Dealing with pressure

Small business advice

7 February 2019

We know that running or working in a small business can have its own unique set of pressures and strains that you need to manage on a daily basis.

There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with pressure; however they all require action from you.

Taking responsibility for yourself in a stressful situation can give you a feeling of greater control.

Remember that you have the option of either changing the situation or changing your reaction. Below are some tips that can help you achieve this.

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Changing the situation

Express your feelings. If something or someone is causing you concern, communicate in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment can build and the situation will not improve.

Be flexible, within reason. Focusing on what you can do, rather than what you can’t, can really turn the situation in your favour.

Be assertive when saying ‘No’. Saying ‘No’ doesn’t have to upset anyone, the way you say it can make all of the difference. Explain your position, for example if you are too busy to help out a colleague. If possible explain what you are able to offer in terms of assistance instead.

Manage your time. Plan ahead and make sure you don’t over promise on what you can achieve. This can put you in control and alter the amount of pressure you’re under.

Changing your reaction

Find a quiet place. If you feel pressure increasing, take yourself out of the situation and find a quiet place where you take a few moments to breathe deeply and calm down. You may find it useful to count to ten before going back to the situation.

Look at the big picture. Try to get some perspective on the situation. Ask yourself if it is worth getting upset over and frame within the wider business context.

Accept what is good enough. Trying to be perfect in every way is not achievable, and can often leave you feeling like you’re falling short of expectations. Give yourself a break. It’s OK to lower your expectations of yourself a little.

Know what you can change and accept that there are some things you cannot change. Some sources of pressure are unavoidable. In such cases, the best way to manage it is to accept things as they are and move forward.

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