Ok. First thing’s first. Find nearest heavy object and throw it at an employee. Feeling better?

I’m just kidding. Definitely, do not do what I mentioned above.

As a small business owner, you have a lot of hard work and pressure constantly weighing on your shoulders. Sometimes yelling or throwing objects may seem like a great idea.

But having a lawsuit on your hands, along with regular responsibilities such as unpredictability of revenue, or team performance won’t help your stress levels.

It’s bad enough you can’t have a good work/life balance, but the effects of stress can be ridiculous — everything from waning health to death. To ensure you have a long and happy life, you need to evaluate these stressors and learn how to exorcise them like the terrible demons they are.

Instant Stress Management Techniques

Treat Yourself

I’m a firm believer that treating yourself to something nice helps to reduce stress. Whether it’s shopping, massage, or a little weekend getaway, every month you should do something for yourself.

By simply scheduling a massage, you can lower your cortisol (stress hormone) levels by a third!

Eat the Right Food

You know the saying “You are what you eat”? Well eating green leafy vegetables, blueberries and other superfoods can actually reduce your risk for depression. So the next time you’re starting to get stressed, grab some blueberries instead of that cup of coffee. The phytonutrients and antioxidants in the berries will give that stress the kick in the butt it needs.

Make a Kickass Playlist

Remember how I mentioned that treating yourself to a massage can lower cortisol levels by a third? Well having a great playlist can cut cortisol elevation by up to 66%! The trick here is to listen to something calming and avoid the urge to throw on some heavy metal and dubstep. Me personally, I opt for a Reggae Ohana playlist, Motown Hits, or classical. But hey, to each their own.

Get Help

I don’t mean hire a psychiatrist. I mean ask someone at your office for help. 1 in 10 business owners work more than 70 hours per week, and the vast majority work way more hours than they should. The best way to decrease your workload? Learn to delegate. Make sure you hire the best people and you let them take over some of the tasks that you’re overloading yourself with. I’m convinced that delegation is the key for success.

Power Nap

I’m one of those people who’s regularly guilty of never getting enough sleep. If you’re unable to get 8 hours of sleep, then find some time during the day to power nap. It may some contradictory to what you’d expect, but a power nap can boost productivity and cognitive function. NASA space pilots tested this nap theory and found that pilots who took naps were able to increase performance by 34% and alertness by 54%.

Puppies = Happiness

Not all office spaces are dog-friendly, but if yours is, then I suggest bringing your puppy to work. A study by Virgina Commonwealth University showed that workers who had dogs near them as they worked saw stress decline by 11%, while those without a furry friend saw stress levels rise by a whopping 70%!

Work Out

44% of business owners and managers say that the stress of their business damages their health. 22% say they’ve gained weight and 14% of people surveyed said they had a shorter temper. My advice, save your anger for the weights, not your work. Even something as simple as going for a 20-30 minute jog will give you that endorphin rush you need to fight stress. We have a great list of company fitness challenges that will help get your team moving, or if you want to switch companies entirely, we have a list of companies with onsite gyms.

There’s an App for That

Whether it’s using an App tons schedule your day or one to help you through guided meditation, there’s something here for everyone. Breathe2Relax is a great app to give you a moment to just clear your mind and breathe. Taking a breath can elicit the relaxation response which helps to decrease your metabolism, slow your heartbeat, relax muscles, and decrease blood pressure. Scheduling apps like Any.Do also help you reduce stress because they give you a simple todo list to let you know what you need to knock out for the day.

Get Creative

When things get stressful at work, out goes the fun. One of the ways that I personally use to de-stress at work is to get creative. Whether it’s writing about zombies or my favorite TV shows, getting creative helps you relax and have fun. If you’re not one for writing, then try knitting or a brief doodling session. Students at the University of Cincinnati created a Stress Less Zone where they provided knitting and painting tools to help students de-stress during finals week.

Take a Walk

When you’re busy working, you can lose track of time. So not only are you stressed but now you’re also sitting for long periods of time. And are you aware of the health hazards of sitting for long periods? Heart disease, foggy brain, overprotective pancreas, colon cancer, strained neck, spinal problems, mushy abs, poor circulation, yeesh. Every couple of hours, take 15 minutes to go for a walk outside. The walk will relieve your organs and body of the stress from sitting, and the sun will boost your serotonin ( a natural mood booster).

Are you currently stressed at work? What has you stressed?