Pressure vs. Stress: is pressure the friend you didn’t know you needed?

Pressure vs. Stress: is pressure the friend you didn’t know you needed?

“I need a vacation, I’ve been so stressed lately”.


How many times a month do you have a thought similar to that one? My guess is close to a hundred.

Stress. How can six letters contain so much as a word? It seems that we hear this word almost every day. If we’re not the ones saying it, we hear it from someone else. Or we read it in the newspaper, online, or even on our favourite TV show.

It seems as if “stress” is taking so much of our lives, but have you ever stopped to wonder: “It can’t be all that bad, there has to be something I can take away from stress?”.


Because I have, and the answer is yes.


In every group of friends, there’s always a friend who pushes you into doing what you’re too scared to do.

Maybe it starts with replying to that email from your dream job or moving to a different town. For some reason, there’s that friend who just seems to be able to give you the confidence you’re somehow lacking.


Well, feeling the pressure can be that friend to you.


When we work with a “healthy” amount of stress, we’re able to grow and expand what we call our comfort zone.

Our comfort zones are comfortable for a reason. They make us want to stay right where we are. It’s like being cozy and warm on the couch on a Sunday night. You wish you didn’t have to move to do anything, but you know you have to.

When the pressure becomes our friend, it becomes the push we needed to get off the couch.

Our comfort zone is a great place to spend some time, but when we stay there for too long, we get bored. It’s our nature. And once we’re bored, it seems as if we “switched off” or we go into autopilot mode.

When we get out of our comfort zone, we face the fear of the unknown. The fear of maybe not being enough to face adversities or challenges that’ll come our way.

This is why we sometimes hesitate to get out or stay in our comfort zone. Because it might be scary, but taking that first step out is one of the most rewarding feelings.

Once we’re past the “fear zone’, we’re in what we call a “learning zone”. This is where we learn, where we grow and expand. It’s not too far away from our comfort zone, so we feel a sense of security. It’s like riding a roller coaster for the first time. It might feel scary and you might be questioning why you did it in the first place,

And lastly, when we master that new task or challenge, and we’re able to add it to our toolkit feeling confident we can apply it, it becomes part of our “new” comfort zone.

We need to be challenged to find out there’s the strength we didn’t know we had. It’s like a whole new version of us is waiting right outside of our comfort zone.

Now, like every coin, there are two sides to every story.

Back to stress being our friend, we need to realize that when we let stress overcome us, it becomes unhealthy. It’s not the friend we needed any more. It becomes the feeling we all know and wish we could just get rid of and jump on a plane to the Canary Islands.

The importance of recognizing the power that pressure and stress have over us as human beings can become very useful tools for our daily life.

In the workplace, learning how to deal with stress is fundamental. When we feel stressed by a situation, a miscommunication, or maybe even a coworker or a guest, it’s important to know we can always ask for help. Opening up about stressful situations doesn’t make anyone weak, it makes us human.

Stress becomes our friend when it makes us take action. When we need to meet the deadline for an exciting project, when we need to turn tables for dinner service, or when we’re launching a new menu.

The type of stress that makes you swing into action and make things happen. When it all goes well, we get the feeling of huge satisfaction.


So next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, take a moment to think about whether stress is trying to be your friend and help you take action and accomplish a task, or if it’s trying to tell you to ask for help and take a moment to yourself.

We can always find a way to make any stressful situation, a learning experience.