Healthy Habits That Empower Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs suffer fewer chronic health problems than the general U.S. population, a 2012 Gallup poll shows. The tendency of the self-employed to be self-disciplined apparently leads them to maintain healthier personal habits than the average American.

Here are six healthy habits that can boost your performance on the job:

1. Smiling at others — One of the best ways to reduce work-related stress is to cultivate the simple habit of smiling at the people around you. Smiling relieves stress, and mindfully making happy facial expressions lifts one’s mood. Yes, your surroundings affect your mood, too, but consciously turning your frown upside down can make your outlook more positive. That’s a compelling reason to put a smile on your face!

2. Carrying a water bottle — Chronic dehydration has some nasty side effects, including headaches and an inability to focus. It can also bring on a bad mood. The cure for this type of crankiness is simple: Drink a lot of water. Take your weight in pounds and divide by 16. That is the number of 8 ounce servings of water you should aim for each day. Make a habit of carrying a water bottle everywhere.

3. Welcoming the sandman — You likely already know chronic sleep deprivation can hinder your performance, but sleep-deprived executives also suffer from flatter emotions, according to a university study. Because empathy and emotional insight provide fuel for innovation and creativity, flattened emotions often lead to poor executive decision-making. Make getting some shut-eye a priority.

4. Take notes — The humble notepad is a powerful tool in the hands of an entrepreneur. Taking notes via pen and paper (or an electronic device) tends to relieve stress, because it allows you time to compose your thoughts before responding to issues you’re facing. It also demonstrates to others that you’re paying close attention to their words. Carry a notepad to capture those flashing moments of insight that hit you, too.

5. Knowing when to say no — Healthy entrepreneurs regularly use one critically important two-letter word: no. Setting limits is healthy, but surprisingly hard for many entrepreneurs to do. Yet, saying no helps to preserve your personal and professional resources for new opportunities that can yield profitable returns.

6. Managing stress naturally — As it turns out, being grateful provides some natural stress relief. So does acknowledging your situation and finding constructive ways to mitigate any problems. It’s all too easy to gulp down a beer at the end of the workday as a means to unwind, but self-medicating with alcohol can pack on the pounds and may disturb sleep patterns, too (see #3). Face the issues head-on and defuse their underlying causes.

About Jan Fletcher

Jan Fletcher, President of Dreamcatch Creative, reports on restaurant operations, the signage industry, and composite manufacturing. She also writes about technology in business and education, and is passionate about microenterprise.
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11 comments
kuzlovac
kuzlovac

My personal tip no.7: successful enterpreneur leaves his business related problems at his office and doesn't take home. This helps keep his personal relationships healthy.

Anwell Steve
Anwell Steve

Very excellent article. I believe this should also include healthy eating and daily exercise. I love the fact that some of your tips are uncommon but very helpful one. Entrepreneurs should be aware of this.

SchoolandUniversity
SchoolandUniversity

I'm extremely pleased to uncover this site. I need to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to check out new stuff in your site.

Hydroponics
Hydroponics

Jan another excellent post.  These are all very good tips. Thank you for the quality content : )

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Carthage Buckley
Carthage Buckley

I had not previously thought about entrepreneurs being healthier though it does make sense. All the tips you give are easily implemented but I particularly like number 1. If everyone smiled just a little more often, the world would be so much better for it.

cabizlady
cabizlady

Thanks for sharing!  I had not thought of entrepreneurs being healthier!

coachangel
coachangel

I had no idea that being an entrepreneur made me more likely to be healthy! How fascinating. I can see that as being true though with more need to prioritize and stay focused. Thanks for sharing this information!