Strategies to Stay in Control Under Pressure

It isn't easy to stay in control under pressure. There are times when everything seems to conspire to make you lose it. However, some strateies can help you in this regard.
Strategies to Stay in Control Under Pressure

Last update: 16 January, 2020

It’s precisely the moment when things begin to go wrong when your ability to stay in control is put to the test. Although it’s very easy to get carried away by anguish, at the same time, that anguish might just be what keeps you from thinking clearly and being able to effectively solve any challenge you might be facing.

Thus, in those moments, you can use some strategies to keep what was already bad from getting worse. Such strategies are simple actions that make the difference between managing a situation or letting it get complicated.

Here are some of those techniques that can help you when chaos knocks on your door.

How to stay in control under pressure

1. Adapt your language

Language and thought always go hand in hand. This is why it’s so important to know how to adapt it to various situations. Thus, it automatically shapes your way of thinking and works in your favor.

To keep control under pressure, you must describe what happens to you precisely and as realistically as possible. In other words, not giving free rein to that tremendous language that you often use when you’re anxious or under stress.

Some believe they let off steam when they cry “Why is this happening to me!” Well, they’re actually wrong. This is because such expressions only increase your internal discomfort. Hence, you must pay attention to how you structure your thoughts in times of pressure.

A man surrounded by letters.

2. Stay in control by adjusting your body

Distressing situations lead to a series of organic changes and all of them affect bodily functions. Therefore, one of the strategies to stay in control under pressure is to perform a modulation job.

To do this, you must first be familiar with how your body functions under normal circumstances. You must have a clear notion of the rhythm of our heart, your sweating patterns, and even muscular sensations. This way, you’ll easily detect any changes. That single awareness helps return your organism to its normal state, especially if you also do breathing exercises.

3. Activate your positive thoughts

Control under pressure depends largely on the perspective you adopt regarding a situation and the pressure elements. If you see it as evidence of how unfortunate you are, the situation will soon become torture.

If you think about it a little better, the idea that can keep you from spiraling appears as every situation brings you something. The task is, precisely, to discover the positive that can come out of a situation that creates a lot of pressure.

You must know that easy outcomes don’t usually teach you a lot. On the contrary, complicated episodes are the ones that nourish you the most. Sometimes, they simply teach you to be more patient and put your self-control to the test. As you can see, this is already a great contribution.

A woman happy because she is able to stay in control under pressure.

4. Project towards the new

You may not be used to allocating many resources to digesting what you’ve experienced. Not only the great events that change your lives to some extent but also the small everyday experiences that shape you.

When you get into the habit of devoting a little time to analysis, you’ll begin to realize the contributions of critical situations. It’s also quite possible to find reasons to increase your confidence when it comes to facing similar challenges.

Feeling a duty in this regard is something that will help you better project yourself in a situation of pressure or crisis. Internally, you know you’re facing something that can help you grow. You increase your ability to be permeable to what future events can teach you.

A person debating on which path to follow.

5. Stay in control by making constructive comparisons

When faced with a situation that tests your patience, you’d be wise to refer to past experiences. It’s about making a constructive comparison, with the aim of applying what you’ve previously learned in similar situations.

This strategy is especially useful when you evaluate a given situation as very difficult and your mind looks for that kind of reset but remains blank. Also, when you feel very tired or experience a certain feeling of helplessness. There’s nothing better than using what you acquired yesterday to solve the problems you’re facing today.

As you can see, all the strategies to stay in control under pressure have to do with your attitude. It’s up to you not to give part or all of your control to what threatens you. You must be prepared to turn any challenge into some kind of constructive experience.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Gómez-Ortiz, V., & Moreno, L. (2009). Factores psicosociales del trabajo (demanda-control y desbalance esfuerzo-recompensa), salud mental y tensión arterial: un estudio con maestros escolares en Bogotá, Colombia. Universitas Psychologica, 9(2), 393-407.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.