cope with pressure.
A prologue to this must be physical fitness.
The one thing you need most of all to combat pressure
is to be seriously fit, just at that time when you feel low,
depressed and fit for nothing.
Getting yourself in shape is imperative, even if you are broke
you can walk or run, plus do simple exercises to keep your
weight down and your spirits up.
Losing weight and gaining fitness to your ideal weight
is the one simple thing anyone can do to help themselves,
as not only does it allow you to fight pressurised things better
both mentally and physically, but it makes you feel a
better self image, enhanced by people complimenting you
on the new you they see in front of them.
So set yourself a fitness regime to suit yourself and stick
to it through thick and thin, then you will be suprised
how easily you will cope with what used to seem
mountainous tasks, simply because you have more
physical energy and more self confidence.
You will also sleep better after exercise, and sleep
is your friend too when you have severe problems
Below, at the label START, is a practical step by gradual step way
to try and lessen your pressure levels. Skip to there if you simply
require just to help yourself out of your present crisis, though what is
written here first may well help you more than practical guidance,
and step by simple step sensible and common sense ideas. Here is the
essence of being truly happy every day in time, if practiced
every day in time.
Here at our top there is a thought, even an idea, that would make life
for everyone far less pressurised.
Imagine you get up with the presssure you must be carrying now in
reading this page at all, and everyone, all day, unfailingly, is nice,
friendly and smiles at you. Complete strangers help you in tiny
ways all day long. The world seems a better place doesnt it.
These people will also feel better for having helped someone else.
It is a good upward spiral of people helping each other and getting on.
So how many people will you help today, not by giving money and wearing
wristbands saying look at me I have done my bit, as true compassion would
give money for no visible show. No, who have you smiled at today, and when you knew
that you had the chance to help someone, in however small a manner, did you do it.
We are too fond of expecting others to sail in to our aid, having spent years in
selfish pursuits not giving much of a thought for others, let alone helping hand.
If you think about it, when you have now held your Jubilee road party, just one road
of people combining their talents and abilities unselfishly can accomplish
miracles of output and communal friendship, so what if everyone, everywhere,
tried to help each other, or at least smile at each other.
What happens after the street party. Why everyone goes back into their own cell
for another ten years, and everyone ignores each other and sits on problems that
gnaw away at them that someone in the road could fix in ten minutes.
There is strength in numbers, if everyone wants to help each other.
This day and age people are wary of strangers because of some wierdos
floating about, but ask yourself this, if these wierdos had experienced a little
help and kindness early on instead of rebuffal and abuse so common in our
modern society, would they not have turned out better.
We lack the confidence to be friendly to others and help others, for fear of rejection,
as it is far easier to say, go away I dont need any help, or who are you smiling at,
than to accept friendly gestures or smiles for what it is, help in a tough time.
We have become hardened and cynical, hide in our own shells, puzzled
by any overt act of kindness or a strangers smile, thinking immediately,
what do they want from me.
Its mainly because we have forgotten how to smile at others, and lost the
simplest kindnesses for others, especially women, the old and the disabled
and the infirm, that anyone else being nice to us seems ALIEN.
Dont you realise how good it makes you feel to smile at someone and see
it has made them up, made their day. Cant you see the gratitude someone
shows when you do something as easy like opening a door when they dont
have a hand free.
Apparantly if you smile at someone, they in turn smile at the next two people they see.
Every day there are times you can lend that helping hand, you know it, and you know
them when ever they occur. Well today and from now on, try to offer a helping hand
and smile, before long you will realise it is you that really you are helping
more than those you think that you are helping, as your attitude allows others
to find you more approachable, and you feel better for
You know, no matter how grim you feel, there are going to be times today
when you can choose to help or to ignore, you will help yourself if
then you choose not to ignore, but to smile and help, not for others to see,
not for headlines in the local paper, but for you to know.
Having done this selfless action, the person you helped will be more
disposed to do the same, or at least cheered up.
There are those you help who will just always be take and no give the
rest of their natural lives, but they will have no friends, and when
they visit pages like this, having only them to turn, they wont
understand the words that are written here, wheras now you do Know.
So do not be put off if they rebuff you, it is their loss.
You owe it yourself to help others.
In the grim and dangerous world we live in, few things reach all peoples,
music does, and sport does, they are common bonds.
