We´ve all been through stress and pressure at different moments in our lives and some of us talk about them as if both of them were the same and they´re actually different, stress and pressure are not the same.
For me the differences between stress and pressure are:
Stress is when you are in a situation where you don´t have enough resources to meet the outcome, you may not have enough time, money, etc and when you don´t have control of the situation so the end results won´t depend completely of you.
Pressure is when we have control of the situation and the end results depends of you, of your performance, oh how productive, effective and efficient you are with what you have. Pressure is also when the outcome or result of the situation or project will have an impact .
In most cases for most of all pressure can be consider as a type of high stress because it comes from situations that matter to us and stress can be caused by daily situations which we cannot control and that are not as important for us.
The reason why it is important to identify both of them is to be able to act the best way possible for each situation, we need to identify if we are in a stressful situation or if we are dealing with pressure. If we are dealing with stress the best we can do is first ask ourselves how important is that situation for us, many of us pay too much attention to what others say and think of us, we spend too much time with negative people and this create stress and we don´t need it. Sometimes we make a big deal of meaningful situations and what´s impacting us is the way we react. What you can do here is breathe, take some deep breathes and feel your body calming down.
Then ask if there´s something we can do, in many cases there´s nothing we can do so we need to change our focus, do something different and work in other stuff and just move on.
When we´re under pressure this means there´s something we need to do whether it´s make a decision or finish a project in a short period of time we need to find the best options and solutions with what we´ve got. Sometimes we don´t have the best resources for time, energy, money, knowledge but our result can impact our job or our life so we need to make the best we can with what we´ve got, we need great performance, effectiveness and efficiency.
We know that stress can have a negative impact on our life and health while pressure can have a positive impact. For some of us pressure helps us stay focus and bring the best of us, taking it as a challenge to learn new skills, to improve, to get stronger is a way to get the best results while for others it can be overwhelming and can have very negative effects feeling as the highest level of stress.
Pressure can lead to anxiety, knowing that an outcome or end results depends of you and not knowing if you are going to be able to deliver on time at level expected and how is your end result going to be taken creates fear specially if you need to learn new skills.
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