You’re a small business owner and are stressed by staffing, payroll, supply chain, the economy, and most recently COVID-19, among others. Of course, you are overwhelmed and view stress as debilitating.
You’re probably wrong, says Samantha Paustian-Underdahl.
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Pastian Underdahl, associate professor of business at Florida State University, in collaboration with colleagues at FSU, Kennesaw State University, and the University of Texas at El Paso, has published a new study investigating the effects of stress-related mental states. . Coping behaviors related to health, engagement and personal development of small business owners.
It’s a matter of mindset, she says.
In this study, published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, business owners experienced personal growth and engagement in their business when they witnessed their stress increasing rather than diminishing.
The study also shows that business owners benefit more from this heightened stress mindset when they think their business may be in jeopardy and should be closed. it was done.
Paustian-Underdahl and colleagues, who reported on previous research cited in this study, disputed the one-sided bad accusations that stress received in the media and society.
They didn’t try to discredit the literature showing the debilitating effects of stress, but the researchers wrote: COVID-19 Pandemic. “
Paustian-Underdahl served as the lead author of this study. In 2021 he received his PhD from FSU Joshua C. Palmer at Kennesaw State University. Cynthia Saldana Halliday of the University of Texas at El Paso.
Paustian-Underdahl says: “And people who are stressed are more likely to respond to stress in ways that are actually very helpful if they can rethink that stress can be helpful.”
Paustian-Underdahl said the idea for the study came in 2020 when she and Blass found themselves discussing the stress of the pandemic on small business owners.
They used the Stanford University Real-World Questionnaire for Social Psychological Responses (SPARQ) to ask participants to watch a video showing improvement in stress or to watch a video showing debilitating stress. I discovered that I requested it at random. A control group did not watch the video.
Researchers at Stanford University found that people who watched videos that increased stress thought stress had a more positive effect, while people who watched videos that reduced stress thought stress had a more detrimental effect. The study also found that people with stress-promoting mindsets responded better to stress and exhibited more adaptive physiological responses.
Inspired by this research, Paustian-Underdahl and his fellow researchers recruited small business owners and nonprofit board members across the United States for growth, engagement and health through behavioral adaptation. .
Researchers randomly asked half of the participants to watch three short videos on the Stanford University site. These videos present research findings and anecdotal evidence that stress benefits health and performance. The other half of the participants, the control group, did not watch the video at all.
A video explains to viewers how anxiety can improve cognitive performance. It promotes stress against stress-producing hormones, such as “Stay Healthy”. In his third video on increased stress, he says that stress releases cortisol in the brain, “putting the mind into overdrive and increasing focus.”
Paustian-Underdahl and his team measured the coping behaviors of people who watched the video and found that participants were more likely to engage in stress-increasing mindsets, more likely to engage in coping approaches, and more likely to engage in avoidance coping. found to be low. control group.
Coping approaches include planning ahead, seeking information and social support, and trying to solve problems caused by the stressor, the document says. Avoidance coping ignores the stressor.
“Avoidance can be very harmful because you’re simply ignoring stress instead of trying to manage it,” says Paustian-Underdahl. “Small business owners who engaged in more effective adaptation engaged more in their small business, experienced less burnout, and had better personal growth as a result of their experiences.”
Emphasizing that the videos will remain available on Stanford University’s website, she and her colleagues urged “small business owners, entrepreneurs, and anyone else facing stressful situations to watch these videos.” I recommend it.
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