Yet people should reach people, we have a common bond of humanity
and no matter where we live in the world we have all got pressures and
problems that other people and other cultures could help with.
We are all insular within our own roads, insular and tribal to our own cities,
our own countries, to a pathological degree at times, yet we are basically all
the same. Look at what Carlos Santana has achieved world wide with his
new musical approach to helping deprived children. Look at Tsunami aid.
We all care, we have just forgotten how to show it on personal basis,
were friendly as hell if its organised and for some charity, then go to
work all week as Mr Grim from the Dark House on Brooding Moor.
This week be Mr Light from the happy house on the hill.
You will eventually save yourself in addition to others.
Try to help others and smile, or conversely, try not to reject help offered,
or scowl back at smiles, as it takes others a lot of confidence to reach out to you in the first place.
You will be asked, why did you do that, why did you help me.
A simple reply could be,
I just felt I wanted to.
If enough people have the sense to do this for long enough,
then one day someone will say this to you,
I just felt I wanted to.
Then you will realise that what you started does have its own reward.
We are all different. We all have different levels of
tolerance, different levels of ability, and different abilities.
We all have different aspirations, and different likes and
No one can legislate for us all en masse.
watch man on the right
see how much poundage the man on the right lost. Photoshop airbrushed.
What we all have in common at various points in our
lives is pressure.
Attendant to pressure can come depression, tension,
sleeplessness, lethargy, apathy, suicidal thinking,
anger, despair, physical illness and death.
All these also have one thing in common,
negative waves as oddball would say.
We will invariably all face one of these below
between us at some point in our lives, unless
we are in some cases extremely fortunate.
2. job redundancy or
3. job change
4. new baby
6. money worries
7. personal arguments
8. physical injury
9. serious illness
10. lifestyle change
11. drugs drink addiction
Most of these constitute what most people would regard as
genuine obstacles they have had to face or endure which are
harder to cope with than you would like.
This might seem an odd question, but it is very pertinent.
For me the why in every case above breaks down to
that is really something I have never experienced before,
coupled with high emotional involvement.
Many psychologists will be wringing their hands at
my next statement, but I believe that just as we all
have some God given talent, that we can ALL cope.
I am not religious, that is just the way I feel.
We CAN all cope.
With something we have never experienced before, there
is an innate set of worries.
a. will I be able to cope with this
b. will I make a fool of myself
c. how can I possibly do this on my own
d. what is really happening here
e. will I do this in the right way
f. I hope that I dont make too much fuss
g. will I survive this unscathed
h. How will I ever get through this.
A step into the unknown, never before experienced.
With the experience comes the confidence you have done
it before, and even if it was unsuccessful, you know how
better to approach it this time, know what is coming,
and to some small degree, know how to best deal with it.
Some things, like bereavement, are never going to be easy.
So what can we do to minimise the impact of these new and
frightening or slightly intimidating or plain terrifying events.
We have to know we will eventually cope with anything.
We CAN all cope.
What do we need in our armoury to try and cope then.
3. Back up
5. Self reliance
7. Know our own limitations
8. Be calm under pressure
9. Make logical reasoned decisions
10. Realise only we can do it.
The prime, underlying thing you will most need will be
the most difficult to try and do, sleep.
To have any chance of coping well under undue pressure,
you have to get eight hours unbroken sleep. Period.
That is singularly the hardest thing to do, how to let go when
you are under the highest pressure, but you must do to cope,
preferably without sleeping pills.
To truly sleep under grim pressure you have to be aware
that there is only so much you can do in one day, and
also some days you cannot alter or affect what is the problem.
Also some days you will get absolutely nowhere.
Identify your problem, or your problems, as they have a habit
of multiplying at bad times.
Break your problem down into the smallest parts you
can think of and make two lists.
One first list shows what you can directly do something about now.
The other shows things beyond your control, at least for now.
You can only deal with what is directly possible, so
make an achievable schedule of what to do each day.
And do it.
Then sleep. You have done all you can that day, and you have
a plan to work at, and you must not fret over things beyond
your control. That is a hard one but very true, you probably
fret most over what you can do least about.
Have your hot bath, and if not alcoholic, sherry or a port,
then sleep solidly for eight hours.
If you cant do anything about something, dont, let it go.
