The Pressure-Less "Diet": Lose the Stress That Is Weighing You Down

Are you ready to lose the "weight" that slows you and often keeps you down? Do you want to lose the weight that makes you anxious, fearful, short-tempered at work and home, and robs you of enthusiasm? If "yes" is your answer, you're ready to go on the pressure-less diet.

The pressure-less diet -- it's based on research that concludes most people experience daily feelings of pressure akin to a weight upon their shoulders, a burden to be carried 24/7 and your life is apt to feel sour as a result. The pressure-less diet reduces your daily feelings of pressure, and unlike most diets, sweetens up your life.

Because we all want to succeed in the tasks we deem important, we all experience pressure moments. For these pressure moments ---a job interview, an audition, an important test, a presentation, we can learn specific "pressure solutions" that help us manage our anxieties, fears, self-consciousness that often cause us to perform below our capabilities. We encounter pressure moments – like a holiday dinner - intermittently throughout the year.

Too many people, though, experience pressure feelings everyday---not just in a particular pressure moment. The extra pressure becomes a burden --- extra weight that they have to carry around, and they feel pressed, squeezed, with the world upon their shoulders.

People gain this extra weight by becoming pressure pigs ---they stuff themselves with pressure often without even realizing it. You will too, if you don’t break this hardwired pressure-eating habit: confusing your wants with your needs.

Start to understand the diet's science by asking yourself, "What's the difference between a want and need?" One woman put it this way: "A need is clothes. A want is a Chanel label."

For early man, wants and needs were the same --- his wants were literally equivalent to needs. He wanted food because he needed it to survive.

Today you gain extra pressure if you equate wants with needs because in your mind, you then feel as though you have to attain your wants to survive -- this was true for early man but not for you. You might want a Mercedes but you won't perish if you don't attain one, and while you want a bigger house for your family, you can still be happy in a smaller one.

Treating your wants as needs increases the importance of your wants and thus adds more pressure on you to achieve them. Simultaneously, thoughts of not getting them stimulate anxiety and fear. Treating wants as needs gives you a big appetite and you become a pressure pig  - you eat a lot of pressure.

Eat less pressure by short-circuiting the primal association that equates wants and needs by expressing your wants as wants, not as needs. Feeling less pressure and being more appreciative of what you have are results.

Make a list of your needs and transform each into a want and you’ll see that most of your needs are exaggerated wants. Does your son or daughter "really need" the new iPhone ---or is that what he or she wants to keep up with the other kids? "I need a nice car" is a different message to yourself than "I want a nice car."

Most people do want a nice car, but those who treat the want as a need will feel compelled to buy a status brand, even though they cannot afford it. When you recognize that you want a nice car but in fact, any reliable car will do, you experience less pressure and in fact, more at ease.

Your hard wiring makes the pressure-less diet hard to stick to but you can stay on course by remembering Keith Richards' message: "You can't always get what you want, but you can get what you need!"

6/11/2015 7:00:00 AM
Dr. Hendrie Weisinger
Dr. Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D. is a world-renowned psychologist, pioneer in the field of pressure management, the originator of criticism training and the author of two New York Times bestselling books. He has consulted with and developed programs for dozens of Fortune 500 Companies and government agencies and has taught ...
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These are stupid comments. Why did you leave these two here and delete mine? For humor's sake?
Posted by Elizabeth
Dr Weisinger,
I am having a really hard time with a hoarding disorder--and I want to be a minimalist. But, I'm stuck! What do I do?
Posted by Elizabeth
Apparently you two (Barry and Dawn) missed the whole point of the article. There is an analogy here. It's not about losing weight. Some things just go over our heads! Its a little deep.
Posted by Elizabeth
I'm sorry to put a damper on the Stress less diet. Although it may be true that stress causes weight gain, this article says nothing about why that is the case. There is no substance to thus article at all. If you are going to offer health information, take time to add some science-based information. This article reads like a high school paper.
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