Do you crack under pressure?

28 Day Blog Challenge – Day 26

Yesterday’s blog introduced a discussion about ways we deal with pressure and how we respond to pressured situations.

Today I continue with this theme and suggest some tactics you can use when feeling under pressure.

So, do you crack under pressure, or do you have successful strategies to cope with it?

Strategies to ‘de-pressurise’

1. Reduce the importance

Increased feelings of being under pressure can come from the amount of importance we give a situation. By changing our assessment (or perception) of it, to make it less crucial, we reduce the feelings of pressure that accompany it.

2. Reduce the likelihood

We can have a tendency (or habit) to exaggerate the probability of the negative outcome happening. Play this down by asking yourself what the chances are – realistically – of it happening.

3. Thinking differently

As Anne did in yesterday’s scenario, thinking about the situation in a different (solution-focused, practical) way will make it feel less daunting.

Here’s another example:

Scenario: Organising a holiday, but everything seems to be going wrong! …

  • the cheap tickets you saw last week are now twice the price
  • the hotel that was recommended is now fully booked
  • your neighbours have just returned from the country you want to travel to and said they had a terrible time
  • a close friend has invited you to a special meal during your week away
  • you discover your passport is due to expire in 4 weeks

Thoughts about giving up may pass through your mind at this point, but try this alternative way to perceive the situation

  • flying normal as opposed to budget may be more expensive but you may have a more comfortable flight and land at an airport nearer your accommodation
  • you could stay somewhere quieter, rather than a hotel that’s full to bursting
  • ask the neighbours which places to avoid
  • tell your friend you’ll do something special when you get back
  • getting a new passport is often a good opportunity to change that photo you’ve never liked!

How do you change the way you think about situations in order to reduce those feelings of being under pressure?

(Photo courtesy of Salvatore Vuono)

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