Once you have that plan then your armoury comes into play.
Confidence is built by truly knowing you are capable.
Knowledge of something new builds confidence,
so read up on others experiences, and
ask others who have been through this before.
Back up your own abilities with specialist advice
where it involves specialist knowledge, preferably
a few erudite opinions, not just one.
Friends, your true friends will share the load. So if you
know now you are not worthy of friends, for
example, if you lie a lot, stop lying.
True friends come out of being a true friend
and are worth gold at these times in support.
So now is a good time to look at yourself and
see if you cant try being better to those close around,
you never know when you might need their help.
Self reliance comes from knowing you have overcome
things before, allied to knowing you have to do it again now.
Never fret about looking stupid, or failing, being
out on a limb there on your own or making an undue fuss.
We have all been there, we can ALL get by.
Determination cannot be overstated, if you are truly
determined anything is possible, but it is easier to be
determined when you can actually see and visualise
what you are up against. That is a voyage into somewhat
unknown territory, but we are all capable of coping.
It is often the fear of failure that leads to failure,
not the lack of moral fibre or limited intelligence or
lowered resilience. Its the What If It All Goes Pear Shaped
that makes it into a pear.
You must be single mindedly determined to succeed,
which will waver at times, we all have some healthy
self doubt, but overall we must be strong, and we ARE
capable of it, ALL of us. You are only ever weak
if you want people to feel sorry for you. We can
all be strong, we can all survive intact.
It is instinctive to survive.
It comes naturally to fight adversity.
Knowing your own limitations is probably paramount to
all of this. Nothing is more undermining than knowing you
have overreached yourself, or under performed, or
attempted something way too difficult and looked stupid.
You are going to feel a bit lower than usual, so dont expect
miracles. Set yourself achievable things to do each day.
If you genuinely feel you cannot possibly do something and
are not chickening out, simply get the best person you can
suited to the task to help, but its best to try yourself,
if at all possible as this builds knowledge even if you
arent too brilliant the first time, and knowledge builds
up confidence, an upward spiral.
Being calm under pressure and making logical reasoned
decisions may seem very smug things to say, and very
difficult things to actually achieve.
These both come down to being able to devote sufficient
time to a given problem. You are not in a race, but it
seems that way as there is so much adrenaline, yet
thinking time often halves working time, and
clear thinking brings relief from pressure quicker
than rushing on headlong and poorly directed.
Many people have devoted much time and energy
to time management, but its not just mumbo jumbo.
I find that I use lists, and I use a personal organiser now,
where I used to rely on my memory, but its all one
and the same. A task is a set task plus for you it takes a set
time to achieve, which gets longer as we get older, so
we must not get annoyed when we cant do it as quickly
or efficiently as we used to do when younger.
Nevertheless it still takes a finite time, we should be
aware of that and calm down to allow that time for
that task. If in doubt then constructively and positively
think for a while, rather than carry on regardless.
A cup of tea can take five minutes, but the thinking
can save you fifty.
Often it was hurtling along at breakneck pace and
ever increasing workload that created the problem
in the first place, all the more reason to sit back a
little now and take stock of where we are, before yet
again zooming off at tangents.
Often its only when you break away from the
backing you can see you were stuck in the mould,
and can see in the quiet and still where the frantic
and noisy were headed.
Just as nothing good lasts forever, then so nothing bad
does either, this WILL go away eventually, leaving
you stronger and more confident to face the future.
Just as drink or drugs is day by next day, so problems
are finite bit by little bit.
Remember, we ALL have serious problems.
We ALL get through them ok.
Never start thinking I deserve this, I have been bad,
I should have done things differently, I am unworthy due
to the way ive lived my life. That was then, you are now,
and even if you have been bad news you can sort it,
and start to be a useful person, now.
Be positive for once in your life, that is grim, but I
am going to get through it no matter what.
And you will.
Also remember, no one said life was fair, it isnt.
Bloody awful things happen to very nice people.
I have lost friends and I still cant really grasp they
are gone, I guess that I find this the hardest to cope with
as its the one you can do the least about, but I know
they wouldnt want me moping about, any more than ill
want anyone moping over me, long live wakes.
Plus harping over the past ignores todays friends
and family, who are still here and need you too.
