How to Manage Anxiety as a Business Owner

How to Manage Anxiety as a Business Owner

Anxiety is a part of life, and it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed or stressed out from time to time. When you run your own small business, however — and especially when you have a team of people who are counting on you — those feelings of anxiety can become particularly pronounced.

If you run a company, you probably know the feeling — the intense pressure of knowing that the buck stops with you and that your mistakes can have a big impact on everyone else on the team.

There’s no way to stop those feelings from surfacing, but there are ways to handle them positively and constructively.

Here are some healthy ways to cope with the anxieties of being a small-business owner.

Acknowledge how you feel. This might sound silly, but in all truth, there’s real merit to taking a minute to think about your feelings and to acknowledge it to yourself, preferably out loud. After all, you can’t address a problem until you recognize it. Being reflective about your anxiety and what could be causing it is paramount.

Write it out. A lot of small-business owners may feel like they lack the time to speak with a therapist — but you can surely find a little time to write out what you’re feeling on any given day. Keeping a journal can be therapeutic and head-clearing.

Get some exercise. There’s a strong correlation between physical and emotional health, and physical activity can go a long way toward alleviating anxiety. Try to get some exercise each day, even if it’s just a walk around your neighborhood.

Stop thinking you can multitask. Nothing is more overwhelming than trying to do 10 things at the same time. And besides, cognitive science has proven that multitasking isn’t really possible anyway. Give yourself a break and sufficient space to focus on doing each task well, without stressing out. Put an end to your multitasking ways.

Minimize decision-making. Something else that causes stress is having to make a lot of decisions throughout the day. It can be wise to minimize the choices you have before you. On Sunday, plan all of your meals for the following week and organize your calendar so you understand your deadlines and know when you have appointments set.

Furthermore, make sure to schedule some “me time” into your day where you can take a mental-health break and not be interrupted. Have a set time of day when you work out, and stick to it. On a daily basis, have a structured morning routine that cancels the need for decision-making at an early hour of the day. Any little way you can minimize decision-making will ultimately ease your mental burden in the thick of the workweek.

Talk to someone. I mentioned going to a therapist before, and if your anxiety is debilitating, that’s definitely something to think about. In lieu of that, you can at least make sure you have someone with whom you can talk about the way you’re feeling. It can be therapeutic to vent sometimes and to know there’s someone there to listen. This may be a friend, a spouse or even a fellow business owner who can commiserate with your experience.

Go on vacation. A lot of business owners feel like they can’t afford to take time off. Actually, you can’t afford not to. Your anxiety will capsize your creativity, your positivity and your focus if you don’t get out of your own head sometimes. And that means physically leaving the office, turning your device off and being mindfully engaged with something other than work.

Anxiety happens. It happens to business owners, in particular. However, while you may not be able to stop it completely, you can implement strategies to deal with it in a way that’s healthy — both for you and your business. 

About the author
Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.