Regardless of whether its David Bowie or Freddie Mercury belting out this tune, the lyrics to the song “Under Pressure” are timeless.
“PRESSURE. Pushing down on me. Pushing down on you. No man asks for. Under PRESSURE that burns a building down. Splits families in to puts people in the street”
PRESSURE can be wonderful or distressing depending on where and why we feel it.
There is the wonderful warmth in the gentle reassuring PRESSURE of a squeeze of our hand or in a hug when we are upset says from the other person’s heart …
“I’m here and have the strength and willingness to support you”.
Distressing PRESSURE however is usually a byproduct of the need to rush and perform for someone else; thus we give away our power and capacity to tap our own wisdom.
Sometimes we put this PRESSURE on ourselves; sometimes it is external from friends, families, lovers or colleagues.
So when addressing distressing PRESSURE the first place we can help ourselves is in re-setting the pace to reclaim our personal power.
When we hear PRESSURED speech racing from our lips, it is our alarm to stop. When we are rushing ourselves to perform and “get it all out” quickly this is fear driven. As urgent as our message may be, if we just stop speaking and take a few deep breaths we will slow our heart rate. We are far more effective when we communicate at a slower rate and re-engage our speech back to its natural pace.
Under self-inflicted, fear based PRESSURE our mouth speaks too fast for our heart and brain to connect, disempowering us with the capacity to hold our own hand and effectively engage. So sometimes we hurriedly select the wrong emotional gear (like reverse) when we would be most constructive if we gave ourselves time to intuitively think and just sit in neutral for a moment.
PRESSURE is necessary in life i.e. no pressure, no diamonds, oysters or pearls, Olympians, Greenpeace or childbirth etc., etc.
So let us review what we associate PRESSURE with?
For some of us PRESSURE and failure get tangled. Usually because we have not used our emotional and intellectual gears wisely under PRESSURE in our past because we were trying to rush and perform at someone else’s pace.
An often forgotten solution to coping with fear based PRESSURE is a gentle act of self-care in the midst of whatever storm we are in. We reduce fear when we deliberately stop, close our eyes to realign head (thought) heart (feelings) and body (actions). This is how we in-power ourselves; yes reboot ourselves so we can self-support. It is an act of grace we can give ourselves any time and it allows us to collect our courage then act wisely.
One of my favourite wordsmiths Ernest Hemingway reminds us that …
“Courage is grace under PRESSURE”.
In your days ahead I wish you a life full of gentle self in-powered grace.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™