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Running a brokerage or serving as an agent are exhilarating endeavors that can be incredibly stressful, no matter how much you love your job. The constant challenges, demands and unpredictability can take a toll on even the most resilient business people.
Most agents are laser-focused on success and, in this relentless pursuit, they often neglect a critical component — their health. They put in long hours and juggle a myriad of tasks. While many recognize the need for a healthy lifestyle and focus on diet and exercise, stress management frequently slips through the cracks in real estate.
Hidden dangers of unmanaged stress
The repercussions of unattended stress are profound. According to the American Heart Association, chronic stress is directly linked to high blood pressure, which, in turn, can lead to cardiovascular diseases. The World Health Organization has aptly termed high blood pressure the “silent killer.”
High blood pressure is a potential reality for business owners who continue to neglect stress management, as are migraines, ulcers and psychiatric issues, but there are things they can do to better contend with it, including meditation and breathwork.
Efficacy of meditation for stress management
Meditation is scientifically proven to manage and alleviate stress. One study highlights that mindfulness meditation reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in the body. However, the very term “meditation” might evoke stress: Perhaps images of hour-long sessions, elaborate setups with incense and chanting mantras. While intensive practices have benefits, they are intimidating for many, especially those short on time.
A better place to start is one of numerous apps that guide beginners and experienced practitioners through the meditation journey. For instance, Headspace offers bite-sized sessions and foundational courses to ease newcomers into the practice. Calm provides guided meditations to address specific concerns such as stress or sleeplessness. Insight Timer boasts a library of free meditations from various teachers around the world.
These apps, with their user-friendly interfaces and structured guidance, make meditation practical and accessible for an agent which in turn helps to reduce stress and its harmful effects.
The power of breathwork
A simpler yet effective gateway to the world of meditation is breathwork. Focusing on one’s breathing, regulating it and being aware of each inhale and exhale can make a monumental difference. Just a few minutes of dedicated breathwork has been shown to improve mood and anxiety, as well as lower heart rate and other physiological metrics,
This means that within the span of a short break between showings, an agent can recalibrate, rejuvenate and reduce stress levels. Whether you’re at your office desk amidst a hectic day, stuck in traffic or taking a quick break at a café, a few minutes of breathwork can be seamlessly incorporated.
And the journey doesn’t stop there. Many agents who start with breathwork often find themselves delving deeper, graduating to longer meditative sessions and discovering the profound impact of the practice on their well-being.
The business case for stress management
Managing stress leads to a healthier life with a well-rested, stress-free mind that is sharper, more creative and significantly more efficient. Owners and agents who prioritize their well-being often find that their decision-making improves, their relationships with employees and buyers become more fruitful, and they foster a positive work culture.
In business, stress management isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. The result will be a more solid, successful real estate business and a healthier, happier you.
Eric Bramlett is the owner of Bramlett Residential, a top-performing real estate brokerage in Austin, Texas. You can follow Eric Bramlett and Bramlett Residential on Instagram @Bramlett.Resi and Facebook.com/BramlettRE.