven was known for drifting off in social conversations. Are you even listening to me, a friend once asked. Sorry, Beethoven replied, “I was just occupied with such a lovely, deep thought, I couldn’t bear to be disturbed.” They called this his raptus. His flow state. His place of deep work. His profound concentrated periods of focus. The source of his musical greatness. We can all develop this skill. As Steve Jobs, speaking to his top designer Jonny Ive, would explain, “focus is not this thing you aspire to…or something you do on Monday. It’s something you do every minute.”
19. Delegate. Delegation is not cheap but it affords you the most expensive thing in the world: time. Not just any kind of time, but time to reflect and to think, a precious commodity to say the least. We need this space to learn, space to plan. An opportunity to examine what is important to us. To step back and look at how we’re doing in life. And when necessary, as we said above, to get back to keeping the main thing the main thing.
20. Hustle. “There’s no excuse for a player not hustling,” Lou Gehrig would say. “I believe every player owes it to himself, his club and to the public to hustle every minute he is on the ball field.” I’m not just about running, exactly, but about maximum effort. In any and every situation.
21. Slow down. There’s a difference between hustling and hurrying. They like to say in the military that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. The saying in the ancient world was festina lente. That is, to make haste slowly. Energy plus moderation. Measured exertion. Eagerness, but under control. “Slowly,” the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez would say, “you do everything correctly.”
22. Be strict only with yourself. It was said that the true majesty of Marcus Aurelius was that his exactingness was directed only at himself. He found a way to work with flawed people, putting them to service for the good of the empire, searching them for virtues which he celebrated, accepting their vices, which he knew were not in his control. Tolerant with others, he reminded himself, strict with yourself.
23. Get the little things right. Dating back, perhaps to time immemorial, is the poem and proverb about a horse. “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost,” it begins. And then because of the shoe, the horse was lost and because of the horse, the rider and because of the rider, the message and because of the message the battle and because of the battle, the kingdom. For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost. Because of poor discipline, everything was lost. Save yourself. Save the world. Get the little things right.
24. Beware perfectionism. As Churchill said, another way to spell “perfectionism” is p-a-r-a-l-y-s-i-s. Again, it’s good to have high standards but all virtues become vices if taken too far. An obsession with getting it perfect misses the forest for the trees–because ultimately the biggest miss of the target is failing to get your shot off.
25. Do your best. In an interview with Admiral Hyman Rickover for a chance to join the nuclear submarine program, a young Jimmy Carter was asked how he ranked in his class at the Naval Academy. “59th in a class of 840 sir,” Carter replied with pride. Rickover followed up with, “Did you always do your best?” Carter began to instinctively answer that of course he always did his best, but something inside of him caused him to pause and reconsider. “No, sir, I didn’t always do my best.”
Rickover didn’t say anything and just looked at Carter for a long time. Then he stood up, asked one final question, “Why not?”, and walked out of the room.The Stoics believed that, in the end, it’s not about what we do, it’s about who we are when we do it. They believed that anything you do well is noble, no matter how humble or impressive, as long as it’s the right thing. That greatness is up to you—it’s what you bring to everything you do.Temperance, as Cicero claimed, can be the fine polish on top of a great life.
It’s not a palace or a throne that makes someone impressive, the Stoics would say, but kingly behavior that does. It’s discipline, self-control. He wasn’t after power or status, he said, but, “perfection of character: to live your last day, every day, without frenzy or sloth or pretense.” He was after becoming the best version of himself possible, putting a fine polish on top of everything he did, no matter how humble or impressive.
The aim of Discipline is Destiny: The Power of Self-Control, is to teach you how to harness the powers of self-discipline. The Stoics believed that we are all born to fulfill a great destiny. And while not everyone’s destiny is the same, everyone’s destiny is achieved with self-discipline and self-control. Discipline is Destinyis a book that will help you fulfill yours.
Key success factors (also known as competitive emphasis or strategic posture) state the important elements required for a company to compete in its target markets. In effect, it articulates what the company must do, and do well, to achieve the goals outlined in its strategic plan. Examples would include agility, reliability, diversity and emotional connection with clients.
