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Stress Awareness Day at Belfast’s Innovation Factory: Tools for Life in Business

Stress Awareness DaySean Connolly, Human Development Therapy specialist, is a customer of Belfast’s Innovation Factory. Sean has over 30 years’ experience in dealing with NI business owners who have become successful but at the cost of their health. He is a specialist in self-maintenance and performance under pressure on Stress Awareness Day.

 It takes a special kind of individual in society to step away from the masses and go it alone in the world of business. In Northern Ireland we have many hardworking, innovative entrepreneurs building successful and inspiring businesses at home and internationally.

This is something to be proud of, but we do have to remember that there are challenges to building your own business and being an ambitious character. Individuals can get caught in a dangerous net of anxiety that can lead to poor physical and mental health.

Business owners unfortunately inevitably work longer hours than staff because they feel they can’t delegate important tasks and end up taking work home. The end result? The business owner breaks down before the business.

Research reveals 49% of the NI working population are stressed (NI Chest Heart & Stroke, 2016), with Hans Sayle, the Endocrinologist and leading world authority on stress, stating it as the number 1 killer in the world. I have witnessed many powerful individuals in the past who gained their business goals at the cost of their health – but this can be avoided.

This National Stress Awareness Day it is important to take a step back – take a look at your business and your role, and take action and steps to reduce stress. Simple measures can be taken to keep you healthy and productive on your business journey.

Get a personal coach or mentor. Particularly if you are the business owner, have someone who can act as a sounding board and who you have to regularly update and ask for advice – bring this person on your business journey. If world champion athletes need coaches so do you. We all need outside eyes on us.

Be part of a group of like-minded people. Being part of an innovative business community in Northern Ireland enables you to speak to people about your experiences and discuss any challenges. As a business owner myself and a customer of Belfast’s Innovation Factory, I am part of a strong business community that is always available for on going encouragement and guidance. 

Learn to be resilient not tough, there is a difference. There is still a myth in the business world that mental toughness is a vital attribute to one’s success. This may be true in certain situations but can lead to burn out. Metal resilience on the other hand is more beneficial long term and is less damaging on ones health.

Be confident in yourself. Remember stress is just your nervous system trying to convince your brain that you cannot deal with something but you can. Learn to convince yourself that you can deal with anything. This is the result of self-knowledge.

Have a simple self-maintenance process. Have a process that works for you and you can easily implement, tell others your plan and stick to it.

Take time for business networking and workshops. You might feel like you are too busy, but taking the time out of your schedule to talk to others will be worth it and will lead to a more productive day overall.

For more guidance and tips, Innovation Factory and Sean are hosting a workshop at the entrepreneurial hub in Belfast on Wednesday 1st November at 12.30pm to coincide with Stress Awareness Day. For more information visit www.innovationfactoryni.com or https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/tools-for-life-in-business-tickets-39123298840