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Managing your emotions under pressure while overcoming challenges

Updated on July 21, 2012

How do you manage your emotions while facing challenges in life

Is there anyone who does not face challenges in life? I do not believe so, challenge is the other side of the coin called life. A life without challenges could only mean a placid, uneventful life, maybe even a stagnant one. It is in the face of adversity and resistance that one can know his/her own strength. Challenges are what bring a new perspective to the way you see yourself, the people around you, and your resources. Just as resistance builds up your muscles and makes you stronger, so do the challenges we face in life. How we overcome challenges is mainly dependant on our perception and attitude to life. Challenges are more often mental-battles. Overcoming them could mean getting the mind game right and being able to manage your emotions under pressure.

Emotional control under pressure
Emotional control under pressure | Source

Managing your emotions under pressure

Challenges often stress people out. Actually, a little stress is good, it is like a gentle pressure that keeps you moving forward. It is important not to let the stress get to you and make you feel like you are losing control. If you are unable to control your emotions and manage them well you could end up messing up everything and losing even what you have. In order to keep your emotions under control, keeping the following points in mind would help.

How to control your emotions

Get your mind-set right. Perception is the most important aspect when you are facing a challenge. How you perceive your problem is crucial to how you overcome the challenge. Looking at a challenge as an opportunity to learn, improve and prove your strength is very important. There is no need to panic and get unduly worried about your situation. The ability to accept the good with the bad as a part of life is what sets you in the right mode for overcoming life’s challenges. It helps you keep your effectively manage your emotions while keeping your focus on challenge you are facing.

Being courageous is a choice you make. Face your fears. It is all too easy to let fear overtake you and take flight instead of facing up to the challenge. The ability to withstand pressure and the courage to face your situation is what stands between you and your challenges. Fear is contagious and increases exponentially if you allow it to pervade your mind. Facing your fears should be your prime line of action before you even jump into the task of facing your challenge.


To face the pressures of life you need to be able to assess your strengths and weaknesses objectively. Emotional detachment/ balance is needed to ensure that you are able to see things as they stand and not how you feel. You need to know your personal and emotional strengths, your skill/ability to face your challenge before you get into taking any action. You also need to take account of your social network and your social support system/s, which becomes crucial to provide you with emotional strength in times of overpowering stress.

The ability to look away from the thing that is causing you stress and focus on the positive goals you can achieve will help you get a hold on yourself. Choose to ignore the negative and focus on strategies that will take you closer to your goals.

How do you handle pressure

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The power to make decisions is a great weapon that you carry within yourself. The decisions that you make will decide the outcomes of the challenges you face, and your decisions need to show your faith in yourself and your ability. Your decisions need to banish fear, and to gear yourself towards action or solutions to the problem. Decisions display strength of character and heighten your level of motivation throughout the process of facing the challenge. They also give you the feeling that you are in control over yourself and your emotions.

Positive thinking is the easy route to follow if you want to work through your challenges and come out unscathed. Developing the habit of positive thinking helps you keep your focus on what is possible and keeps you action-oriented. Positive thinking also helps combat stress. Knowing that ‘This too shall pass’ will change the way you deal with your situation in a clam and unperturbed manner.

Challenges are opportunities to learn, and approaching your challenge with a “What is in it for me to learn“ attitude could make an impersonal challenge a personal one, which you have taken upon yourself. This brings the situation wholly under your control. Believe in yourself; no matter what happens or what the outcome is, you are still worthy of love and admiration, a person in your own right. There is power deep inside of you, don’t ever underestimate it. This power is like a muscle that gets stronger as you use it.

Plan the right strategies for action; make sure that you have a good understanding of your problem. Be objective or get an objective view of it. Bring all your resources into play while chalking out your plan of action. Have a secondary and tertiary line of action. Take help if you need to. Fight with all your might; give it the best you have. Even if nothing happens, you will come out a changed, emotionally stronger person, willing to take on the world.

Enjoy what you do. It is true that you are under pressure, but that does not mean that you lose your joie de vivre over a passing phase of difficulty. Remember: “Impossible is Nothing”. You have the power deep within to achieve what you want if you apply your mind to it. Being Happy is the key to facing the pressures of life.

If you feel highly stressed, re-organize your routines in such a way that you have more time to relax and de-stress. Make sure to add some fun into your mundane routine. For example – plan to meet up with a friend while on your errands so you can have fun and still get your work done. Judiciously mix pleasure with work and you will not feel the strain at all.

Under pressure
Under pressure | Source

Find something or someone to love. Positive emotions like affection and love release a lot of positive energy into your life and work. They also bring freshness into your every day life. Adopting a pet or maybe even baby-sitting (if you like babies) could bring some refreshing energy into your life.

Turn inwards. Most of the time when we are facing challenges, we focus on the world outside, forgetting that you need some attention yourself. Take time to encourage yourself, spend time in positive self-talk, use positive affirmations and create a vision of what you’d like to achieve. This will help you keep your emotions in check, level of motivation high and overcome your challenges. If you are spiritually inclined, it is time to take your faith wand into your hands to make the impossible possible. There is nothing like it, I can assure you of that from personal experience.