Key success factors are one of three elements a company’s management team must articulate as part of its strategic planning process, with the others being its strategic goals and its strategic scope. The decisions the management team makes about key success factors:
Directly addresses competitive forces (factors in the marketplace that can reduce profits)
Set direction for the behavioral expectations of the employees
Inform the knowledge, skill and behavioural requirements for a company to succeed
Provide the decision-making boundaries for execution plans, including organizational structure, sourcing,manufacturing, marketing and sales, tools, technologies, etc.
A strategic plan is a document that summarizes how a company plans to operate and grow over the next three to five years. It describes the business opportunities the company will pursue and how it will do so, presenting the decisions made by management in three areas:
Strategic goals—the financial and non-financial targets and expected results for the coming years
Strategic scope—the products and services that will be offered, to who and where
Young people today are thinking about their futures earlier than ever before. Gone are the days of, “I’ll figure out my major before I graduate.” Instead, these are the days of lemonade stands that turn into business plans, seed money, and a resulting entrepreneurial journey.
In many respects, branding comes early on the journey of the very young, also known as Generation Alpha. According to an N.C. State article, Generation Alpha’s habits and outlooks reflect that of their Millennial parents. “As health-conscious caretakers, Millennial parents seek out a lot of information about the products they buy and expose their kids to,” says author Heather Dretsch. Like their parents, Alpha’s appear to seek high-quality, health-conscious, sustainable products with technology, diversity, and immediacy at the forefront.
The youth of today has been marketed through social media, television, apps, games, and other media outlets. But, according to Common Sense Media, advertisers are keenly aware of the long-term effects of getting their brand in front of youth as early as possible. “Advertisers know that kids greatly influence their parents’ buying decisions, to the tune of $500 billion per year,” cites Common Sense on advertising for kids.
However, in some industries, such as beauty products, advertisers tend to position their marketing from already established models that cater to adults more than young people. As a result, mature messaging is portrayed to a younger audience attempting to develop their identity and explore their emotional space in the world.
Samantha Cutler, the founder of Petite ‘n Pretty, harnessed 17 years of experience in product development in the professional make-up industry with such brands as Smashbox, MAC Cosmetics, and others to launch an age-appropriate product line for younger girls just learning to explore their personal development and sense of self.
Cutler recognized that if beauty products were already being marketed to a younger age bracket, she might as well offer a healthy, age-appropriate product that educates through inspiration, empowerment, equity, and inclusion.
While working at name brands, many friends and acquaintances would ask her if she could recommend products, and she realized how many products did not align with younger kids.
“I never had an answer, the products weren’t age-appropriate. Many of the products had suggestive naming conventions, or the colors were extremely pigmented, something many parents would not feel comfortable giving their daughter or son,” says Cutler.
Product integrity is essential to Cutler, and some marketed merchandise did not represent clean beauty. In addition, some were produced overseas without proper testing that would appeal to parents wanting the safest products for their children.
As a mother herself, she knew there was a need. “I felt like there was this whitespace of opportunity in beauty, educating about beauty, and I always wanted to start a brand. But the beauty marketplace is saturated with 300 times the number of brands launching yearly than when I first started working. So I wanted to ensure there was a purpose behind what I did.”
Cutler concentrates mainly on the niche market from ages 7 to 12. While cutesy in nature, the company’s naming is steeped in feedback from the associations of younger kids and application principles. “I raddled off names to my three-year-old daughter and when the word ‘pretty’ came up, she instantly knew what it meant. There was a familiarity, and ‘pretty’ is a feeling that comes from within, a good feeling. Petite represents everything we produce. Everything is slightly smaller and gives a first user the best initial experience.”
At the core, Cutler is trying to bring confidence and comfort to kids by starting what she calls ‘the beauty journey’ and building within the offerings. “What I like to say is if your daughter or son is going to ride a bike for the first time, you’re not going to give them a mountain bike,” she says. “Everyone begins the journey at a different age, and we are here to support them and be their friend, knowing there are no mistakes along the way.”
