It’s a well-known fact that sport not only helps us maintain physical fitness but also brings multiple mental benefits. From a scientific standpoint, physical activity increases our dopamine, endorphin, serotonin, and oxytocin levels. That is why doing sport regularly can help us feel happy, clear our thoughts, and reset to zero.
Although moderate exercise is beneficial for everyone, it’s especially important for executives and business owners. This is because the physical and mental state of both the CEO and the team always affects the overall business progress. Shania Brenson, the CEO of 15M Finance, shares her experience of getting stress relief and preventing anxiety and depression by… simply playing golf!
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Who Is Shania Brenson?
Shania Brenson is the CEO of 15M Finance, the company that specializes in emergency financial assistance for underserved people and communities. She earned a degree in economics and accounting from Texas State University and now uses her knowledge and years of experience in lending to help people improve their financial lives.
As a CEO and co-founder, Shania handles multiple day-to-day tasks and activities. In addition to developing business and content strategies, market analysis, and searching for new business opportunities and potentials, she communicates with customers directly to identify their pain points. Also, Shania constantly interacts with her team and is actively involved in all business processes. With so many fields to pay attention to, she finally found herself not knowing how to relax and switch over some time. This resulted in chronic fatigue and anxiety. Then, she began to learn more about practical ways to improve her mental shape.
Smart Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety from Shania Brenson
It’s impossible to always be on top of your productivity. To avoid professional burnout and make the most of your best self, you need to learn how to rest and relax. It took Shania Brenson several months to create the list of clever stress-relief ideas that really work. Here are a few of them.
Place Yourself in a Relaxing Ambiance
The atmosphere you’re in is very important. Even if your mind is not occupied with work 24/7 and you are completely relaxed, a noisy and hectic environment can tire you out very quickly. Find a restaurant where you can feel relaxed or create a cozy ambiance in your home to make sure you will be able to rest properly. Use candles, garlands, soft blankets, and anything else that relaxes you and gives you a feeling of comfort.
Plan Your “Me Time”
In our fast-paced world, it may be difficult to unplug when you’re always involved in multiple business activities. If you’re always forced to stick to a schedule, the best way to make time for rest is to put your “me time” in it. Make it a priority, and be sure to take at least a few hours a day for yourself and your hobbies.
Keep Your Hands Busy
Doing something with your hands is a great way to clear your thoughts. Try cooking, knitting, building Lego or room boxes, or any other activity that seems interesting to you and requires your concentration. When you’re focused on something you do with your hands, your brain switches and downshifts. It can also help you boost creativity and, well, bring more joy into your life.
Take Three Deep Breaths
It may sound trivial, but it is a very useful practice. Taking deep, slow breaths helps improve focus and reduce stress. This is because proper breathing techniques contribute to a better oxygen supply to the brain. Moreover, the moment you breathe deeply, you can focus on yourself and your current state. Ask yourself how you feel at a particular moment. Perhaps you are tired and need a break.
Meditation can help you find inner balance and relax. With its help, you can achieve positive physiological changes. This will result in slower breathing, lower blood pressure, a feeling of calm, and improved sleep quality.
Be Your Own VIP Client
Executives often forget that not only their VIP clients need special treatment. First of all, you’re your own VIP client. Keep track of your current physical and mental shape, don’t work at night, and respect yourself the same way you respect your customers and partners.
Hire an Assistant
Finally, you can always delegate some of your daily routine tasks to an assistant. Although there are matters that only an executive can solve, an assistant can monitor your schedule, answer calls, deal with correspondence, and carry out other small tasks that take up time and distract you from your main duties.
Make Sport a Habit
Doing sports changes us from the inside. After physical activity, the chemical composition of your blood changes. Thus, you’re technically no longer the same person you were before. Sport changes your attitude to life. It allows you to release tension and negative emotions, relax, clear your thoughts, and unplug.
How Golf Helps Shania Unplug and Relax
Shania Brenson says golf is still one of her favorite types of physical activity. This is because it doesn’t require enormous physical endurance and is simply fun. Although Shania shows good results in golf after years of practice, she doesn’t think about a professional golf career. This is because it will cease to be a stress-relief hobby as soon as it turns into a job. Here’s how golf helps Shania unplug.
Reduces Anxiety and Risks of Depression
Like with any other form of physical activity, golf contributes to your future well-being and changes your attitude to life. Moreover, if you play outdoors, it further stimulates your brain to fight anxiety and depression while you’re just moving around on the golf course.
Provides More Social Interaction
Most of us need to be in society because we are social creatures. However, the older we get and the more work we have, the harder it is to find time to socialize. Golf can be a fun way to overcome social isolation and start communicating with people on topics other than work.
Helps Practice Patience and Discipline
If your brain is constantly on overdrive, quickly switching between multiple tasks, golf can be a great practice for slowing down. This is because it requires discipline and patience. Golf is also about learning new things that you can apply in both your regular life and business. For some, it can be a way to become a better leader.
It’s Just Funny
The more you play golf, the better you get at it. And that’s how it works. We always enjoy doing the things we’re good at. Thus, you may need some time to find out whether the activity you choose suits you. Shania says golf wasn’t her love at first glance. She found a passion for it after she mastered the basics.
How to Find the Right Hobby for a CEO?
Before making golf her number one stress relief activity, Shania tried many different things. Dancing, jumping, yoga on hammocks, equestrianism, and martial arts are just a small part of her list of ways to combat stress. Shania believes that the best thing you can do to find a hobby you like is to start trying something new. It’s just that simple! However, you never know until you try. Just listen to your heart. Think about what you like to do and try to transform it into a hobby. You can also appeal to your childhood desires and interests.
If you’re a CEO or a small business owner, physical activities should always be a part of your weekly schedule. This is because exercises help us unplug, reduce stress and anxiety, and change the way we look at things. If you’re looking for an activity that suits you, golf may be one of the possible options. This sport doesn’t involve vigorous exercise at a high heart rate, is suitable for people of any age, and doesn’t require a certain level of physical fitness to begin.