Doing Too Much:
How to Overcome Pressures of Life
By Pete Bissonette
Is the first thought that pops into your head when you wake up in the morning, how you'll brace yourself for another whirlwind day? If so, you're not alone.
Countless numbers of Americans are doing way too much: too much work, too many activities, and too many obligations. And they're not taking the time to de-stress from all of this overwhelming pressure — a surefire recipe for ruin.
"Stress in America continues to escalate and is affecting every aspect of people's lives — from work to personal relationships to sleep patterns and eating habits, as well as their health," said Russ Newman, a psychologist and executive director of the American Psychological Association (APA).
A recent APA survey found, in fact, that 48 percent of Americans say they're more stressed than they were five years ago, and they regularly lie awake at night because of their worries.
Feeling overwhelmed by the amount you're expected (or expecting yourself) to get done is also counterproductive.
"When you rush and do not take time for yourself you burn out and actually get less done," says Hale Dwoskin, founder of Sedona Training Associates.
Of course, this type of consistent 'running on overdrive' can lead to chronic stress that, according to a study published in the July 2004 issue of the American Psychological Association's Psychological Bulletin, is likely the worst kind of stress. It is so hard on your immune system that it actually causes it to break down, leaving you vulnerable to many diseases.
How to Stop Doing Too Much, and Start Taking Care of Yourself
At the heart of your overwhelming feelings is likely an extreme desire to simplify your life, slow down and take a few long moments of relaxation. The tips that follow will help you to stop doing too much so that you have time for the things that are most important in your life.
- Live in the moment. "Do what you are doing when you are doing it, and don't do what you are not doing when you are not doing it," Dwoskin says. "Most of us do the opposite. We are trying not to do what we are doing or we are feeling like we need to do something else." The key to focusing solely on what you're doing right now lies in learning how to let go. This is an ability that you already have, but that may need reawakening for you to harness its powers. "By allowing yourself to focus on, engage with, and then embrace or let go of any reactions to the job at hand it gets much easier to simply do one task at a time successfully and move on," Dwoskin says. "Plus, the more you release on your everyday activities, the less they overwhelm you and the more you get done."
- Learn to say NO. If you're tired of doing too much, you must learn the art of saying no. You should say 'no' to any and all obligations that are not important to you or your family. You can't be everything to everybody, and the sooner you realize this, the happier you'll feel.
- Rather than rushing, believe you have all the time in the world. "There is always enough time for you if you allow there to be," Dwoskin says. So let go of the feeling that you are running out of time and live your life at your own pace.
- Reorder your priorities. It's easy to get into the mindset that the more you do, the better you are. In reality, it's just as important to learn how to slow down so you can appreciate the small things in life. If you're constantly trying to do too much, you'll miss out on many of life's most pleasant moments.
The Sedona Method, a simple but powerful tool, shows you how to release the doubts that are clouding the path to your heart, or your inner awareness and spiritual being...