Education Zoom Camps
During the pandemic, Cutler found the use of Zoom camps a tremendous educational and informative tool. “The camps were a great revenue driver for us and brand building experience. These kids were so bored and stuck at home, and ultimately it was an opportunity for us to create a fun brand-building experience with dynamic, engaging, creative activities.
Cutler’s ability to team up with influencers such as Piper Rockelle, with almost 10 million subscribers on YouTube, is part of the process of bringing people from other worlds together. Cutler has noticed that some influencers’ numbers skyrocket after the collaborative process. “There’s a fascinating dynamic with influencers, actresses, and dancers, and we bring them together for photo shoots. As a result, different audiences come together, and everyone begins to follow and learn from one another socially.”
Many brands try to go after the younger consumer. Still, Cutler recognizes that many brands are not directly integrating them into marketing or bringing them together for learning workshops or photo opportunities. “They know there’s an audience and a consumer that sits on TikTok all day, or Instagram, but they are not necessarily hiring a 12-year-old for a photoshoot. They’re trying to get the audience to engage with their brand but not directly.” It’s a direct relationship that appears to set Cutler’s efforts apart from others.
With 30% to 40% growth rates last year, Petite ‘n Pretty is looking to scale at a 30% rate this upcoming year. Online sales on Amazon and others have been a success and Cutler is moving back into Ulta.com stores this coming year. The projection is to build the branding in stores in the U.S. with international efforts on the horizon.
Cutler’s approach is a more hands-on collaborative effort. An iterative educational process that learns about the younger generation while at the same time generating consumer behavior habits that are authentic to their consumer needs. Cutler recognizes that the younger generation isn’t necessarily and habitually brand loyal, but more driven by a loyalty found in authentic experiences that speaks to them and caters to the world they are forming.
Samantha Cutler found her entrepreneurial groove with her motherly instincts intact. Her thriving business illustrates the scale companies can grow if brands and proprietors maintain a sense of self along the way and educate themselves on the needs and understanding of the younger generation.
Even though cosmetics tend to be viewed as ‘outer’ oriented, Cutler is building a company of substance that stays true to the consumer base with the sensibility of market trends, sustainability, and safety.
If you don’t take care of your body, you will likely be exposed to avoidable health complications. Also, most people practice poor feeding habits without knowing it and may become victims of inadequate nutrition. You may need to add exercise to your health plan as long-term health goes beyond eating well. The following lifestyle changes are worth your effort to improve your health in the long term.
1. Start a Work-out Routine
A workout routine can be risky for those with a sedentary lifestyle, especially if they lead a stressful life and overeat. A workout routine should include cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Start with a general routine with specific elements like a warm-up, muscle groups being worked on, cool down, and stretching. Such a simple routine can help you become healthier. They may also help you build better habits like getting off the couch or taking breaks when working at the computer.
2. Practice Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is an ancient practice that heals the body and mind. It was designed to help individuals focus and work on their flexibility and strength. There are different types of yoga-like Bikram and vinyasa, among others. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of yoga, find a local instructor, and attend yoga classes regularly. You can research a 200 hour yoga teacher training for 2 weeks course if it becomes an ongoing interest for yourself. You can also do it at home or alone by looking up online tutorials on how to perform each pose correctly.
3. Eat Nutrient-rich Foods
A diet rich in nutrients is a healthy one. Eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables and fruits. It will help you maintain weight and keep your body hydrated and energized. It also promotes a healthy heart and boosts brain function. Include fish, lean meats, nuts, beans, and seeds in your diet. You can also add olive oil to your cooking to boost the flavor of meat dishes or grains. Also, you may need to eat fiber-rich foods. Fiber fills you up without adding fat or calories to your diet. It also helps with digestion and prevents constipation. You can add fiber to your diet by eating more fruits, nuts, seeds, and beans.
