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UR Medicine


Functioning Well Under Pressure

Periodically, everyone experiences work pressure. When working under pressure, you experience a force (often a deadline) that requires you to accomplish more work at a speed that strains your ability to cope. With a faster-moving economy and downsizing, work pressure is more likely. Therefore, employers view employees who manage pressure well as valuable workers. Managing work pressure is a learned skill. Assuming the quantity of work can’t be reduced, the dominant success strategy for managing work pressure lies in attitude—seeing work pressure as a challenge rather than an inescapable trap. This view of work pressure coincides with the old adage that “stress is between the ears.” Although this may not be completely true, what you think does affect your ability to cope. Why does it matter? With a positive attitude, your focus changes. You notice task completion and mini successes and fewer painful results of work pressure like drudgery, wear, and exertion. Work pressure becomes more bearable with a positive attitude and less bearable without it. No coping strategy will make you immune to the stress of work pressure, but experimenting with an attitude change as a resilience strategy when you have no other option can make it more bearable to get through another day of work. Learn more: “Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry”


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