How Do You Know When You Are Doing Too Much?
How do you know when you’ve taken on too much? How do you know when you are doing too much, giving out too much, all without replenishing and refueling enough? How does that show up for you? Do you know?
When I lived in a stressed-out state the majority of the time, I didn’t really know what those signs were. I just got up each morning and did what I had to do. Eventually my body would protest enough to force me to take a break in one way or another – usually getting a cold or sick in some other way.
When meditation & yoga became a more regular part of my life, both practices invited me to become aware of my daily experiences.
I began to notice what it felt like when I was too stressed out. I began to notice what it felt like when I was behaving from being drained and overwhelmed. I started to become in tune with those sensations, habits, and behaviors.
Why is it helpful to know this information?
Now, when I notice those first few red flags indicating that I am too stressed, overwhelmed, or drained I know that I need to do something about it, like booking in time off, taking a quick break, getting a walk in, or even just taking a few deep, mindful breaths.
(my signs are: everything seems impossible, my eyes get tired and sometimes teary, my stomach hurts, my lower back and hips get achy, all I want to do is go home and watch hours of tv and eat snacks or drink coffee & wine – can anyone relate??)
The first step to changing how we feel, is simply noticing how we feel.
So how do you start to notice what your signs are? Next time you feel stressed, get curious about what it feels like in your body. Or think of a time you were feeling stressed, grab your journal and answer these questions:
- Where do you hold stress in your body? Shoulders? Neck? Stomach? Somewhere else?
- What do you crave in that moment? What food, activities, etc?
- What choices do you make?
- How do you interact with the people around you?
When you begin to invite a sense of curiosity about your patterns, you will begin to learn your telltale signs that you are headed down a stressed-out path that is hazardous to your health, and will be able to make choices the next time around.
Why is it a big deal to be stressed out at all?
Stress is not an event, experience, person, or place – it is our physiological response to those things. This response is fantastic – when we are truly in a life or death situation and we NEED our bodies to do their job. But when we are facing daily instances that are not life or death and our bodies behave as if it is, it takes a toll on the body – physically, mentally, emotionally.
So what to do when you find out your signs? Practice a stress-reducing technique like taking a walk outside, taking a few deep breaths, booking in some time to chill out later that day or week, get to bed early.
Or use a tool like a guided meditation, breathing technique, or visualization. For a free 5 Minute Meditation audio, sign up for our newsletter below and we will send you a new 5 minute meditation every month.