As a new intern, I definitely understand and feel then pressures of stress-new time schedule, commitments,etc. How do we find the time in our day to get everything done? What can we do when we feel the stress building up inside us?

One idea is to turn stress into pressure. I once hear this idea years ago and didn’t give much thought to it really; because really how could pressure be any better than stress? However as Gallo (Harvard Business Review, 2011) states studies have shown that at least where work strain is concerned turning this stress into pressure can actually have a positive effects on productivity as well as overall employee well-being. According to her research stress can be good or bad depending on your approach. Here are some principles that are recommended for helping turn the “bad” stress into “good” stress, Or in other words, turning stress into pressure.

1. Recognize worry for what it is. A heightened reaction, tensing of the muscles etc. All of these are indicator of how much you care about a task. One you see worry as an indicator rather than a symptom, you can react to it.

2, Reframe the stress. Attempt to see it as a challenge rather than a threat.

3. Focus on what you can control. One way of doing this is to make a list of stressors and then separate them by can control and cannot control. Ignore the list of cannot control. then choose a single action to focus on first.

4. Create support network. Knowing you have someone in your corner can help a lot. Also this person could potentially split duties or responsibilities.

5. Get some practice. The more you react to stress, the less intense it usually is. Do not wait until a stressful situation to practice how to handle stress. Think about how not to be in game-changing situations, but pressure. According to Menkes (2011, as cited by Gallo, 201) “Pressure and fearn are good because they allow you to stretch.”


Eileen Henry is the Graduate Counseling Intern with in the Stepping Stones program at Step By Step Counseling, LLC.