How do you handle pressure?

What is stress and where does it come from?

Why are some people more relaxed than others? Do you often lose your cool or can you keep your composure? 

Stress is often our biggest enemy. It kills marriages, academic potential, athletic talent yet to be developed, and worst of all, ends the lives of many every day due to the overwhelming defeat it brings on us. We’ve all experienced stress in our life starting at a very young age. It starts when our homework and baseball practice overlap and we become easily sidetracked or unfocused in one or both of those tasks, and continues into teenage years and is very relevant throughout our adult lives. As we aspire to grow in our professional, personal and spiritual lives the stress comes in and often stunts that growth, leading to many “problems” and issues that we have trouble getting through. 

Hacking stress

Through all the problems that this stress guy causes, some people find ways to stay composed and seem to have hacked the stress factor. How do they do it? There seems to be a trick in finding ways to cope with life and the problems that come our way. Could it be there is?

Yes!

The answer I’m starting to find is that in fact there are tricks and methods that certain individuals that are less stress and more composed use. One of them is a word we use a lot at Yellow mentality which is ‘perspective’. How do we view stress or pressure? What does it mean to us? Do we become victims of it or do we not allow it to control our lives? Is it something we see as temporary or everlasting? These questions give a lot of insight on what stress is to you and how it impacts your life. Stress the way I see it is a rebalancing or calibration tool. It helps you assess or ask what should I really be doing now? What is important now? We often get so buried in our daily life we forget our original goals and dreams are or were. So much so that when we come back to them we think they are stupid and unrealistic. Our life has warped our vision for life and killed any imagination we had. So when the stress starts to become unbearably hard we have to options. Become a victim to it and serve the consequences it comes with, or take a step back and say where am I and where am I going? How much have I veered off my original path? Again, use it as a self-realization and rebalancing tool to get you back to where you want to be. 

So that’s the first step. Establishing how you view and perceive stress is a helpful tool is learning how to deal with it. 

Be here.

The second method is presence and focus. What we focus has a direct impression or impact on the outcome. For Americans especially, it’s becoming harder and harder to maintain to maintain focus. We easily get distracted being our attention span is closing in on six seconds. There are six different types of influencers which can cause distractions. Won’t go into detail now about each of them but the point is, we all get distracted, we all shift focus in the wrong direction at times. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. When stress steps in use it as an opportunity to come back to the present. There are more than enough breathing techniques you can find. Take some deep breathes and come back to the now! Right now is all you have and it’s the only thing you can control right now. One of the causes of stress is we are trying to control or change a point in our life whether it was in the past or the future, recent or not. But all we can control is now. Focus on what’s in front of you. Obviously, there are things in the past or future that are relevant or need to be taken care of. But the more you concentrate your energy on this moment the less stressed and relieved you’ll become. 

Next time you start to feel stressed or pressured stop and breathe. Allow the oxygen to be felt all throughout your body and be in that moment with your entire self. This is not some Vudu crap, it’s just being here, now. 

The reason athletes fail to make crucial shots, traders lose easy trades, performers choke or you are feeling overwhelmed is all for the same reason, not focusing on what’s right in front of you with your mind and body in its entirety. 

The magic is right in front of you. The feeling of relief, relaxation, and laser focus clarity lies in the practice of just being-here-now. Just breathe......

Mendy is the Lead Performance coach at Yellow Mentality.

You can contact him at Mendy@YellowMentality.com or visit Yellowmentality.com