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Stress Case

Learn how to take stress by the reins, and your company will reap the benefits.

With an estimated 85 percent of lifestyle-related diseases linked to stress, it's reasonable to think people should eliminate stress from their lives. But Kristin Wehner, whose company, Kinetic Enterprise LLC, helps entrepreneurs leverage their health in business, says that isn't necessarily the best solution: "Stress is an incredible asset that stretches capacity and fuels creativity." The stress she speaks of, however, is good stress, also called acute stress, that's fueled by adrenaline. "It provides the immediate resources necessary to think clearly and react quickly," she says. "It's that superhero-esque, eleventh-hour focus."

But making the most of that stress means knowing when to step back. When acute stress is continually activated, it turns into chronic stress--the bad stress--increasing blood pressure, insomnia, depression and more. So Wehner emphasizes understanding personal stress levels and their cues, taking breathers every 90 minutes and not being afraid to ask for help. It's about taking control of stress and activating it when it's helpful, she explains. "[Otherwise], the creativity and productivity that started the vision of the business start to dry up."

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This article was originally published in the August 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Stress Case.

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