This might read somewhat antiseptic. For 1 do this, for 2 do that,
but in a way you have to try and break it down that way to
deal with it, as often it can seem overwhelming as the whole but
achievable in bits. At the end of the day, great Cathedrals are made of stones.
There are no easy solutions, but sleep, organisation,
time management, and calm positive attitude will go a
long way towards sorting things out.
Also, identifying unachievable tasks and ignoring them in
favour of things you can directly do and affect will be
instantly productive and ease the pressure quickly,
however most of all you have to realise that at the end of
the day, it is your problem and chances are YOU will have
to sort it out, sometimes alone.
But you WILL sort it out,
with belief in yourself.
Also, sadly, there is only so much you can do for friends,
before they have to start helping themselves. Many
will have you simply tearing yourself to pieces on their behalf,
who would do very little to help you in turn.
This might sound harsh, but there is a limit to how much
you can help someone before they become dependent
on your help for evermore. This doesnt help them anyway,
as from what has been said before, they only gain by
experiencing the pleasure of overcoming their own demons,
and the pride and confidence this gives them
in having done so relatively unaided.
Help people to help themselves, and soon they will be more able then
to help you to help out yourself in the future.
Also, exercise is the single best thing to counteract pressure and
depression. Even if you start at just one flight of stairs a day or ten
sit ups per morning, then twenty etcetera, you will be sharper,
more alert, and more able to cope. You will also feel more pride in
yourself and also your body, have more energy, and not spiral downwards
into sloth, obeisity and more pressure and depression attendant to
that. Doctors should prescribe less pills and more exercise to combat
pressure and severe depression.
A fit body and fit mind are more able to endure and overcome
problems and happenings which seem otherwise more weighty.
Also, never underestimate the power of music to soothe away
problems or engender a resurgence of spiritedness where you
were beginning to flag.
I regularly play my LPs or tape selected tracks on reel to blissful reel,
from there to pc and cleaning, from there to cassettes and cds.
There is nothing quite like listening to Floyd, Dylan, Clapton,
Dire Straits, Chris Rea, Stevie Winwood, and the old Rock
and Roll of Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Billy Fury, to put new
life in old bones.
If you really need major boosting, hit Buddy Guy, Curtis Mayfield
and Early Al Green topped up with Cream.
Music is good news, you just have to play the first LP.
Also I made myself a tranquility DVD of birds, squirrels, rivers,
lakes, canals, and creatures to make me calmer.
All you need is a camera with video capability and upload
to PC and good video editor and dvd burning software.
Its a cruel world, sometimes there is just you alone
between you and oblivion.
But that should be enough.
You can win.
When all I had was turning bad,
When night seemed endless dark,
When fire died deep down inside,
And cried out for a spark,
My future seemed, dire bad dreams,
Through every tormented hour,
And I seemed small, viewed overall,
Puny against primeval power,
Then I regained my former flame,
Kindled against these mighty forces,
Though alone, all on my own,
Gainst fates heavy cavalry horses,
Twas then my power seizeth the hour,
And my nightmare ran off screaming,
It was purely me, that set me free,
Though I may only have been dreaming.
An addendum, October 4th 2005.
I find Red Bull to be effective. I take one can when I get up, after
35 sit ups in bed before rising, and some 80 per cent cocoa milk chocolate.
This primes my metabolism to fast and the chocolate produces serotonin
which in turn produces endorphins, or the other way around.
This should supercharge the body to cheerfulness and fast metabolic
rate from pass go collect 200 pounds start position for the day.
I had polio, hence I need dopamine to counteract post polio syndrome in my head,
but I guess that it will be that much more effective for you normals out there.
If you are buzzing and happy from the off, you are going to do more and
burn more off per day, and then you will feel elated at having achieved
that better level of fitness, which enthuses you to do more, a positive
circle of forward momentum, not a vicious cycle of depression.
The better you feel the quicker you will attain your goals, and
the fitter in mind and body you will be to cope with lifes pressures,
often the weight of which contributes to the weight you carry in
the form of comfort eating to counteract pressure and depression.
That is a new idea that recently I have added to my regime,
Red Bull, plus high cocoa chocolate early morning.
Finally, the most obvious, and the most overlooked.
Laughing actually releases hormones which are
beneficial to health.
