We are all busy entrepreneurs.
Yet we all come from different places, have different dreams and have varying degrees of health, or lack of it. I know several among our number that suffer from both diagnosed and sub-clinical levels of depression . That is, while they may or may not be actually diagnosed as depressed , they intermittently suffer from the ability to jump into action on a marketing plan or to network easily with their fellow entrepreneurs.
This lack of action and involvement is often perceived as laziness or lack of resolution. In fact, most people suffering from these diagnosed or sub-clinical maladies retract frequently into episodes of low self-esteem and self-judgment that further hinder their ability to take effective action.
This syndrome is only exacerbated when they are cast among characters who seemingly have no limit to their enthusiasm and action-oriented, full steam ahead marketing campaigns.
Najla Husseini, in a Vanderbilt University paper titled “Exercise and Depression” (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/exercise_and_depression.htm), cites many studies that relate the benefits of exercise for the depressed. Neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin and beta-endorphins are increased during exercise, leading many to the euphoria knows commonly as “runner’s high”. Whether or not you are depressed, then, exercise is certainly a great benefit to all of us busy-to-the-bones entrepreneurs.
So take time from your tasks, get out of your chair each day and get a little wild: run, swim, lift weights, walk. Do what you can within your specific abilities and/or limitations.
Discuss your exercise protocol with your doctor to be sure you are working out safely. In any case, don’t get too wild: Husseini’s article cites at least one source indicating that mild forms of exercise are typically more beneficial than more aggressive forms which… go figure… are stressful in their physical over-reach.
While exercise is not considered a treatment for depression at any level, it certainly appears to be a mood and self-esteem enhancer that could be pivotal to the entrepreneur suffering from depression. Even if you are not suffering from these maladies, exercise is still a natural mood enhancer that can leave you feeling more energetic and up to the challenges of running your business or enterprise. It seems especially beneficial to infuse techniques such as visualization, controlled breathing and deep stretching while exercising. I personally find it a great time to focus on affirmations that I am currently working with.
If you think that this is a problem not warranting your serious consideration, Husseini points out that one of five people suffer from depression at one time or another. You are, therefore, likely to encounter people among your teammates, clients and fellow entrepreneurs who suffer from one form of depression or another. It would be good to withhold judgment, and approach them with patience and empathy. Depressed entrepreneurs can, in fact, be as successful as the prolific author William Styron who describes the depth of this problem in his short but eye-opening book, “Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness”.