Are You Stressed or Just Under Pressure? Take The Test and Find Out.
At first glance, feeling stressed and feeling under pressure might seem like one and the same. In actuality, there are significant differences between these two emotional and mental states. Pressure and stress respectively emphasize how external factors can exert both positive and negative influences on our overall wellbeing. If you’re sure which of the two you might be experiencing, just answer a few quick questions and we’ll give you the lowdown.
How well do you sleep at night? Do you feel rested in the morning?
A. It doesn’t take me longer than fifteen minutes to fall asleep, and if I’ve had a good eight or so hours of rest, I feel fine in the morning.
B. I have a difficult time falling asleep because I can’t seem to turn my brain off. I often feel exhausted when I wake up, even if I’ve slept for a long time.
Do you enjoy your work and/or studies? Do you feel supported by your employers and/or teachers?
A. I experience challenges at work/school that I work hard to overcome. When I am faced with difficult tasks, I feel that I have all the resources I need to accomplish my best.
B. I feel nervous and inadequate in the workplace/school. My fear of failure often impedes me from asking for help from my superiors.
Do you experience mood swings on a regular basis?
A. Unless I haven’t eaten properly or I am suffering a personal loss, I have a fairly stable and consistent temperament.
B. My disposition can change drastically in a short amount of time. I often feel restless and/or irritable, and find that I easily lose focus and lack motivation.
If you answered A more than B, you’re probably experiencing pressure in various areas in your life, but not in a manner that’s damaging to your health or happiness. Despite its association with stress, pressure itself isn’t inherently negative, and can actually be a positive state if managed effectively. In today’s busy world, it’s common for people to be juggling multiple demands and priorities at any one time, some of which may be of a professional nature while others are personal matters. Experiencing this push-and-pull force in your life can be actually very beneficial, by challenging your abilities and helping you to grow and develop as a person. In this way, pressure can be viewed as “good stress” that can prompt you to perform better in certain situations, such as in public speaking and sports events. Some people even thrive on the adrenaline rush they get from feeling under pressure.
If you answered B more than A, however, you may be suffering from stress. Stress is a state of mind that occurs when a person feels overly burdened by the demands of their life. Feeling inadequate or unable to accomplish a certain task can lead to feelings of frustration, anxiety, irritability, helplessness, and depression. Many external factors can contribute to stress, including workplace demands, personal and professional relationships, and lifestyle habits. If you’re suffering from stress, it’s important that you recognise the source of the problem and take the appropriate steps to rectify the issue, as stress can have a very detrimental effect on a person’s health over time. You can also look for ways to reduce stress in your life, and learn how to cope with stress in healthier ways.
Although every person is different, the best way to relieve feelings of stress is to relax the mind and body. Catching up with loved ones in a tranquil setting, expressing your feelings in written or verbal form, and spending time in the great outdoors can help you to feel calmer and more centred. Indulging in your hobbies, whether they’re of the sporting or creative variety, can also provide an enjoyable distraction. Meanwhile, physical exercise and meditative workouts (such as yoga and tai chi) are highly recommended for those who are suffering from stress. Even if you’re not quite in the mood for vigorous exercise, remember that a gentle workout can be very soothing, both physically and mentally. For further information on how physical exercise can boost your mental and emotional wellbeing, be sure to have a browse through comparethemarket.com.au’s health and fitness guides.
Feeling pressure is a natural part of everyday life. It’s normal to experience challenges at work and school, and to have hurdles in your personal and professional relationships that you need to work through. It’s only when your physical, mental and emotional health significantly suffers from the demands in your life, that you should begin to identify and rectify how stress might be negatively impacting your health and happiness.