Pressure is a part of daily life, and unfortunately, it’s just something we have to deal with as we go about our lives. That being said, there are a number of different things you can do if you want to control it better.
In this article, we’ll be sharing 5 tips that you can use to stay cool when you’re under pressure, regardless of the situation. There are many instances where you might be under pressure, ranging from workplace projects to mastering the preflop strategy in the poker world. Regardless, it’s a vital skill that will come in useful throughout your life.
1. Don’t Panic
Panicking is one of the worst things you can do when you find yourself under pressure, but it’s a completely normal response, often followed by a flight or flight action. It’s worth keeping in mind that if you find yourself packing, regardless of the reason, it’s always a good idea to try and calm yourself down as much as you can early on, as it can often make the situation worse and cause you to spiral.
If you do start to feel anxious or stressed and can sense the panic starting to set in, take a minute to breathe and look at the situation as a whole. Often, what’s going on is a tiny thing in the grander scheme of things and can be easily remedied, even if that doesn’t seem like an option right at that moment. This way of looking at things can help you put the situation into perspective and deal with it calmly.
2. Break the Task into Smaller Pieces
As obvious as it might sound, breaking a large task into more manageable chunks is a great way to not only stay calm but also increase your productivity. If you find yourself feeling daunted by a big project at work and are worried because you are unsure how to solve it, look at ways for you to separate it out and tackle those smaller tasks on a case-by-case basis. It’ll get you working.
It’s much less daunting to work on a smaller task, and you can forget about the rest of it while you’re tackling that one thing. You can focus on what you need to deal with at that moment and only move on to the next thing once you feel ready to do so, avoiding the anxiety that can come with a big project. It also helps if you reward yourself for completing each of these tasks – why not a cookie?
3. Set a Time Limit for Yourself
Although a time limit might seem like it would add to the pressure, you can then get yourself a benchmark as to how long it’ll take you to finish whatever you’re trying to overcome. This can take the onus away from you and give you a goal to work towards instead of having you focus on whatever might be causing you distress. This requires self-discipline, but it can work really well!
You can combine this with the previous tip to maximize your output, giving you a window of time to complete each smaller task and hopefully making things seem more manageable. If you have a big decision to make, giving yourself a set amount of time to come to a decision can be really beneficial, and if it takes longer, there might be a good reason for that. Some things can’t always be rushed.
4. Take a Break
Sometimes, taking a step back from whatever’s causing you stress and adding to the pressure you’re feeling is the best course of action. Dwelling on something when you’re in a bad frame of mind will seldom lead to a positive outcome and will often have an adverse effect. Take a minute and look at things from an outsider’s perspective – this can have a huge impact on the situation.
When you take a break, you’re giving your mind the time it needs to fully process what’s going on, and while it might feel like you’re wasting time, you might be surprised at how much clearer things could seem afterward. This newfound clarity should give you the drive you need to return to the station and be in a much calmer state, whether it’s at work or in a recreational environment.
5. Talk to Someone
Talking to someone, whether they’re a friend or a colleague, is a great way to get things off your chest and into the open, regardless of how insignificant you might think they seem. Even if they have nothing of use to tell you, talking it out can be really useful and put things into order in your head. It gives you the chance to subconsciously process things and make sense of them all.
With more and more people suffering from poor mental health, as well as the added stresses of the workplace, talking to someone can have a profound effect on how you deal with pressure. A supportive manager can be a great person to talk to, while a professional will know what to look out for. Regardless of who you talk to, make sure to give this a try next time you’re feeling stressed.