How to Keep Your Head from Exploding

Explodindg Head from Pressure
Image Credit — carton-king@iStock

Do you frequently feel like you are in a pressure pot that could explode at any minute? Do you sometimes think, if one more thing happens it will send you over the top?

The world is a crazy place — too much to do and not enough time to do it. Responsibilities and obligations continue to pile up and there is no relief in sight. What can you do?

Eleven Steps that Will Save Your Life

1. Have an Affair

Make a commitment to fall in love with your life. Make it the most amazing love affair ever.

Starting today, accept and embrace your life as it is — right now — regardless of what’s happening, or what may happen.

Accept every part, the good and the bad. When you love life simply because it is great to be alive, you will begin to focus on the good; and you will find ways to deal with the bad.

The enjoyable parts will begin to over-shadow the less enjoyable. Seeing life as a happy adventure will help you accept pressure-filled situations as challenges rather than obstacles.

Having a love affair with life means accepting and loving it all unconditionally.

2. Stop Pretending to Be a Superhero

No one expects you to be, except maybe you. So, let that go! Accept your humanness.

Pressure situations have the potential for mistakes — and you will make them.

But…using your experience and skill, you will do your best not to make them. That’s all you can do.

When you accept that you are human and mistakes are possible, you will be less likely to self-flagellate when situations take a dark turn — especially pressure situations.

Acceptance of your fallibility can help you relax. With the tension gone, knowledge, talent, and expertise are accessed more easily. Peak performance will be your norm. What more can you ask?

3. Pick Yourself Up…

Dust Yourself off… and start all over again. Think of failure as a lesson. You learn what not to do. That will give you the confidence to try again.

Approach every pressure situation as “one moment in time.”

Prepare, do your best, and whatever happens — happens. Even if you don’t reach the highest pinnacle of success every time, you will have many, many moments to do so.

Breathe deeply, relax, and give it all you’ve got in that moment. A mental note that you have multiple opportunities to succeed will lessen the pressure.

4. Turn Mountains into Molehills

Anticipation can be a terrible thing, especially when facing a pressure-filled event — but, it is always worse that the reality.

Negative anticipation can turn any event into an impossible mountain that you must climb. But… there are no mountains. They are all molehills.

Constant worry makes any task feel insurmountable. It creates physical and mental tension that will prevent you from doing your best.

Change your thought process — anticipate positive outcomes to relieve the pressure. This will diminish the magnitude of any event to a molehill.

You will be free to concentrate on making sure you succeed.

5. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

Pressure can be distracting, It causes you to focus on your fears, rather than the goal.

Focusing on your fears makes you forget why you are there, and what you want to accomplish. It is difficult to maintain composure and give optimum performance.

When you keep your eyes on the prize (laser focus), you diffuse the pressure and have the power to do what you need to do.

6. Expect the Unexpected

We are all impacted by the vagaries of nature and the universe, which means we must be prepared for anything

If the unexpected happens, what will you do?

Don’t worry — just prepare yourself by asking and answering the question, “What is the worst thing that could happen?”

Then, have a contingency plan, if it does happen.

When you expect the unexpected (and are prepared), you can remain poised, calm, and on top of your game no matter what.

7. Be Your Own Best Friend

Pressure can turn your thoughts negative. You may suddenly remember every time you have dropped the ball; every mistake you have made.

Rather than dwell on the negative and beat yourself up, support and encourage yourself the way a best friend would.

Forget about the failures and concentrate on your successes. Pat yourself on the back while enjoying good memories.

The fears will fade and the pressure will diminish.

8. Visualize Success

Seeing yourself succeed is an effective technique for handling stress.

You have an upcoming meeting to close a deal with a client. You cannot fail! The future of your career may be riding on it. Visualize success.

Take a few minutes to sit or stand in a quiet place. Gather your thoughts and concentrate.

Walk through the meeting step-by-step, as well as your role in each step. See every detail as clearly as possible. Visualize and feel yourself convincing the client that there can be no choice but to sign with you.

Repeat the process several times each day prior to the meeting day and one final time just before the meeting.

Visualization keeps negative pressure at bay and empowers you to succeed.

9. Practice Positivity

Be Positive - Yes YOu Can
Image Credit— Anyaberkut@iStock

Pressure is a negative force. So… you must stay positive when dealing with it. Studies show that survivors tend to be people who remain the most positive when placed in a dangerous position.

Trying to survive a pressure-filled situation can feel like trying to survive a life or death situation. In both cases, the outcome is critical.

A strong, positive attitude is required to fight the battle against the negativity inherent in a pressure situation and the natural tendency to go negative when confronted with pressure.

Positivity will help you win the battle and enable you to perform at your highest level every time.

10. Embrace the Moment

The human brain is programmed to fight for your life or flee from the danger. Pressure can feel like a life-threatening situation.

A common reaction is the desire to run away, which breaks your concentration.

Instead of trying to flee, confront the situaton head on and fight. Embrace the moment and stay focused on the task at hand.

The instinct to fight a danger is just as strong as the instinct to run away. So, use your instincts and start swinging!

11. Control What You Can

Pressure situations typically have many variables. Things happen over which you have no control.

Accept that and take charge of the things you can control — YOU and your performance.

Don’t focus on someone else’s performance, or worry about anyone’s reaction to your performance.

Put your energy and focus on YOU and on doing your best.

Ease the Pain

Remember, pressure is a part of life. You can’t run away from it, but you now have some techniques to deal with it.

To ease the pain and enjoy life more, start implementing these pressure-reducing techniques today! You will be glad you did!

Take it one step at a time — practice a technique until it becomes a habit, then work on the next one. It will take time, but I know you can do it.

To your continued success!

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