I know for sure that life is NOT a FAIRY TALE, and I’m sure you do as well. Imagine what you have to deal with daily —the need to make something out of life, to fit into society’s timeline, to sustain the relationships in your life. I mean the list is endless, and they can stress anyone out.
However, as much as we like to consider pressure (stress) with a negative feeling, it also has its advantages. As they say, there are two sides to a coin.
Good vs. Bad Pressure
I believe that good pressure pushes you towards what you NEED, not demanding you act without thinking. The strive for success, demand to study hard or work smart, and the process of personal development are some examples of good (or positive) pressure. Those are essential for one to excel in life.
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On the other hand, bad (or negative) pressure dictates what you (should) want, making it appear like a need. Negative pressure can come from society, peers, work (career), family and others. For example, below is a great video that lucidly expatiates on how social and peer pressures can impact one. The video also offers some practical guides on how to overcome them.
Negative pressure or stress surreptitiously forces you to do what it demands or what’s in vogue, with zero consideration for your personal preferences. I’m sure you are familiar with maxims such as “A fool at 40 is a fool forever”, “It’s what cool people do”, “...you’ve got to go with the flow here”, and so on. When faced with this distractive pressure, it is time to consciously re-evaluate your stand and say:
Yes, to achieving success, but not with a time limit.
Yes, to having cool relationships, but not at the expense of your values.
Yes, to understanding the trends, but not losing yourself to them.
"My strategy for achieving balance in life is understanding that balance is not always 50/50. I believe that maintaining a healthy balance depends on you, your priorities, and the demand for those priorities at every given time."
Ways to deal with Life's pressures
I know, there’s a question on your mind. You are thinking and asking yourself, “…but how can I cope with these constant pressures?” I am glad you asked! It’s simple, you need to learn practical ways of dealing with pressures in life.
Often, I have been in these situations, not that I’m completely free from them, but I can say that these points I’m about to share with you work like magic, trust me.
#1. Study the situation
Someone said to me a long time ago, “Yemi, do you know you are not living up to your potentials?” Here, bear in mind that I had just graduated from university at the age of 20, and I was super proud of myself. Hearing this from someone I admired got me thinking of what I should be doing that I wasn’t already doing. I couldn’t figure it out at the time, so I simply assumed it was unnecessary pressure on me. Eventually, I understood that he was trying to get me to understand that I had so much that I wasn’t maximizing. Realizing that, I couldn’t stop pushing myself.
The point is, sometimes, what you see is not what it is. Study the situation critically to ensure you are not assuming it is a pressure that is set to frustrate you. The situation may just be the push you need to move to the next level.
It’s also important to self-reflect, so you can understand the root cause of what you feel. In some cases, the pressure you feel could be symptoms of previous poor choices or unresolved fundamental issues.
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#2. Step away
An adage says: “A sheep that walks with dogs will end up barking like a dog”. This adage simply means that if you linger in an atmosphere that constantly puts you under pressure, eventually you will give in.
Never assume you are so strong that you can handle situations that keep stressing you out. It’s difficult, trust me. Protect the mental energy you exert trying to stay strong by taking the safe route to step away from such situations.
Of course, you may not be able to freely step away in some cases, for instance, family and work-related pressures. However, you can choose to mentally step away. This brings me to my next point.
"Yes, to achieving success, but not with a time limit. Yes, to having cool relationships, but not at the expense of your values. Yes, to understanding the trends, but not losing yourself to them."
#3. Connect with peace
As humans, we find it hard to let go of things, especially when we have nothing to replace them with. If you disconnect from situations stressing you, then you need to fill up the void with things that bring you peace, else, you go back to your old ways. I like to think that we all have a safe haven.
To separate yourself from a chaotic situation, you need to take time to figure out what brings you peace and constantly connect with it. It could be physical (e.g. walking, sports), mental (e.g. reading) or spiritual (e.g. praying).
#4. Aim for a balanced life
Life has its challenges, but we can always seek to create a balance. A lot of life’s pressures are self-inflicted —I hope I didn’t sound mean. I know this because whenever I am under pressure or stressed, mostly, it’s because I took on more than I could handle or I didn’t have a working routine, or I tried to keep up with the jones. Can you relate with any of these too?
Please note those situations that you constantly feel pressured, study them, and figure out effective ways to manage them. Ask yourself these vital self-diagnostic questions: what do you need to let go of? what can you improve on? what is the domino factor that will make all others fall in place? where do you need help?
My strategy for achieving balance in life is understanding that balance is not always 50/50. I believe that maintaining a healthy balance depends on you, your priorities, and the demand for those priorities at every given time. It could be 60/40, 70/30, or maybe 20/20/60. In my opinion, whatever makes 100 per cent will give you a balanced life.
You need to lay out your priorities, create systems that work for you, and learn to say YES to your priorities. You can postpone other things of lesser importance, so you don’t get overwhelmed. We can achieve all our goals and aspirations. However, we may not be able to handle all that comes with it at once.
Always remember to stay positive and look on the brighter side. Life is a journey, so live every day as brand new. Don’t let anyone or situation put you down. If you need clarity or more insights to improve the relationships that matter to you, Dazzling Insights is here for you. Let’s keep dazzling.
Mrs. Opeyemi Ayodeji is a teacher, mother, content creator, and a personal growth enthusiast. She has a bachelor's degree in Economics Education. She is an advocate for the girl-child emancipation, and she is passionate about helping young women discover their purpose.