Sometimes pressure is triggered by others and at other times by situations. When plans don’t go well, or you are stuck in a situation you dislike, pressure mounts. You feel resistance and want to move away from, or change, what you think is causing you angst. Someone might make a demand that doesn’t feel right to you. Alternatively, you may feel pressure to perform, or rise to an occasion when you are not confident about your ability.
Why you feel pressure
When you are stressed, you look for the cause and point your finger. You shout inwardly, or maybe outwardly, “You are putting me under pressure!” You don’t think your feelings are anything to do with you because if the situation hadn’t arisen, you would be fine. Nonetheless, the pressure you feel stems from inner conflict, on most, or maybe all occasions. You may think you can’t live up to others expectations or demands, or don’t want to, and a split occurs in your emotions.
You want, or need to please people, or do something, but you also don’t want to, and herein rests the cause of pressure. You want to look for your lost keys, but you also don’t want to because you want to leave the house now. You want to take an exam because you want a qualification. But really, you’d rather sit on the beach in the sunshine and not be judged by your performance. You want to please your boss and rise up the career ladder. But you also don’t want to please your boss, his ideas are screwy, so the conflict continues.
If you can’t work out a problem and are in a hurry to solve it, you might feel pressure growing. However, your stress comes from not achieving what you want straight away, which brings discomfort. You panic, become anxious, blame others or get upset with yourself. Nonetheless, if you pause, breathe, thus slowing down your stress response, you’ll deal with whatever’s before you with more ease.
Changing your mind
Pressure fades when you make a decision. You either go one way or another, accepting a situation or turning your back on it. You may even choose to wait and see how things pan out, but it would be your decision to do so rather than being forced into a corner.
When pressure comes from having too much to do, something has to give in order for the pressure to go. You may need to accept that you have to lighten your load, share it out, or simply slow down.
When your emotions are split, and pressure mounts, the mental sensation is like physically holding your breath past the point of comfort. An inner struggle ensues, making you panic and feel unwell. Making a choice is like breathing again, the struggle lifts and you are calm and have greater clarity.
There may be times when you need to decide to stay in a situation you don’t favor for a while. However, if you accept it as a short-term plan, and stop rallying against it, you’ll get through it with less anxiety. You’ll only feel pressure if you rage against it, suffocating yourself in the process. You might tell yourself, “I’ll get through this; it won’t last forever.” While you are in the situation, you can keep your inner vision on more favorable conditions. At other times, you may choose a different course of action, and feel equally relieved because you don’t have to fight with your split feelings anymore.
Tough circumstances arise; it’s the way of life, but you always have choices. Exercising your right to choose releases pressure, so you can relax and breathe again.