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5 Warning Signs You May Be Taking On Too Much


“No one can get inner peace by pouncing on it.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

Do you ever feel like you have too much to do and too little time to do it?

This is a common way of life for many people, but it can lead to some serious problems if we aren’t careful.

One major factor that gets in the way of us being at our best is getting overwhelmed by stress.

We are all human and need to take a break from time to time.

The key is to notice when we are getting to the edge of our ability to cope, so we don’t fall off the proverbial cliff.

So, I wanted to share some warning signs to help you notice when you’re getting overwhelmed and help you prevent burnout.

Here are five warning signs to be aware of!

Cognitive – Changes in the way you think. When overwhelmed by stress people often start to think more negatively and cynically about life. We start to focus on all our problems and our thinking becomes distorted and less rational.

Emotional – When we have too much going on it clearly effects our emotions and mood. People get more irritable and have a shorter fuse. With a higher level of stress also comes diminishing levels of life satisfaction.

We won’t be as fulfilled and happy, and there may be a sense of emotional emptiness at the extreme end.

Physical – When we are stressed out for too long it takes a serious toll on our body and physical health. We might start to experience headaches or other physical symptoms. As well, a lack of energy and higher levels of fatigue is common.

Relational – We might not always realize that our stress level can directly influence our relationships, but is does. We we aren’t emotionally healthy it can be common to unintentionally take it out on others, even people who we really care about.

You may notice that you act more aggressively or antagonistically toward others, or that there is more conflict than usual.

Spiritual – Another unfortunate side effect of an excessively busy life is a disregard for our spiritual health. Don’t get so wrapped up in your daily tasks and responsibilities that you forget to nourish your spiritual self.

You may start to notice a missing sense of purpose and meaning in your day to day life. Life will start to feel stale and empty, and you may notice yourself asking, “Is this all there is to life?”

If you notice any of the symptoms above there is a good chance you’re taking on too much or have too high of expectations for yourself.

For some ways to deal with stress and avoid burnout, check out this post called 5 Ways to Manage Stress and Avoid Burnout on my personal blog.

5 Warning Signs You May Be Taking On Too Much

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2014). 5 Warning Signs You May Be Taking On Too Much. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 5, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Oct 2014
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