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.
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