Since many studies have shown that being frequently or consistently in pressure situations can create negative health effects I would like to offer some suggestions on handling pressure so you can minimize the negativity and maximize your enjoyment of life.
- Put the situation in perspective. Ask yourself how important this will be 15 or 10 years from now. The answer will probably be that you won’t even remember it.
- Get away from the situation. When things start closing in on you, remove yourself from them for a half- hour or so. Go for a walk, Do some exercises. Retreat to your bedroom and read. Pick up the phone and talk to your most cheerful friend — never mentioning your problem. The reason for the call is to cheer you up, not drag your friend down!
- Realize the pressure will end. Nothing lasts forever. Instead of concentrating on the pressure, try focusing on the time when it will end. Daydreaming is not unhealthy.
- Don’t over-dramatize! Much of what people consider pressure is really a normal part of living. Life is made up of problems and challenges — even animals and plants must suffer weather, seasons, pain and frustration.
- Examine the pressure-causing situation. Many times people create pressure for themselves by taking on too much at once. Eliminate, postpone or get help by delegating.
- Make a list of everything you feel is pressuring you at this moment. If you write it all down, you will probably see that you’ve become so obsessed with little things that you thought you had more problems than you really do.
- Analyze pressure situations. When you’re under pressure, ask yourself if the things you’re trying to do are your choice to do for yourself or those dearest to you. Don’t presume an obligation that isn’t there. In other words don’t be a martyr!
- Don’t create pressure! There are some things that you cannot change — don’t worry about them. There are things that may or may not happen in the future — don’t worry about them. You cannot control what other people do — don’t worry about it.
- And, finally, one of the very best ways of handling pressure situations — COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!