Are You Pushing Yourself Too Hard? Look for These Symptoms of Anxiety

Work, commuting, family conflicts, an uncertain future – are you trying to deal with all of it by  pushing yourself too hard?

Do you worry every day (and every night)? Do you feel overwhelmed and easily irritated?

You may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety. Here are a few of the most common anxiety symptoms linked to excessive negative stress.

Excessive Worry

This is the main symptom of anxiety and perhaps also the reason why you are pushing yourself too hard in the first place.

Worrying is a normal response to the uncertainty of human life, and if your life is very stressful  you will worry a lot more.

But, when you can’t stop worrying every single day and your anxious thoughts interfere with your normal functioning, excessive worry it is considered a symptom of anxiety.

Sleep Disturbances

If you want to sleep, you need to be able to relax.

But if you can’t stop thinking about tomorrow’s problems and worrying about the consequences of today’s problems, you will find it very difficult to relax.

And then you start worrying about not being able to sleep. Which makes it even more difficult to relax… and so on, until it is morning.

Sleep disturbances and insomnia are classic symptoms of anxiety.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Maybe it’s all just too much for you.

Maybe the tasks at work, the challenge of running your life, your family, and your job happening all at the same time are overwhelming to the point where you feel you cannot cope.

Maybe this is why you are pushing yourself so hard: ‘If I only work harder then I will be able to get on top of it’. Or maybe you feel overwhelmed because you push yourself too hard.

Feeling constantly overwhelmed makes it very difficult to sustain normal functioning. You may feel that you cannot afford to relax even for a short time because you are overloaded already, and every little slip-up might make the whole thing come tumbling down.

And that, of course, leads to excessive worry.

Feeling Easily Irritated

If you feel overwhelmed, you don’t have a lot of extra energy to spare. And therefore it is much harder to absorb the stress of small irritations and setbacks, like minor conflicts, personal disappointments, or even traffic jams.

When you feel fragile already, you are more likely to feel attacked or disturbed – all symptoms of anxiety.

Trying to Fix Problems by Pushing Even Harder

Because that pushing hard has become your go-to method for dealing with life, you may respond by trying to fix your problems through pushing yourself even harder. Your fear of failure won’t allow you to take a step back to relax.

Pushing Yourself Really Hard to ‘Overcome Anxiety’

Studies have shown that working too hard to overcome anxiety can actually make it worse.

Not because the techniques that you follow are wrong, deep breathing, relaxation methods, physical exercise and mindfulness are all valuable ways to manage anxiety and find your way into a more balanced life style, but because your approach is to add on yet another daunting and potentially overwhelming task that you can lead to failure.

Managing Anxiety

If you feel you have some of the symptoms of anxiety mentioned above, you might consider talking to a professional counselor who can help you find ways to transform your lifestyle.

It might be helpful, for example, to investigate WHY you are pushing yourself too hard.

What do you imagine would happen if you didn’t?

Are you afraid that your life would fall apart, that you would not be able to cope, or simply that you are not really up to the job if you don’t push yourself to the absolute limit?

It is important to recognize and address these concerns if you want to overcome your anxiety. But in a highly competitive environment, questioning yourself can feel dangerous. What if it makes you weak?

Anxiety often thrives on an underlying feeling of being inadequate and low self-worth.

But if you recognize your feelings and work through them, you can stop pushing yourself so hard and simply live your life.

Does that sound good to you?  You could start today!

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