Pressure is the action of a constant force on a body or object. It can come from the outside or the inside. Pressure can take different forms; the urgency to work under pressure is one. It can be a difficulty or affliction as when you are under financial pressure. It can be constraining as when pressure is brought to bear on you. You can feel the weight of the pressure and the demands. You feel the tension, stress and strain.
The pressure to be or act a certain way comes from the outside initially. Later it comes from inside of you. Your pressures become self-imposed.
Traditional strategies like working out and relaxing are not always enough. You have to discover and open up your psychological, emotional and mental vents. One way to do that is to become aware that your pressures come from your own deep-seated wants, needs and fears.
Start by writing down a fear like the fear of being fired. Then list all of the reasons why you fear it. You might be ashamed and feel inadequate. You might disappoint and let your loved ones down, and so on. Keep writing until you have completely explored your fear. Then relate it to your wants and needs. Be sure to separate your wants from your needs. I want to be successful but I need to be respected and admired. Spend a sufficient amount of time examining your deepest feelings. Be totally honest no one but you will see this list. Do not judge yourself simply write what you think and feel.
Once you understand what you really want and need the fear will dissipate. The pressure will be off. You will realize that you can satisfy your wants and needs without pressure. You can still achieve success, for example, but it won’t be fear driven. You will have opened the vents to let the pressure escape. It will no longer be a part of your life.
Patricia Frank is a Licensed Psychotherapist. She can be reached at 305-788-4864, 212-308-0309.