1. Discover the Triggers
General situations in which people tend to feel under a lot of pressure are unpredictable situations, changes of plans, financial problems, urgent interventions, taking care of kids, etc.
However, there are sources of stress that are connected to a specific person. A bride- to –be is anxious when making dinner for the in-laws, an empathic manager when has to fire his staff, an ambitious student before the exam. Somebody else wouldn’t dwell too much over such problems.
The first thing you should do is to find out when are you likely to feel under pressure. How do you react in such occasions? Make a list of possible triggers. Now, ask yourself if each of these situations were worth the anxiety. What can you change in the future? Visualise yourself in one of these situations and imagine a different reaction now. Change your behaviour, learn from your mistakes.
2. Take Care of Yourself
To deal with pressure and stress successfully, it is important to take care of your phisical health. When tired, hungry, sick, etc, people tend to get nervous and oversensitive. In such moments every task in front of them seems too hard to handle.
What should you do?
Try changing your lifestyle; get enough sleep, have regular meals and snacks during the day, drink plenty of water. If you feel good, you’ll have more energy and enthusiasm to cope with problems.
3. Find a Stress-relive Activity
Managing different tasks during the day is a heavy burden. You’ll carry it much easier if you have a way to empty yourself and relax. “How can I find time for it?” you may ask yourself. In the beginning it may be difficult to squeeze a gym, or swimming into your busy schedule, but this is necessary. Have some time just for yourself; take a walk, exercise, read, watch a movie, take a nap or try one of the relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga. Empty out your mind; you won’t relax if you are thinking about the project that’s waiting to be done when you finish exercising. By doing so, none of it will be done properly; you’ll just spend more energy. Instead, forget about problems completely and relax. Later on, when you continue working, you’ll have a better approach to the problem.
4. Set Realistic Goals
Not everything has to be done right now, and not everything has to be perfect. Evaluate your work. Divide it into two sections: 1. important and urgent and 2. important and not urgent. Setting priorities is not as easy as it seems, but ability to do it separates effective people from the less successful ones. To deal with pressure let this rule guides you in professional and private life.
If you’re busy preparing important contract and the phone that rings constantly is getting on your nerves, put it on silence or ask someone else to answer. How often do you receive a call that can’t hold for 30 minutes? -Probably not often.
5. Predict the Unpredictable
“This is all fine”, someone might say, “but the biggest pressure is when something urgent and unexpected happens. What to do than?”
First, take a few seconds and breathe slowly to stay calm. Try not to panic, that is the biggest enemy of constructive thoughts. Make a joke (out laud or to yourself) instead. Say something like: “Our IT system had a heart attack? The ambulance is on the way.” Viewing serious situations with a good sense of humour will lower the pressure and bring optimism.
Than define the problem and think about the possible solutions. Be confident that you’ll work it out. You’ve managed to find a way out of difficult situations before, why would now be different?
Unless you lead a life of a Buddhist monk, you’ll often face different stressful situations. Still, it is up to you to deal with it the best possible way – “Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace”.