Do you ever feel like the stress and pressure you are feeling is just too much to take?
Many of us are facing mountains of stress these days and we may not be doing a great job of managing it. This can happen to any of us, in any season.
Managing pressure is a skill that you need to practice in order to overcome stress and anxiety. There are tips & techniques that can help you, but first, you need to take a good look at the source of the pressure you’re feeling.
When trying to pull weeds in a garden, it’s not enough to just cut them off at the surface, you have to get down to the root.
We often feel pressure from multiple sources at any one time. The key is figuring out which source is creating the overwhelm.
Here are four sources of pressure we may need to investigate:
Our perspective is simply our point of view. It isn’t always good or bad; it may not even be true or false. However, our perspective is always impacting our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Have you ever looked at one of those pictures that has multiple images in one?
Sometimes, the only way to change our perspective is to change our position. How can you look at your pressure from another angle? Would it help to look at each item separately in order to feel less overwhelmed? Is there a trusted friend who may be able to help you view things differently?
Our priorities usually define for us what is most important in a given situation. Depending on how we rank something’s importance, we may care much differently about it than something else. Sometimes, all of our priorities seem to be competing for the top spot all at the same time and that can create serious pressure.
You can’t do everything all at once, no matter how good you are at multitasking. Everything can’t be a priority without something getting dropped. Simply put; when everything is urgent, nothing is.
Problems are a part of life that can’t be completely avoided. The key is learning to manage our reactions to them without letting them wreck us. Some problems can be overcome with good problem-solving skills, while others may need to run their course. Whatever the case, there is usually a way to navigate it that will cause the least amount of pain.
Do you or someone you know have experience with this kind of problem? How can you use previous experience to make the best plan? Do you need to ask for help?
People can be a huge source of pressure in our lives. They often have an opinion on what you should do, and some may even pressure you to live your life their way. We need to be selective about whose influence matters to us. Most people will be quick to give you advice, but unsolicited advice is often received as criticism. Do you feel empowered & supported or critiqued & controlled?
Pressure from people isn’t always connected to actual words they say but our thoughts about what they think of us. I heard a wise person once say, “The issue isn’t really what you think of me or even what I think of me; it’s what I think you think of me that’s the real problem.”
Now, pressure isn’t always bad. In fact, the pressure points we experience are often invitations to grow. That growth can be connected to raising awareness, developing skills, or navigating pain. Oftentimes, the pressure is connected to a desire that isn’t being met. If we can learn to use the right tools and couple that with the right support, the pressure can even lead to significant breakthroughs in our lives.
Four quick tips for managing the pressure:
- Break up the overwhelming items into smaller steps that are easier to manage. The journey to the top of the mountain begins with the first step.
- Prioritize and focus on what you can do right now. Tomorrow’s problems can’t be fixed today, no matter how hard you worry about them.
- Don’t ask people for their opinion, ask them about their experience. If they don’t have any experience, don’t put too much weight on their opinion.
- Be kind to yourself. Manage your own thoughts, emotions, and expectations. Know that perfection is an illusion.