It is natural that at times we feel pressured by our workload; eventually it happens to all of us either because of causes linked to our profession or because of external factors that make things difficult (having small children, having bad sleeping habits, etc.).

The key is to know how to manage the pressure at work and not to let this situation become a problem without a solution. In this article we will review some useful psychological tools to help you cope with work pressure when it arises in your life, and thus avoid that your performance and quality of life are affected by too high levels of stress.

Managing Pressure at Work

In the following lines you will find some tips on how to manage pressure at work in an adaptive way, which will help you to maintain a good performance in your job without affecting your emotional stability .

1. The habit of planning

Planning is an important protective resource in the face of the pressure that our workload can sometimes represent, taking into consideration that when we are able to plan our time properly it is more effective and less likely to be invaded by stress due to lack of time .

2. Learning to delegate functions

As far as possible, delegating part of our workload helps to maintain better control and order over our activities . Otherwise, when we voluntarily try to cover all the functions is when the stress of not being able to do so even if we try, comes up.

3. Give value to moments of rest

Underestimating moments of rest is a common error, promoted by the thought that moments of rest are unproductive. Nothing could be further from the truth, when we rest we are protecting our nervous system from the stress and excessive pressure of work .

Ideally, rest should be meaningful, that is, we should seek to free our minds from thoughts related to our employment and take advantage of those free moments to enjoy the things that bring us peace.

Positive thoughts about what we can do after our workday is a good choice to motivate us during our breaks. Not everything is work , giving yourself time to drink coffee and think about the good things in your life is also being productive.

4. Good eating habits

Having a good diet, balanced between proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, is essential to keep us away from excessive work pressure.

When we eat the right foods we help our body to function better and not waste energy . On a psychological level, this also makes us feel better.

5. Implementing exercise routines

Physical exercise promotes a large number of benefits to our lives, among which is the release of neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, melatonin, etc.) that help combat levels of pressure and distress in all aspects.

6. Strengthen your self-esteem

When we are confident and trust our abilities, we are less likely to be invaded by work pressure. Self-esteem is a protective factor in the face of adverse circumstances in our environment , and if it is not well established, we should strengthen it.

There are some practical and very effective techniques for strengthening our self-esteem. Among them we have; to make a list with all our virtues, so that we can recognize them and focus better on them, etc.

7. Avoid rigid thinking

We need to use our imagination more to avoid stress and work pressure. We must be able to move away from conventional methods to solve complicated situations that may arise in our work environment.

People who rely on their imagination have the ability to evaluate different scenarios and are less likely to get stuck trying to solve situations in a way that has not worked for them before.

8. Relaxation techniques

When we learn to relax properly, we avoid the pressure of work from succumbing to it. Some simple techniques such as breathing exercises and visualisation can be very useful in reducing the harmful effects of pressure at work.

9. Try to communicate properly

In many cases the main trigger of pressure at work is lack of communication, or misuse of it. For example, not daring to say that an assistant is needed to carry part of the workload assigned to us.

We should avoid at all costs hostile communication , instead we should try to use more adaptive resources to carry our message.

Assertive communication is based mainly on carrying our message, taking care of both its content and form, that is, using appropriate language and a tone of voice in accordance with the social norms of respect.

10. Introspection

Introspection is the ability to review ourselves objectively, without letting our emotions bias our judgment. In other words, it is identifying in ourselves what the causes of our behaviours are .

In this way, we will make the personal motives that motivate our behavior come to a conscious level and we will be able to work on the improvement of our reality from a more personal conception of it.

Bibliographic references:

  • Ruotsalainen, J.H.; Verbeek, J.H.; Mariné, A.; Serra, C. (2015). “Preventing occupational stress in healthcare workers”. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4): CD002892.
  • Van Dierendonck, D.; Schaufeli, W. B.; Buunk, B. P. (1998). “The evaluation of an individual burnout intervention program: The role of inequity and social support”. Journal of Applied Psychology. 83 (3): 392 – 407.