How to Stay Calm Under Pressure?
What is Stress?
Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed by being under too much pressure. A certain amount of pressure in everyday life can be useful to help you reach your goals and progress. However, when stress becomes unmanageable and starts to interfere with your daily life it is important to take action. Being under too much pressure can result in suffering from chronic stress. As a result this makes you more susceptible to developing many mental and physical health problems.
Potential Causes of Stress
Work related stress involves stress which comes from undertaking the duties of your job or anything else related to the workplace. Every job has its own challenges and responsibilities that come with it. There is nothing wrong with being slightly outside your comfort zone from time to time. Working in a profession you enjoy can be very rewarding but when you are in a situation where you dread having to go to work this is where things can start to get stressful. Below is a list of common causes of stress from the workplace:
- No interest and general unhappiness in your job. This can make going to work very stressful as your mind can be preoccupied with thinking about work even when you are not working. During work hours you can feel boredom and start watching the clock. An extended period of time in a job you do not find rewarding can start to affect your overall levels of happiness and wellbeing.
- Having an unrealistic workload and too much responsibility to handle. Whilst it is important to stay occupied during the day having too much to do in a limited amount of time can add a lot of pressure to perform.
There are many things in our personal lives which can cause us to feel stressed and overwhelmed. In this section I will be exploring some of the common life stresses we can face.
Loss of a job
Whether your contract hasn't been extended, your employment was terminated for some other reason or you were made redundant, losing your job can be stressful for a number of reasons. Firstly there is the fact that your job particularly if working full time is a big part of your life. You may have a professional identity attached to it and it may give you a sense of purpose. Working in the same job is a big part of your routine. This can leave you with a lot more free time and you may struggle what you want to do with it all. Other reasons losing a job may be stressful include increasing financial pressure. With a job you have a regular income coming in and that can give you a feeling of comfort and financial security. When this income flow stops, you can slowly start to eat into your savings or may be required to get another job as soon as possible to pay the bills. The increasing financial pressure can put a lot of stress and make you worry about what your future will look like.
Going through a divorce can be extremely stressful and can have an emotional impact on you. You may have feelings of regret or guilt about the situation that you find yourself in. It is a drastic change to your life and can create a lot of different emotions. Dealing with these changes can be stressful.
The passing away of a loved one is a very distressing time which is stressful to handle. An individual has grief and sadness which makes it difficult to think clearly.
Having money problems can be stressful as being in debt or struggling to pay bills can make you feel as if you are stuck and there is no way to make things better. This adds a lot of stress as you may start to feel financially insecure and fear losing everything. This situation can also be filled with a lot of guilt about how you ended up in this situation.
Suffering from illness of any kind whether it be mental or physical can be stressful. You may be worried about recovering or managing your illness and may have a lot of things to worry about. You may need time off work in some situations which can eventually start to lead to other worries around money. In this situation it is also possible to develop a negative mindset towards life in general which further exacerbates stress.
Moving to a New Home
This can be stressful as there can be a lot of planning and logistics involved in the process of moving house. You may also have other things to arrange such as a mortgage which can be quite a lengthy process. All these things can be quite stressful.
This is a big event in anyone's life and requires a lot of planning. We all want our wedding to be perfect hence there can be added pressure of guests and managing the whole occasion. This can create a lot of stress and can also be very expensive.
Tips on How to Deal with Stress
- Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine drinks. Alcohol is a depressant and will not help to reduce your levels of stress. Caffeine acts as a stimulant which can ultimately increase your levels of stress.
- Talk to someone. When dealing with stress it can be tempting to shut ourselves away from our friends and family. It is important to reach out to others for support. A problem shared is a problem halved.
- Try keeping a stress diary. This can be helpful to write things down instead of having them constantly rotate in your head. It can also be useful to refer back to things to ensure you have overcome any of your stressors.
- Try to get enough good quality sleep.
- Try to do some form of physical activity. Something as simply as going on a short walk can do your mood a lot of good and also reduce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
- Manage your time better. This can help to reduce guilt and help you feel more organised. It is important to try not to procrastinate and try to carefully plan activities based on importance.
- Try practising yoga and mindfulness. It can be useful to try yoga postures and breathing techniques. Meditation is also useful and can be used as part of a mindfulness approach.
Through managing stress you can be better equipped to deal with pressure in life. There are times when we are exposed to more pressure in life than we can honestly handle. By learning techniques to manage stress we can help reduce the build up of pressure and do a better job of staying in control.
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