No matter what the outcome, you need to congratulate yourself for having faced the challenge. The very fact that you chose to face the challenge instead of fleeing from it is something worth celebrating, even if you were unable to overcome your challenge. Appreciate yourself for every little milestone that you have achieved while facing your challenge. Remember that your experience has made you stronger and bolder to face bigger challenges in the future. At the end of the day, the self-control, emotional-control and other lessons that you have learnt from the pressures of life are what makes your life richer. So go on and face your giants and keep your cool!


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    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      SRae, This hub is written not only from my knowledge as a professional but also from personal experience. It is been a tough time for me as well... and what I have written here is what I follow. Thank you.

    • SRae profile image

      Shelia Wadsworth 

      9 years ago from Central Pennsylvania

      I truly enjoyed reading this hub. At various points I reflected upon how these tips could assist me presently in my life as I have made a lifechange that I wasn't sure was a good one.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Wow! I applaud you from the bottom of my heart. Your words just pulled me out of my own grief ... I had to respond to this ... You are a brave woman... There is no point in holding on to the things that are not meant to be... Move on... Live life. Best wishes to you and let me tell you the best is yet to come. Have a wonderful holiday :) Cheers.

    • gramarye profile image


      9 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

      I read this article just at the very moment that I needed it. Here is what I'm taking away (slightly paraphrased) "The decisions I make will decide the outcomes of the challenges I face. My decisions need to show faith in myself. There is power deep within me. Don't underestimate it."

      Now I am going to make my first decision to drag my sorry depressed ass out of bed, get dressed, book a holiday and go for a walk.

      Thankyou so much!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Sanjog, I am sorry for this late acknowledgment of your comment. Life takes different turns even as we plan for it.. I appreciate your insightful comments. God bless.

    • SANJOG MAHESHWARI profile image


      9 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Very useful hub. I think "Devil may care" attitude could be most helpful provided one is exceptionally tactful. Besides this, it's important to make peace with your past, so that it doesn't spoil your present and stop thinking too much. It's Okay not to know all the answers. What others think of you is none of your business. Cultivate friendship with those who can make you laugh and laugh heartily without any inhibitions. Don't compare your life with others', you have no idea what there journey is all about. Time heals almost everything. Give the time, some time. No one is a reason either of your happiness or your unhappiness except your self. Don't expect anything from anybody. Make fun of yourself, as often as you can. Thanks for the hub and sharing views on practical , purposeful, peaceful and healthy living. One who has mastered the art of living is a 'guru' in the real sense of the word. REGARDS.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Ruby, Thank you for that comment... Forget, forgive and move on... is pretty effective.... somethings are not worth lingering over. Hope you have a lovely day. God Bless!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      9 years ago from Southern Illinois

      A positive attitude is so important. Your article is packed full of GREAT advice. The key is to forget past mistakes, move forward, and no repetition...

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Teaches12345, Thank you. Your comments and votes are always appreciated and valued. Have a lovely day.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Tim, It has been a long time since you have been here, it is always good to hear from you. Yeah!Positive attitude, the only way to live... Thanks my friend for that encouragement. Much appreciated. Have an awesome day!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Pamela99, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate that you agree with the points mentioned here. Have a great day.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Peggy W, a positive attitude is the key, as for me I would have curled up and died a long time ago if not for a positive attitude. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Have a wonderful day.

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      PegCole17, thanks for that insightful comment. . I appreciate your point of view, I just had to write another hub to support this one.. will be online in a while. Hope you have a lovely day.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      9 years ago

      All good ways to handle those emotional upheavals in life. I think trying to turn inward and to keep positive goes a long way in controlling those emotions in the long term behavior. Voted up!

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 

      9 years ago from Me to You

      Hi sofs. I think most of the time, the fear is one of failure, or messing up. Or worrying what people will think of you if you do. Thinking positively is the way to go..have confidence in yourself. As long as you understand the situation, and some idea how to resolve it in a rational way, you should be fine. It also bolsters your confidence when a similar situation comes up. Nicely written.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      9 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Sofs, This hub is excellent and I like all the methods you listed to meet you challenges head on. I think your mind set and positive thinking might me the most important thing of all. Awesome hub.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi sofs,

      Keeping a positive attitude and facing challenges head on is the best approach. All of your tips are good ones, but a good attitude trumps many things. Up and useful votes.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      9 years ago from North Dallas, Texas

      This is good advice and couldn't have come at a better time, Sofs. I have heard people say that FEAR stands for "false evidence appearing real". Although remaining objective can be quite a challenge at times. It is sometimes quite difficult to ignore the negative. I think I was just "unfriended" by a relative on FB after sharing a political video of a newscast. Interesting to see how different our social interactions have become. I like your advice to Sasanka7, "There is no point in beating yourself over how others perceive you."

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Sasanka7,Turn inwards is my favorite way to handling problems. It is the most effective as far as I am concerned. There is no point in beating yourself over how others perceive you, you need to know who you are. The traditional Indian wisdom always shines through in your comments. Have a great day!

    • sofs profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Willstarr, thank you sir, for the visit and the comment. You are spot on with your observation... fears are hugely magnified perceptions which are far removed from reality. They may be just a bubble with nothing but air in them, and yet have the power to stop people in their tracks. Glad to see you here and hope you have a lovely day.

    • sasanka7 profile image


      9 years ago from Calcutta, India

      Very nice hub. The tips are very useful if maintained. I like the paragraph "Turn inwards"... truly it works. Thanks for sharing. voted useful.

    • WillStarr profile image


      9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Facing your fears is excellent advice. Most of the time, such fears come to nothing.


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