The more you are sorry for yourself, the more
people will make their excuses and leave.
The more you laugh, the better for you and
all around you.
Example. I do this indexing to help out friends,
juggling keywords around changes original sentences.
One I did for a friend who does wheelchairs
and electric stair risers ended up as,
Electric chairs for the disabled, pressureless ultimate in relaxation.
Teacher to class says, look at this picture of you all. In thirty years time you will say, theres Billy hes a lawyer,
theres Mary, shes a Nurse, when a voice from the back says, and theres our teacher, shes dead. Laughter is good news.
Good luck. Malc. 2005.
Additional information for Apps users in 2013.
The weight loss, stress and drinking smoking pages were written in
around 2003 to 2005. I quit drinking and smoking on Feb 28th 2000.
I lost all the weight 2004 and I started playing
golf again, following on a thirty year lay off in 2005, aged 52.
I started back off a 20 handicap, got down to 5 by 2009 then
apparantly had heart attack Feb 2009. Diagnosed Nov 2009.
I thought that I had pulled a muscle between my ribs as it was a bit sore
playing, but when my breathing was a little poor i got checked
out and found I had suffered heart attack. I was playing golf all the summer but won little.
I left that club for another where the course was a lot flatter
and also much more difficult, one of the best in the Midlands, Moseley.
I had ballooned up to 12 handicap again, but lately have got it back
down to 10. I mean to keep on going down again. My golf apps are there
to help others try to do likewise. They are minimally paid apps to subsidise these
self help apps I send out for free to help you all out there get better.
I am writing this little chunk on the end of the big three self help Apps,
the Weight Loss, drinking smoking quitting, and stress management, in order
to give you a progress report that will serve as hope for you all.
I used to drink with a Scots lad, Jimmy, and Belfast lad Kevin.
They both quit drinking. Full stop. A few years later (I am so quick on the uptake ;-))
I thought to myself, if those two can do it, ANYONE can do it. So then I quit too.
I have never ever had a drop of drink or a puff of smoke since; 13 years
on I am 14 stone 4, 6 foot two, and winning at golf on a pretty decent level.
If us three can quit drinking, trust me anyone in the world can.
I am sufficiently sharp in mind still to have written all these self help
pages on 15 websites, produced a blog, learned how to get it all top of
Google search results, then produced phone Apps for you all to read.
Doesn't matter now if you have a pc, tablet or a phone, you can access these pages and help
yourself get better.
Bear in mind, that I couldn't have been much further gone; i was 17 stone 3,
9 lots of pancreatitis, four of which put me through
weeks of intensive care. Also I had kidneys pack up and start up again with
this tube put down through past my collar bone right into one of the big
veins near the heart. Seriously painful even under morphine. (You want this??)
One of my surgeons told me he won a tenner each off the other 9 consultants
and surgeons who were monitoring or treating me (cos there was so much wrong all over the place)
as hed bet them i'd live when they said i'd die. When i asked him why he bet on me
he just said "you're way too stubborn by nature to die easy"
He told me he could tell me which patients on a ward would pull through
or not, and often it was the ones with the worst problems. He told me
"some people fight like hell and some give up"
I am living proof you can walk away from severe problems and get back to
normal, I was at the brink of death a few times.
So now its 2013, and youre sat there reading this, and you have big problems
too. Are you going to be a fighter or a weak quitter?? Are you going to give in
or are you going to prove everyone wrong that ever wrote you off, and turn
it all around. You can all do it man, cos it's just down to being pig headed
stubborn and really wanting to get better. Only YOU can do this, no ones going
to wave a magic wand and wowee lo and behold you are saved from yourself.
And when you do, imagine the faces of your family, and your old close friends
who had virtually given up on you ever seeing sense or reason, sadly lost
to them just like you were already dead man.
They are going to be overjoyed at regaining the old you, the one
that doesn't need drugs, drink or smoking to feel cool calm collected
and in control of their own destiny again.
You can hold your head even higher than before having beaten all these things
You can do this, if Jimmy, Kevin and I can, then sure as hell you can too.
Or are you just going to let an old limey like me beat you ;-)
To quote from the very last line of the last golf App, your attitude has to be:
Youre the greatest gladiator in the whole world, the last man standing in
the Colliseum, who has a lion for a pet.
How can you possibly fail man.