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Performing under pressure

We all encounter pressures in our daily life. Maybe it’s an upcoming deadline at work, or a repayment that seems too large. And this can be made even worse, if we feel that others are not really pulling their weight, and are we are left picking up the slack for them, too.

Or perhaps it due to those upcoming exams, as how will you fit in all the study that you need to do, as well as keeping all the other balls you’re juggling in the air?

There are endless and constant sources of pressure in our lives, and given the nature of the modern world that we live in, there are also now a wide range of ways to instantly compare ourselves to others. As if our own sources of pressure weren’t enough, when can now measure ourselves against other people’s digital yardstick at any time of the day or night …

According to a study from Cambridge, approximately half a million of us in the UK believe that the levels of stress that we are under at work are making us ill. And illness, due to or related to stress, costs us about 6.5 million work days each year. And even if we aren’t the ones dealing with this stress, it costs us, as a society, approximately £3.7 billion a year.

That’s pretty expensive.

So what can we do about this? Given the pretty sobering statistics, it’s time for us all to start to take a new tack in responding to this.

For starters, we can start to educate ourselves, and others, about the differences between pressure and stress. We can start to learn how to manage them more effectively. We can learn about the signs and symptoms of when we might need to get help for stress – including but not limited to mood changes, or changes in our sleeping or eating patterns.

Resilience Workshop

You could organise a Resilience Workshop for your team!

There are a wide range of techniques to help us manage stress. Using these can also help us perform at the top of our game when we are under pressure. Various lifestyle changes can help us with our stress management – small steps such as ensuring that you are eating appropriately, sleeping enough, and including exercise frequently can have a big impact on how you feel. Simple things such as scheduling these things into your diary can help – and as we schedule and make time for meetings and other things, why not do the same to promote your health? Other techniques, such as those based in mindfulness, can be of help, too, as can talking therapies.

If you feel that you or someone you know needs additional support or education on managing stress, contact the Cognacity team who will be able to provide you with impartial advice based on your requirements and budget.

And remember that at times we do need some pressure – applied correctly, with it, we can get diamonds.

Written by:
Dr Rachel Thomas – Medical Doctor

Rachel studied Medicine and Surgery at Oxford University, and has completed a Masters in Neuroscience and Psychology of Mental Health at Kings. She completed Biomedical Engineering (Hons 1) and Science degrees at Berkeley and Sydney University.

Rachel is a practising doctor and healthcare innovator, and speaks on the importance of mental health and delivers insight as a doctor. Additionally, Rachel is responsible for content production with Cognacity case studies, blogs and press articles.