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Releasing the Pressure Cooker Inside of Us

Releasing the Pressure Cooker Inside of Us

At times our minds and hearts may feel like they are stuck in a pressure cooker; overwhelmed, pressurized, and heavy.  If we ignore the pressure cooker, it sometimes feels like a volcano could explode or the tank could crack under pressure.  Small things that normally do not bother us, somehow pushes our buttons during these times.  Good news, there are tools available to help us release the pressure we experience when stressed.  Here are three ideas to consider if you choose.

#1:  Know your dial and turn it down.

When daily life seems to be going okay the dial may be at a 1, 2 or 3.  When pressure begins to build up, the dial may be at a 4, 5 or 6.  When pressure escalates to the point that it may feel like we may pop our top, the dial may be even as high as a 10.  No matter what number our dial is at, we can ask ourselves, what does our thoughts and feelings look and feel like?  What do I notice?  You may notice a change in your thoughts becoming more rigid or negative.  You may even notice a change with your moods, body language or actions.  The more we become aware, the more we have control over our settings to turn the dial down.  When in doubt, take a moment to pause first.

#2:  How much pressure you put into the pressure cooker will influence the outcome.

At times we can be really hard on ourselves; placing a lot of expectation and pressure.  When the bar of expectation and pressure is set too high, we sometimes detour from achieving goals, or find ourselves replaying and critiquing so-called errors and labeling outcomes as not good enough.  Instead, we can ask ourselves, how much pressure do I want and need to put on myself and adjust accordingly.  We may feel less anxious and more content.

#3:  Put the pressure cooker away when you can.

In a weird roundabout way, when the pressure cooker is stuck on a high setting, we may disconnect in so many ways.  During these times, we may forget that positives co-exist amongst the negatives.  We may find ourselves immersed in social media for hours.  We may even put self care on the back burner or find every excuse we can think of not to enjoy the day to the fullest.  Instead, we can choose to put the pressure cooker away.  We can unplug from technology for quality moments with our loved ones through being present.  We can choose to honor self with moments of self care, play and mindfulness.  When we do, we not only give ourselves permission to build connection, we have a little more room in our pressure cooker when stressors appear.

If ever a little counseling support is needed in this area, the clinicians at Aspire Too are more than happy to connect with you.  We are here to help.

Tiffaney Haydukewich, BA, BSW, MSW, RSW
Clinical Counsellor/Registered Social Worker