4. Avoid Excessive Drinking and Smoking
Too much alcohol damages your liver, heart, and other organs. Smoking reduces your lung capacity, damages arteries, and causes lung cancer. If you must drink and smoke, limit it to one drink or cigarette a day. You can also consider switching to less harmful alternatives like e-cigarettes or electronic hookah pens for smoking.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Water as a beverage is essential for life, but it is also necessary when working out regularly. You can also add a pinch of salt or lemon juice to make it more refreshing and flavorful. Drinking plenty of water helps you stay hydrated, prevents exercise-induced dehydration, promotes weight loss, and reduces the risk of heart disease.
6. Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugar is found in many drinks, but improper feeding patterns can also influence your weight. If you take in too much sugar during a meal, the digestive system gets confused, and you eat more throughout the day. It leads to weight gain. You can limit your intake of sugary drinks and choose water instead.
7. Sleep Well at Night
Sleep is crucial for your overall health. During sleep, the body recuperates, repairs damages, and builds immunity. Lack of sleep can also cause anxiety, depression, and heart problems. Most professionals recommend 8 hours of sleep a day. It is recommended to provide the body with adequate rest. People with busy schedules can still get the required amount by getting sufficient sleep.
8. Keep a Healthy Body Weight
Excess weight can affect your body’s functioning. It includes increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, and increased cholesterol levels. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight may improve your health significantly. Studies show that getting underweight increases the risk of death among the obese.
9. Go for Regular Health Checkups
Regular health checkups can detect early signs of illness and disease. It would help if you got checked regularly to ensure that you do not suffer from high blood pressure. It is a condition that increases your risk of death from complications like heart disease. You should also have your cholesterol levels checked every three to five years if the levels are high. If you do not have a regular doctor, consider private health checks for better healthcare options.
In conclusion, improving your lifestyle can lead to a healthier life. The lifestyle changes mentioned above are easy to implement and will improve your health in the long term.
I’m usually a pretty happy person, but about a year ago—perhaps due to a lack of social connections and laughter—I experienced a few dark months. During those months, I spent most of my waking hours (and probably nights as well) consumed with negative thoughts.
I woke up feeling angry in the morning, continued having negative thoughts most of the day, and went to bed in that same state of mind. Luckily, I didn’t have many opportunities to spread my negativity to others because we were in confinement.
On one of those moody mornings, I played a video of a spiritual teacher that a friend had recommended listening to while getting ready for the day.Halfway through the video, he said, “Humanity is ascending into more loving and conscious states of being. You are becoming more of who you truly are, which is love.”
At that moment, I caught my eyes in the mirror and stared at my unhappy face. “I’m not ascending. I’m descending further and further into the ‘hell’ in my own mind.”
My negativity was eating me alive, but, strangely, it was so addictive.
Since it had been escalating for some time (a few months by then) and had acquired a good bit of momentum, I really didn’t know if I’d be able to shift all that negativity into a more positive state of being. I knew that the longer I waited, though, the harder it would be.
Still looking at my face in the mirror, I noticed the corners of my mouth pointing slightly downward.
“If I continue like that, I’m going to get grumpy face wrinkles.”
I made my bed and then went to the kitchen. As the coffee was brewing, I grabbed my laptop and Googled “how to be a more positive person,” and I scribbled down a few ideas that resonated with me.
Later that day, after mixing and matching advice from different articles, I created what I called my “emotional hygiene routine.”
It’s a series of simple habits that I committed to doing most days of the week for an entire month (and still continue to do today on most days) and that, over that month, took me out of my depressive state and made me wake up smiling in the morning again.
I’d like to share them with you.
1. Fall asleep in the “vortex.”
One idea I came across in my research on being more positive came from Abraham Hicks:
“If you go to sleep in the vortex, you wake up in the vortex. If you go to sleep not in the vortex, you wake up not in the vortex.”
Being in the “vortex” refers to a state of pure positive energy. The idea in that quote is pretty straightforward: go to bed thinking positive thoughts and feeling happy feelings, and you’re more likely to wake up thinking and feeling positive in the morning.
I knew this had to be true. I knew it because when I went to bed thinking angry thoughts, I usually dreamed that I was unhappy and then woke up grumpy (and exhausted) in the morning.
