Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Well, you are not alone on this. There are millions of people experiencing unhappiness, low motivation, and stress as a result of piling pressure on themselves. Quite often too at the cost of their health.
Excessive pressure can be extremely dangerous to your general health and wellness. It not only weighs you down but also triggers negative emotions. Too much pressure will only take away your happiness replacing it with anger, anxiety, sadness or even depression.
‘I had unrealistic expectations
At the start of 2012, I took time off my job as a property manager and then in 2013 stepped out of that career path. I enjoyed the job as a property manager, well most aspects of it. However I was putting so much pressure on myself that it was unhealthy, I had unrealistic expectations. I put pressure on myself to be like others and put pressure on myself to please others. Pleasing both homeowners and tenants was not always easy, not every situation was a win-win. In every situation though, I learned things and what I learned most in my final year as a property manager was that too many aspects didn’t align with my values and I wanted to be in integrity with myself.
I had had burnout the previous year from putting too much pressure on myself and I decided it was time to stop and think about what I really wanted to be aligned with, for me this was helping others.
During this period my emotions were all over the place. Excited to be achieving but yet annoyed about the lack of balance in my life. I was happy, sad, frustrated and exhausted. It was like a day with a rainbow, all seasons in one day.
Recently I read a comment in a book on the suppression of emotions. It referred to the suppression as the explosion inside.
When you bury an emotion, you bury it alive.Joe Vitale
What causes people to put too much pressure on themselves?
Having unrealistic expectations
You are more likely to put too much pressure on yourself if you have unrealistic expectations in life. Failing to complete a certain task at the office, getting poor grades or failing to complete a 5km marathon as expected can cultivate unnecessary pressure. Thinking that you will achieve success without working hard, or passing an exam without studying is simply unrealistic.
Being anxious all the time can breed self-pressure effortlessly. Anxiety will provoke you into questioning whether you are doing the right things. Stress and anxiety may result in you making embarrassing errors. It is important to slow down and follow the correct procedures when tackling projects. If you stay working with anxiety it will lead to self-pressure making it impossible to achieve your goals.
Slow down and evaluate your work-life balance, learn to manage the stressors in your life and improve your work-life balance.
Perfectionism and pressure are closely related. While it is normal to think of success all the time, trying to be a perfectionist can force you to put too much pressure on yourself. All of us are vulnerable at some point. It is impossible to have a perfect romantic relationship, complete your tasks excellently and live without making mistakes. Perfectionism will only trigger you to put unnecessary pressure on yourself.
How to relieve self-pressure.
Recognize and take a step back
It is easy to live in self-denial even when you are always piling unnecessary pressure on yourself. To eliminate self-pressure, you must have the courage to acknowledge the fact that you are being too hard on yourself. The beauty of this is that it allows you to take a step back and make amends where necessary.
Journaling is good for mental health, it is a great way to reflect, discover and learn through life experiences.
Take a step back and spend some quality time with yourself. The Mindfulness Bingo shares 30 ways to be more mindful and have some ‘me time’.
Practising the art of deep breathing on a regular basis can be vital in eliminating self-pressure. You can either decide to try meditation or yoga or simply engage in deep breathing exercises. Benefits of taking continuous deep breaths include improved energy levels, stronger immunity, and less stress. This is the easiest technique for identifying your triggers and eliminating them effectively. Deep breathing exercises will lead to more clarity thus making things much easier for you.
I recently participated in a meditation challenge at a local buddha centre. It was fabulous to be guided in meditation and to learn the techniques for meditation so that I could clear my mind. The techniques focused on the breath via deep breathing and also on relaxing the body. Every day it got easier. It is often said that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and it is the same with learning new skills, results do not show overnight, however, I have found with continual practice changes do show and breathing and meditation does get easier.
Related post: Balancing life with mindful methods that work.
Don’t try to be perfect
Nothing is more important than being realistic. Instead of letting your flaws be pressure triggers, consider learning valuable lessons from them. Nothing is 100% perfect. Don’t allow your mistakes to define your destiny. Accept that perfectionism is pointless and see the difference it makes for you.
You are unique. We are all unique and special in our own ways.
‘There are no failures on lessons.’
Additionally, live in the present, learn from past mistakes and have some compassion for yourself. This post has more than a few ways to show appreciation to yourself.
It is not an easy road to suddenly stop taking things so seriously and step into living life your way, but when you do so the pressure starts to be relieved.
Most importantly get help and seek guidance from professionals, the Mayo clinic has additional tips to help with burnout.