It does not matter if you’re in business for yourself, high powered exec or a stay at home mom ... stress can get to you. Your understanding and personal experience help you define what stress means to you. As an entrepreneurs you may be challenged with what it means for you personally the impact of stress from work and how difficult it can be to make strong decisions regarding starting your a new company. You know stress can be linked to making decisions about going into business for ourselves, heading back to school, and the impact (either positive or negative) on your financial wellness. All of these are great examples of "External Stressor" that you can experience and they differ from "Internal Stressors."

Let me give a working example so you can better understand the difference of these two types of stress: "You make a change in priorities and as a result you begin to have less than healthy levels of nutrients in your diet, you forget to exercise and/or your sleeping patterns change all of which impact your metabolism. The impact is your body's inability to metabolize food properly and burn any excess fat and begin affecting your internal organs' ability to work properly. Wow! Just imaging what happens over the course of months - what is happening to your internal body will affect your ability to make decision. Staying motivated and empowered during times of stress allows you to be able to identify potential stressors and stay healthier.

What are your red flags for external stresses?

  • Fitful sleeps, waking more than 1x/8 hour period;
  • Not falling asleep less than 10 minutes of going to bed;
  • Skipping meals and/or eating quickly or while doing something else (ex: working on a computer, watching television or reading articles);
  • Forgetting to exercise; or
  • Chewing your nails.

Internal stress red flags are:

  • Inconsistent bowel movements;
  • A noticeable change in urine output;
  • Can't seem to get warm or always too hot;Craving a certain type or quality of foods which could indicate the need for additional types of nutrients our bodies are needing or an addiction to certain foods such as sugars; or
  • Pain where before there was none.

Being able to identify which stress is causing which symptom is beneficial so you can take corrective action to bring your physical body, emotional body and mental body back into balance.

Here are a few steps your can take help identify the effects of stress on you:

  1. Keep a daily journal of what is happening in your life - personally and professionally. Journaling allows you to look back to see what might have been the root trigger to the stress you felt.
  2. Create goals and keep track of milestones. Keeping track of when you hit a milestone and are staying on target for your goals allows you to establish new goals and intentions to review, correct and address any type of newly acquired behaviors that were not present before starting your own business, going back to school etc. Make sure you rate these new behaviors as (a) supportive of your new journey, (b) indifferent, or (c) non-supportive. Once you’ve rated these behaviors, review all the non-supportive behaviors to understand why they are non-supportive and how you might be able to either adjust them so they are supportive or eliminate them from your routine altogether. When you have reviewed the non-supportive elements, move onto the indifferent list of behaviors.
  3. Get Support! Finally, seek support from outside sources such as a coach, networking groups, mentors, therapists or consultants to provide outside and independent reviews of what is or might be happening in your personal and professional lives that could be affecting your balance between the two.

Once you identify the effects of stress on your life, you will need to identify whether the stress you are experiencing is being internalized or held on the conscious level. It is when we internalize the stress or minimize it consciously that our internal warning signs begin to appear. Remember that stress is important for our survival, but it is the quantity and type of stress we are experiencing that determines the positive or negative impact on our lives and health.

Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.

To your success!

Coach Karen K


Author's Bio: 

Life Coach and Business Coach Karen Kleinwort is the founder Therapy in Transition and is a Certified Professional Coach specializing in the integration of her clients' mind, body and spirit into her Personal Empowerment Coaching practice. For more information, visit or contact her at