Why mental health is key to your success as an entrepreneur

The reality of entrepreneurship comes with a lot of frustration and pressure to keep your business running.

How do you cope with the stresses that come with owning a company without compromising your mental health?

Azania spoke to Growthpoint Properties head of corporate social responsibility Shawn Theunissen, who says in his experiences with entrepreneurship, coping mechanisms are not often taught.

He says individuals tend to hide their issues from their partners and tend to isolate themselves.

Not speaking to your partner you are actually taking that strain on yourself and you isolate yourself; you are not sharing with others because the bills need to get paid, staff need to get paid.

Shawn Theunissen, Head of corporate social responsibility - Growthpoint Properties

It is at those critical points that if you do not have the tools to assist you, those are the times you make the wrong decisions - suicide is an option and running away is an option.

Shawn Theunissen, Head of corporate social responsibility - Growthpoint Properties

Clinical psychologist Gerald Williamson says the common outcomes for a highly stressed person include depression, anxiety disorders and more.

Your ability to deal with high levels of tension and anxiety will determine how much an entrepreneurial relationship you can take on, so we are not all ok and ready to take on entrepreneurship, in my opinion.

Gerald Williamson, Clinical psychologist

Theunissen says one should learn to enjoy the journey, have an identity beyond business which includes a support network and friendships. He also insists that one should strive for wellness.

Focus on your wellness, take some time out.

Shawn Theunissen, Head of corporate social responsibility - Growthpoint properties

Williamson uses the example of the human brain and body - he says it is like a plant that needs water and food.

To have that work/life balance means inevitably, you have to find a way to de-stress. Walk, excercise, talk to people and don't take substances.

Gerald Williamson, Clinical psychologist

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


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