Get a life outside of real estate

7 tips for reducing stress and increasing well-being

Do you miss important events because your clients are so demanding? Do you believe that you have to be available 24-7 to succeed?

If so, these beliefs may not only be undermining your business success, they can be creating long-term damage to your health and well-being as well.

Stress image via Shutterstock.
Stress image via Shutterstock.

From a coaching perspective, a key goal for the coach and client is to uncover what matters most to the client. To see what matters most in your life, answer the following questions:

1. Name the three most memorable events in your life since you graduated from high school or college.

2. Name the five most important people in your life.

3. Name three things you wish you had more time to do.

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4. Name three people you would like to spend more time with (and include the activity where you would be together.)

Did any of these include work? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably, “No.”

If you look back on your past, chances are good that your most precious memories are not of work. They’re of times spent doing special things with those you love or occasions where you’ve set aside time for yourself.

Unfortunately, many agents believe that their dedication to work is almost something noble. “We both have to work — the kids would be stuck in a lousy apartment and a lousy school if we don’t!” “My clients need me — I have to be available when they call or text me.”

The psychological research in this area is conclusive: Failure to take self-care time actually results in poorer performance and increased stress.

Furthermore, long-term stress can elevate levels of ACTH, a hormone thought to increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses.

The Law of Attraction says, “You attract who you are.” If you are stressed out, cranky, and short-tempered, you will attract people who are like you — cranky and absolutely no fun whatsoever.

On the other hand, if you want to work with great people who are relaxed and roll with the punches, you need to be that way yourself.

In order to achieve this goal, here are seven tips that can help you reduce your stress, increase your well-being, and have a better business as well.

1. Laugh often and have dinner with loved ones at least three times per week

Paul Pearsall, the author of The Heart’s Code, has identified the factors that are related to debilitating heart attacks as well as the factors that are related to heart health. His research shows that people who have dinner with loved ones at least three times per week have 50 percent fewer heart attacks than those who eat alone. Furthermore, people who laugh 100 times per day have stronger immune systems and are much less likely to become ill from any type of illness. In fact, laughing regularly is better for you than running or jogging, which often increases stress levels.

2. Separate your work and rest areas

Do you take your cell phone or iPad to bed with you? If so, stop! A major contributor to stress levels is failure to disconnect from the constant stream of incoming data. When you take that bright little screen to bed with you, it can cause insomnia because your brain perceives it as being the same as a daylight source. Moreover, when you do any type of work in bed, you are conditioning yourself to feel stress in your bedroom rather than relaxation. If you have to work, get up and go to your home office, sit at the kitchen table, or do your work somewhere other than in your bedroom. When you end your day, leave your work outside your bedroom. Better yet, leave it in your office and don’t take it home with you.

3. Confront problems head-on

No matter how difficult it is, it’s best to confront problems immediately. If there’s a sticky problem you’re having trouble resolving, write down all the potential solutions, select the best approach, and then let it go. Needlessly rehashing the problem only reduces the enjoyment in the other areas in your life. The longer you procrastinate, the more costly it is.

4. End your day by 7 p.m. at least three days per week

This means no phone calls, text messages, no work-related social media activities of any kind. This is your time to recharge with a relaxing meal and with activities that make you feel good.

5. Dump non-essential activities

Whether it’s office gossip, a friend who keeps you on the phone too long, or some other potential energy waster, a simple “No” or “I have another appointment” (even if it’s with yourself) is your best strategy to create more time for you.

6. Discover something new

At least once a month try something you’ve never tried before. It can be as exotic as traveling to a foreign land or something as simple as trying a new recipe. The more creative, the better; and if it flops, think about the great time you’ll have telling the story.

7. Keep a “great life” journal

Each day, no matter how difficult the day was, write down at least three things you noticed that were perfect in their own way. Whether it’s a huge win or something as simple as noticing a bird’s song or a butterfly flitting through the air, noticing the simple joys is a simple way to reduce your stress and to get a life outside of real estate.

Consequently, the next time you’re considering missing time with loved ones to stay at work or putting off caring for yourself because work is more important, remember what matters and make time for you.

Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of the National Association of Realtors’ No. 1 best-seller, “Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success.” Hear Bernice’s five-minute daily real estate show, just named “new and notable” by iTunes, at www.RealEstateCoachRadio.com. You can contact her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com or @BRoss on Twitter.

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