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4 Signs You’re Under High Stress (Though You Don’t Even Notice It)

4 Signs You’re Under High Stress (Though You Don’t Even Notice It)

Have you ever gotten the feeling you’re just totally done with your job, a relationship, or your current living conditions? When it happens, it usually floods you all at once. You just hit a point when you can’t take it anymore — you’re burnt out.

Except, it doesn’t actually happen all at once. Your body does give you signs to let you know something isn’t right and needs to be changed — you just have to listen to the signs!

Here are 4 signs you’re incredibly stressed even though you may not realize it.

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1. You get tired very easily

Remember the days when you could stay up all night working after working all day? Or go to a party after a 16 hour shift?

If those days are long gone, then you may be experiencing a lot of stress. Of course, your body shouldn’t normally be able to handle working all day and night; but you shouldn’t feel drained after just a few hours, either.

Science says that some people respond to stress by becoming incredibly tired, or even falling asleep on the spot! Stress causes long-term wear on your body, which increases fatigue. High levels of stress can keep your body in a constant fight-or-flight state, making you even more tired.

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2. You overreact a lot

“They forgot my dang fries! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!”

We all know someone who’s overreacted to something incredibly minuscule that could easily be fixed. But are we a culprit ourselves?

If you or someone close to you has noticed you’ve been overreacting lately, it might be a sign you’re getting overly stressed and on the path to burnout. If this is the case, you should take some time to sit and think about what might be stressing you out and how you can resolve the root cause.

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3. You’ve been sweating more often than usual

My girlfriend and I are moving this week and we’ve been doing a LOT of packing and heavy lifting… and we’ve been sweating like crazy. Sure, it’s been hot and humid and we’ve been moving big stuff like dressers, but I was sweating almost as much as I did when I was doing hot yoga (if you’ve ever done hot yoga, you know how this feels).

The reason we sweat more often under stress is because the stress is causing our bodies to heat up. Sweating is a natural bodily coolant whenever our internal organs are overheating.

Next time you’re sweating a lot, reflect a little. There may be a bigger underlying cause then exercise or hot weather.

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4. You talk to yourself a lot, and you’re not saying good things

People who are stressed out tend to talk to themselves a lot. Sometimes the talk may be positive, but the majority of the time this stressed out self-talk is negative, and you put yourself down.

If you’re a big self-talker, it may be hard to recognize this. If you rarely self-talk, it shouldn’t be too hard. The key is not how much you do it, but rather, what you’re actually saying. If it’s negative, that obviously needs to be changed whether you’re stressed out or not.

If we can learn to turn this self-talk into positive, reinforcing language, it can actually undo the stress that caused it in the first place! Here’s a short guide by Psychology Today about making your self-talk work for you.

Do you show any of these 4 signs? All of them? None of them?

If this article has opened your eyes to the reality that you’re stressed, please share it with others so we can help as many people as possible.

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Bill Widmer

Content Marketing Expert

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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