A recent study by the University of Colorado shows that entrepreneurs’ psychological well-being (PWB) is directly affected by their stress-coping mechanism—whether they handle problems right away or initially avoid them.
During the study, 156 business owners discussed their most stressful recent work situations and described their response. Perhaps surprisingly, experienced entrepreneurs showed an increase in PWB when they avoided coping in the short term—taking quiet moments in their office, say, or leaving for a lunch break. Newer entrepreneurs, meanwhile, were more likely to immediately tackle their problems and viewed avoidance negatively, but this resulted in decreased PWB.
Researchers found that when entrepreneurs used only avoidance coping for an extended period, their PWB decreased. Some strategies for managing your stressors:
› Don’t feel guilty when taking a break from your situation. Remind yourself that the break will make you more effective when you return.
› Use avoidance only as a short-term solution. After you have gotten space from the problem, begin actively solving it.
› Be patient with yourself. It takes practice to integrate both active and avoidance coping into your toolbox.