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By Karen Post, a.k.a. The Branding Diva®

I cannot claim to be a stress free. But I have recently discovered some actions that have truly reduced my stress level and increased my productivity. My current workload is a very full plate. I feel like I have two, 50 hour a week jobs. I’m a partner in the Oddpodz and I also speak and consult. Both require a lot of creative production. About a month ago I was feeling like a plane in a tailspin. My daily to do list was massive, my concentration level was blurry at best, I was experiencing unpleasant physical symptoms and I so cranky, violent thoughts were common. After some research and visit to a doc, I learned that my stress was creating a hormone called Cortisol. This hormone while needed in a healthy person, in excess it can have some negative effects. For me, it whacked out my blood sugar balance, which impaired my brain performance, mood and even can cause your stomach to store extra fat, because you’re stressed. Picture this, an over the top, irritated, can’t concentrate, in a bad, bad mood, big bellyed, stressed basket, that was me.

Here’s what changed me.
1) Exercise every day at least 30 minutes no matter what. This activity produces good endorphins that will correct the blood sugar issues. And research shows people that do 15 minutes of cardio before problem solving score significantly higher on creativity tests.

2) Takes breaks from your computer. Mix up how you work. Think and write on paper as much as you peck on your keyboard. Schedule deep breathing and stretching at least three times a day for five minutes.

3) Eat 5-6 small meals a day and limit your sugar intake. Swap out grains, natural fruits and veggies for processed sweets and white carbs.

The bottom line here is, as a creative professional and especially an entrepreneur you will have stress, unless you leave the earth. You can decide to let stress win and work in a miserable state of mind, or you can say, “Hey I’m the boss here and this is how it’s going to be”. Don’t expend energy on worrying. Stay focused on the actions to solve the problem.

About the author: Karen Post, a.k.a. The Branding Diva® is an international authority on branding, marketing, and entrepreneurial matters. She is has been featured as a business expert in print publications; on TV, radio, and on Web channels. Karen authored the best-selling book Brain Tattoos, Creating Unique Brands That Stick in your Customers’ Minds and she is co-founder and CEO of Oddpodz.com, an idea engine for creative professionals and business. Her work has benefited large and small organizations in the United States and around the world.