So, I decided to try something. As I closed my eyes to sleep at night, I scanned the day from the moment I woke up until the present moment when I was lying in bed, and I tried to recall all the positive things (even tiny things) that had happened that day.
I could have thought about the delicious mocha latte that I drank that morning, the fact there wasn’t snow on the ground and that I was able to run outside in the afternoon, or a nice comment someone left on one of my videos.
I spent a few seconds remembering a happy moment before moving on to the next one. After scanning the entire day, I would do it again, trying to find even more subtle positive things, and I did this until I fell asleep.
This exercise is probably the number one thing that helped me (and still continues to help me) wake up happier in the morning.
2. Have something to look forward to on the following day.
Something else that has helped me wake up happier is having something to look forward to every day, even if I have a busy day ahead and have minimal free time available.
Still to this day, every evening, I schedule at least one activity that brings me joy for the following day. It can be going for a walk with a friend, baking cookies, or watching the sunset. It can also be as simple as wearing my favorite outfit.
Scheduling one activity that brings me joy for the following day gives my mind something fun to anticipate and puts me in a good mood in the evening.
And again, how the day ends is a good indicator of how the following day begins.
3. Absorb uplifting ideas in the evening.
We all know that what we feed our minds affects our mood. I don’t have a TV and don’t follow the news, but my Facebook feed is often enough to get me irritated. So, I decided to stop scrolling mindlessly on Facebook (or at least do so less often) and consume positive-only content instead.
For the past few months, first thing in the morning and before going to bed, I’ve been reading a few pages of an inspiring book—usually something spiritual. I just finished reading the entire Earth Life book series by Sanaya Roman, and right now, I’m reading Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer.
Reading those kinds of books brings me peace. I can notice a significant difference in my mood and stress level if I just take even fifteen minutes to consume uplifting content in the morning and evening.
(If you have any book recommendations, you can share them in the comments.)
4. Make a gratitude list—with a twist.
After reading in the morning, I write down three to five things I’m grateful for—and why I appreciate each thing.
I used to write gratitude lists of fifteen-plus items and do it very quickly—almost mindlessly—just to “get it done.” It made the practice sort of mechanical and not very effective.
I’ve found that writing fewer items on my list and taking the time to dive into the reasons each thing makes me happy intensifies the feelings of gratitude and makes the exercise more profound. I try to do this daily, although I do forget sometimes. When I forget several days in a row, I can feel the difference in my general mood.
Gratitude is perhaps the lowest-hanging fruit for cultivating a more positive attitude.
5. Choose your state of being as you open your eyes.
The last thing that has helped me is a piece of advice from Dr. Daniel Amen, one of the leading brain health experts. In an interview on The School of Greatness Podcast, he talked about the importance of setting a positive intention from the very start of the day to cultivate what he calls “a positivity bias.”
An affirmation he uses himself and recommends using is: “Today is going to be a great day.”
When we tell ourselves this in the morning, our unconscious mind then looks for things that are going right to prove that this is true. This isn’t toxic positivity—ignoring or denying the negative. It’s training our brains to see what’s positive instead of focusing on the negative by default.
I’ve taken the habit of saying this affirmation (or a similar one) just after waking up and before opening my eyes in the morning. It’s a bit like choosing and declaring from the very start of the day what attitude you’ll adopt that day. It’s easy to do, and it sets the tone for the day.
In the beginning, I didn’t always remember to declare my intention until later in the morning, but it didn’t take long before it became automatic. Now, just remembering to think about my intention (and then mentally saying it) makes me smile as I wake up.
Our lives don’t need to be perfect to wake up smiling in the morning; they just require a conscious effort to develop a positive attitude, which is what the five habits in this article have helped me accomplish.
I hope they serve you well, too, if you choose to implement them.
Whether it’s stress, depression, anxiety, or lack of sleep, there are times when getting out of bed in the morning may feel overwhelming. But staying in bed every day is usually not a long-term option. Here’s how to get up and going when it may feel impossible.
Find an accountability partner
Friends and family members can serve as support and a point of accountability. They can check in with you and provide encouragement. They can also provide reassurance and assistance.
