EO Members Share 9 Unconventional Actions to Mitigate Stress (Part II)

Stress Awareness Month in April draws attention to the significant toll stress takes on individuals, particularly entrepreneurs grappling with the demands of running a business. For entrepreneurs, the weight of managing and expanding a business often serves as a firsthand lesson in stress management. Who better than our EO community to offer creative strategies for mitigating the adverse effects of stress?

In part one of our series, EO members shared their mindset techniques to tackle stress head-on. In part three, neuropsychologist and EO Arizona member Dr. Amy Serin shares why You’ve Been Dealing with Stress All Wrong, According to Neuroscience.

For part two, we asked EOers to share quirky daily rituals, unconventional actions, or innovative devices that have become their go-to stress reduction techniques to alleviate stress. Here’s what they shared:

Stress-Relieving Tech

“One tool that I use is Therabody Smartgoggles. The goggles, paired with the app’s various meditation and relaxing sounds, lower my heart rate and relieve stress within minutes. I highly recommend them to anyone who has a hard time unwinding or needs to clear your mind and relieve a little stress.”

Tom Rauen, EO Iowa, founder and CEO, 1-800-Tshirts.com

EMDR Therapy and Sauna Meditation

“My biggest issue with stress is when I cannot let things go, and they go round and round in my head. I have several methods of combating this.

“I work with a therapist who does Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, an extensively researched and effective method to overcome trauma or PTSD.

“I also practice meditation while sitting in my home infrared sauna, an affordable and valuable investment. It has Bluetooth, so when I turn on the meditation music, it is like being enveloped in a cocoon of warmth and relaxation. It is a safe place to let go and go inward — plus added health benefits!”

Tina Hamilton, EO Philadelphia, founder and CEO, myHR Partner

Coach Dory

“The immense pressure of building a US$100 million company over 10 years created burnout and anxiety. I needed more support, so being a founder, I created it.

“I run the world’s largest community (10,000+ members) dedicated solely to stress reduction for entrepreneurs: Dory. We have a mental resilience training app called Coach Dory, live peer groups, and we deliver keynotes and workshops around the world.

“I created Dory as a unique stress-reduction strategy to help me understand and improve my mental state. Coach Dory checks in on me daily and asks me to rate myself on seven key factors of my stress response: calm, emotional control, energy, personal identity, focus, satisfaction, and positivity.

“The app calculates a mental resilience score on a 1 to 100 scale, much like my Oura Sleep tracking ring or the Whoop band gives me a score about physiological recovery. I use the app every day to understand and improve my mental resilience.”

Aaron Houghton, EO Colorado, founder and CEO, Dory

Leaf Blower Zen

“This time of year can be especially stressful in my business that specializes in U.S. tax compliance. As stress starts building, I switch it up with something totally low-tech. I grab my leaf blower and make a lap around the yard. No screens, no emails, just me clearing leaves — and clearing my head. Sometimes I blast my favorite tracks, sometimes I soak up the silence. It’s simple, but it works wonders for hitting the reset button.”

Trevor McCandless, EO Puerto Rico, founder and CEO, Fusion CPA

5-Minute Planks

“When I relocated my family and business, life was chaotic, leaving me perpetually stressed. Recognizing the toll on my health, I had to get creative. My strategy? Holding plank pose daily for five minutes.

“Initially a 30-day challenge, I have now reached 200 days, and inspired others to join me. Turns out, planking isn’t just for nice abs! The stress-relief benefits are tangible, and the results are fast. By engaging the stress corners of the body — shoulders, neck, and back — you release tension and lighten the physical burden stress can cause. Effective planking demands control and focused breathwork, instantly calming the nervous system and clearing the mind.

“I’ve learned that I can always make myself a priority for five minutes a day. This simple, no-excuse routine renews my sense of control and makes me feel like a complete badass whether I’m having a good day or not. Plus, better abs never hurt.”

Jess Loseke, EO Nashville, co-founder and CEO, Midwest Barrel Co.

Pratyahara, Dhyana, and Pranayama

“The fastest way to reverse stress and regain a healthy state is through Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dhyana (meditation), and Pranayama (breath control). Starting with Pranayama specifically to stop stress, makes the fastest dent to go onto the other practices. It can be done anywhere: at your desk, in your car, or warming up for exercise. If you do them in the right combination, you can eliminate stress in six minutes per day. For a person in overwhelm or early-stage burnout, it can take up to 12 minutes per day. Each of these practices has multiple purposes and must be curated to stop stress and return the nervous system to good health. Beyond that, they can also set the stage for high performance.”

Kira Leskew, EO Toronto, founder and CEO, Meditation Master, The Eagle Institute Ltd.

Unplug with Time in Nature

“I’ve developed the habit of unplugging and taking time away at least once a quarter.

“With our work being 100% remote, I take advantage of the same flexibility that I extend to my team. I’m passionate about skiing. This season, I spent a month in the mountains working on U.S. East Coast time and flexing my calendar to maximize my time on the mountains. I hit my goal of enjoying 20+ days in Utah and got to attend EO Sun Valley and SnowEO events on each end of the trip.”

Warner Moore, EOA Columbus, founder, Gamma Force

Friendships and “Bits”

“Maintaining strong friendships is by far the most important action I can take to deal with stress. I even developed software to help me keep up with important people in my life, using everything BUT social media (which I believe induces stress). Further, I developed an approach called “BITS,” which I think of as something less than a habit or even less than “a bit.”  It involves micro-actions that create the person I want to be. The greater my velocity of bits, the lower my stress.”

John Cornelsen, EO Fort Worth, founder, Juggle

For more insights and inspiration from today’s leading entrepreneurs, check out EO on Inc. and more articles from the EO blog

Categories: Best Practices Entrepreneurial Journey HEALTH


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