Tips to manage stress from a serial entrepreneur
Our CEO had a recent conversation with Dmitri Leonov, a serial tech entrepreneur. They talked about mental health and wellness, and Dmitri shared some tips to manage stress and negative emotions. You can watch the full interview on our Youtube channel.
The pace is fast in the startup world and it easy to feel stressed and overwhelmed. For Dmitri, the way you talk to yourself is key to remaining sane. He tries to focus on the positive even when something goes wrong. He is thankful for negative experiences because he believes that there is always a positive aspect.
This way of finding the positive side of a negative situation is called cognitive reframing, a psychological technique that consists of identifying and transforming negative thoughts. Reframing is a way of viewing and experiencing negative events to find positive outcomes.
Dmitri tried different techniques to learn how to manage negative feelings including a special type of hypnotherapy where the practitioner finds specific emotions that are stuck in the body. Through this practice, he discovered that “horror” was the emotion he had to deal with.
Now, the things that bothered him before do not bother him anymore. If a person is mean to him, for example, instead of lingering on the negative experience, he focuses on the opposite.
He repeats to himself: “Wouldn't it be great if this person was nice to me?” Dmitri told us that just thinking about this improves his mental state.
According to quantum mechanics, nothing exists until the human consciousness pays attention to it—all remains a series of probabilities. Starting from this point, Dmitri explained that a lot of people, especially in the startup world, focus only on work, so the rest of their lives falls apart.
“This way of living is not sustainable. Balance is essential because everything is interconnected. All the elements in your life have to work.”
One of the things that Dmitri does to overcome stress is using an alarm every hour to do a check-in, channel energy, and reconnect with his body. He sees this practice as a connection to his higher self. There are many studies that show that meditation is beneficial, but for Dmitri, this practice offers other more spiritual benefits.
“We are all connected to something, like a source that it’s constantly trying to help us. By stopping, you allow this conversation to flow,” he added.
Dmitri believes that action alone does not create results. If an action is not combined with excitement or alignment is going to be more harmful than helpful. If he is stressed, for example, he stops and tries to get excited about that decision/action.
What makes you happy?
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory that explains human motivations and the universal needs of society. It involves five levels: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. In order for motivation to occur at the next level, each level must be satisfied starting from the base of the pyramid.
It is true that most people tend to focus on basic needs first, but Dmitri believes that if we start from the top of the pyramid—by asking ourselves what makes us happy—all the rest can come easily. In addition, self-realization will keep us happy in the long-term, while basic needs make us feel content for a short period of time.
Dmitri has two books recommendations:
“The Wisdom of the Enneagram” by Don Richard Riso
The book focuses on nine personality types and proposes actionable steps for each one of these types to help people become the best version of themselves. It cuts to the core of the greatest fears and desires for every type, and it has specific exercises.
“Theory of Everything” by Jed Mckenna
The book wants to teach people that existence is not an unsolvable riddle, and answers deep existential questions. In the synopsis, the author teases the reader with the question: “What if the answers to life's biggest questions are simple and obvious, and hidden in plain sight?”