Ask someone to text or call you every morning to check on your progress and plans. The anticipation of the check-in may be an encouragement to get up.
They also encourage exercise, which boosts overall health. Plus, animals need you to get out of bed — they use the restroom outside! Having a panting pooch nuzzling you for love and a walk may be a useful way to encourage you to get out of bed.
Take small steps
If the day feels overwhelming, don’t focus on it. Focus on the moment. Give yourself a “next step” goal. Tell yourself you only need to get to the shower. When you accomplish that, tell yourself you only need to get dressed, then make breakfast.
Focus on successful moments and days
You’ve likely felt this way before. And you likely overcame it. Remind yourself of that and how you felt when you were able to accomplish what you did.
Whether it’s moving from the bed to the dining room table or successfully attending the business meeting you had scheduled, the feeling of accomplishment can be a strong incentive to go again.
Bribe yourself with good feelings
You know how good that first sip of coffee feels at your favorite coffee spot? Remember that and make yourself crave it.
Desire is a strong driver of energy. Maybe it’s not coffee, but you love listening to music and swaying on your porch in the sunlight. Picture that moment. When you crave an event or a feeling — or yes, even a food — you have something that encourages you to rise.
Turn on some tunes
It’s can be hard to stay down when you’ve got a tempo beating from your speakers. Turn on a fast-paced soundtrack (slow and relaxing songs are better another day) and sit up.
You don’t have to dance, but a sway, clap, or snap can help you feel movement in your limbs. Take the moment to stretch, and put one foot in front of another.
Shed some light
Dark, dim rooms are inviting for sleeping, but that’s a problem if you’re struggling to get out of bed. Turn on lamps or throw open the shades to invite bright, warming light into your room. This can help you feel more alert.
Work in threes
Long to-do lists can feel overwhelming. And if you don’t accomplish the full list, you may feel discouraged. Instead, give yourself just three things to accomplish.
Write them down if it helps you focus, but don’t exceed the limit of three. When you’ve marked off those three, give yourself a bit to rest. You may have done everything you need for the day, or you may want to write another list of three.
Work with what you know you can accomplish. Give yourself the time to rest between tasks.
Reach out to people you can trust
Depression, anxiety, or stress can leave you feeling isolated and alone. It’s a powerful feeling that can be difficult to overcome and make you want to avoid others. Resist this temptation and ask friends to make plans or a phone date with you.
Tell yourself your plan
When the thoughts in your head tell you to stay in bed, talk back to them (and to yourself). Say what your plans are to get going.
Once you’re in motion, it’s often easier to stay in motion. This technique can take work and time. A therapist can help you develop the right “talking points” and strategies, too.
Reflect on the positive
Photos, quotes, music: These are all things that can stir up positive feelings and happy memories. This may help you overcome the feelings of being “stuck” when you don’t feel you have the energy to get out bed.
Keep a photo album by your bedside, or purchase a book filled with inspiring quotes that speak to you. Open these books when you want to add a bit of brightness to your day.
Fill your calendar
Give yourself an event each day you can look forward to. It doesn’t have to be a large event. Meet a friend for coffee. Finally go try that new bakery downtown. Swing by your friend’s store to see their new items on the way home.
Giving yourself a goal that’s pleasurable and fun may help overcome feelings of dread or anxiety.
Being outside is good for you. Some researchers believe getting outdoors can improve your concentration and help you heal faster. Exposure to sunlight increases the feel-good chemicals in your brain, like serotonin.
Even a few minutes outside can help. Start small and step out on your porch, balcony, or into your backyard. If you feel like it, go for a walk and soak in a little more sunshine.
If you need downtime, whether it’s napping or reading a book, make sure you plan that into your day. This will give you the reassurance that while your day may be busy, you’ll be able to stop, rest, and refresh.
Give yourself some grace
Tomorrow is a new day. If you can’t get out of bed today, it’s OK. If you can’t get beyond the first goal, it’s OK. You can look to tomorrow to get things done. The fog will lift, and you’ll be able to return to your normal activities.