Life is a pressurised environment especially nowadays. But stress makes so much more of an impact when our pressure is self-imposed. From within us, bubbling up from the centre, is the secret presence of unconscious anxiety that drives us—some of us more than others—to do many of the things we feel compelled to do.
Why is this so? Why do we feel so pressured to do even voluntary things? Why is it we feel guilty when we don’t do them? Why do we get angry when we are blocked from doing these things? And when will we finally surrender to balance?
Some of the answers reside so deep within us we cannot know unless we delve into the unconscious, or at least be open regarding the lack within us that always wants (or needs) to compensate.
Challenging Each Pressure Situation
A good way to feel less driven regarding external goals, especially about keeping other people happy, when, by that, we can’t be, is to challenge our thinking in the midst of the pressure situation. In the moment of the decision, we reflect, and with courage we decide for what’s best in the longer run.
Besides our paid jobs, where our families rely on us to put food on the table, and other critical roles, like parenting, most other roles of life are voluntary.
They should be enjoyed. What we do not need to do we should want to do.
If we can’t feel effervescent in our delivery of these voluntary roles, we should ask ourselves if we are called to do them. To do them through the agency of guilt is less than satisfactory. There’s nothing wrong with this, per se, so long as we’re conscious of it. And we don’t need to be one hundred percent satisfied all the time.
When we challenge each pressure situation, understanding where the pressure is coming from, we convert a sense of helplessness into the feeling of calm, even privileged, responsibility for control.
When we allow excuses that we are controlled from outside, and our will has been subverted, we end up being not only useless to other people but useless to ourselves, also. We would be pitiable if we weren’t so pathetic.
We have more say over the pressure we feel to do things than we sometimes believe. When we ask, ‘Where is the pressure coming from?’ we can understand how much we are imposing on ourselves.
Taking control of our lives is, in essence, taking responsibility for the pressures we feel. Only we are able to control our thoughts, and therefore our feelings, and therefore our actions.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.