Is pressure good for us or is it a negative force for us? Does it bring out the best in us or does it make us give up and feel scared to move forward?

There are two schools of thoughts regarding this. One believes that we do not work well under pressure. Their view is that when we are under stress or pressure of any kind, our brain finds it difficult to function correctly.  Stress interferes with the brain’s ability to absorb and learn new things and makes it difficult to translate ideas into meaningful information.

Leads to a brain freeze

It  may actually even lead to a brain freeze with the mind refusing to co-operate, leave alone trying to find new ways of resolving problems. Under these circumstances, people do not work better, in fact their performance suffers and this adds to the already present tension and pressure.

So their belief is that pressure is bad, it is counter-productive and instead of spurring us to do better, it actually retards our progress and makes us unable to even complete the tasks in hand. This is true of many people, not everyone reacts positively to stress and tension.

Those who thrive under pressure

On the other hand there are many who thrive under pressure, who look upon stress as a motivating factor and a challenge. Thus the second point of view is that pressure motivates you to work harder and better. Under pressure, the brain focuses and starts working overtime so that the task in hand gets done – it reduces the probability of feeling tired or bogged down by others. It looks for new solutions to problems facing you – in fact stress and pressure is what charges them with extra energy.

When you are in a difficult situation, when you are pushed to the wall and have no obvious way out, that’s when your mind gets into over-drive. You think harder and with greater effort, you have to push back at the force that is hemming you in and your thinking becomes more result-oriented.

Unconventional ways of tackling the situation

Since all the conventional solutions seem out of reach, the mind starts to think of unconventional ways of tackling the situation. In such cases people are motivated to take risks to get out of the tough situation they are in. They get more imaginative and creative and come up with ideas that would not have occurred to them had they been sitting comfortably with everything going easy for them.

Working under pressure improves quality of work and you try to finish work within the specified time limit. Being able to work under pressure involves being able to prioritize your tasks, meeting deadlines, thinking through alternate solutions, finding the most cost-effective, time-saving options and coming up with innovative, original answers to difficulties and troubles.