Pressure is something we all experience at different times in our life. It can come from obvious places, like study and work, or having to budget and pay bills. But it can also come from places you mightn’t think it should – like friends or family.
Wherever it’s coming from, feeling under pressure can make you feel bad. But identifying its source can be a step to dealing with it.
Having expectations and things to move towards can be great. But if they become unrealistic, or if there is too much focus on a particular outcome, then expectations can weigh us down.
Is there anyone around you with high expectations for you or something you’re doing? Although it may come from a kind place, these emotions can increase stress or tension.
Maybe talking to them about what’s going on might help. It could just be a case of figuring out different ways to communicate with each other.
Your own worst-enemy
Sometimes the most pressure doesn’t come form another person, but from within ourselves. This is very common, and probably something we all do to some degree.
Checking in with yourself
Maybe writing or journalling about what you’re feeling could help you work out what’s going on. Watching what you say to yourself can also help you to be more mindful. It’s important that any self-talk is positive rather than putting yourself down, or comparing yourself to others.
There are loads of different ways to keep an eye on yourself and release tension when pressure builds up. In the short personal story ‘Blowing off steam’, one of our contributors talks about how they let go when everything builds up and becomes too much.
Not all bad
While too much pressure is not great, a little can actually be a good thing. Who hasn’t left an assignment until the last-minute for instance? If we didn’t have a deadline then we might never do the work!
The same can be said for virtually anything – a little pressure can be motivational. But a lot can be bad for us. No matter how big or small the problem seems, it’s worthwhile talking to someone. A friend or family member could be a good place to start, and there’s plenty of online and telephone help available.