How to Handle High Pressure Situations Like a Pro
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
“Its not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”- Hans Selye
Too often we are thrust into situations that cause us to stress- situations full of the unknown, situations full of dire consequences and it is also too often that we experience break downs from it. This feeling is all too familiar to most of us especially when you work surrounded by looming deadlines. You may even have experienced bursting out in tears because of all the pressure only for you to continue working at the next moment. So, how do safely glide through these moments and not let stress affect us?
You see, stress is our body’s natural reaction to some situations and nobody is immune to stress at all. Yet, why is it that some people are way better than most when it comes to dealing with stress? Just like any other emotion, how stress affects you is dependent on how you handle stress itself. Lucky for you, we have some ways to help you deal with stress better.
Optimize your work area
Now, you might be thinking, “Who has time for that?”. Well, you do, and optimizing your work area can work wonders for your everyday work as you can access and get things done more easily and you know what happens when you can breeze through tasks? Yes, it lessens your stress. Additionally, having a workplace with minimal distractions can save you lots of time in the future that would have been spent mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or other social media.
Lack of self-control is one of the major causes of stress. Like we’ve said earlier, how stress affects you depends entirely on how you handle it. If you go all ballistic at the slightest hint of stress, then no amounts of advice will help you. Remember, stress itself isn’t the enemy. It’s your response to stress that is causing you an endless amount of additional stress which becomes a toxic loop. This is why gaining self-control is one of the steps you can take to end this vicious cycle. Having self-control means that you are in charge of your emotions and how you choose to let those emotions out (don’t bottle them up!). So, whenever, you think that you are going to burst with all the stress, pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and think of the best course of action you can take.
You may not be able to control the people and events around you, but you can learn to control yourself, your emotions, and your responses. Don’t allow your attention to get caught in an unproductive loop, like a hamster on a wheel. Redirect your mind to areas in which you can take useful action, like coming up with solutions if your presentation goes awry or if you feel the urge to back out at the last minute. If you find your thoughts going in the wrong direction, pause, redirect and take positive action.
Use your senses.
We use our senses to gather information around us. If all the information that we gather is stressing us out, then why shouldn’t we stop for a moment and refresh our senses? Firstly, for the sense of sight, close your eyes and imagine that you are in a calming environment and take a few deep breaths. Along with this, your sense of smell should also work by allowing yourself to inhale calming scents like cinnamon or lemon. To sweeten it up, you can also have a bite of your favorite dark chocolate as studies have proven its calming effects. Pair all of this up with a piece of ambient music to relax to, and you’re good to go! However, don’t forget to also do some stretching afterward to get your blood going.
Have better-coping mechanisms.
We all have different coping mechanisms when stress comes our way and some are less healthy than others. If your coping mechanisms involve you degrading or harming yourself, then stop it. We know it’s not easy to break off bad habits, but we must have will in the first place in order to set ourselves free from toxic coping mechanisms. These are not only harmful physically, but it is damaging mentally as well.
These are just some of the ways that we can take charge of handling our stress. There are numerous ways to do it, but on the bottom line, knowing yourself and your environment in addition to knowing how to properly handle your response to stress are some of the best ways that we can handle high-pressure moments like a real pro.
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