The most obvious answer to this question How To Tell If You’re Pushing Too Hard is when you get an injury. By having some sort of physical ailment whether it’s your knee, lower back or any body part – it’s telling you something went wrong, and could be considered the slap in the face / wake up for anyone pushing too hard.
Well, since it happened to me (the injury part) I’ve been forced to look at my life, and figure out where I overdid it. Here’s what I discovered — the antidote to pushing too hard is slowing down. And there were some signs that I chose to ignore which may have helped me avoid my current situation of lower back pain and limited mobility.
1. You’re Straining / Draining Energy In Other Areas
This happens to me a lot, and it’s really easy to recognize. Just look for the squinched up face, eyes bulging out of the brain, or shoulders cramped up around the ears. When I’m trying too hard, I over compensate in another part of my body. In yoga yesterday, the instructor pointed this out by reminding us to relax the jaw, the face and anywhere else that’s holding tension. Once this area releases, the rest of the body frees itself to find more ease.
2. Breathing Becomes Difficult
Breathing well is key not only in exercise, but also in life. When you lose the ability to keep a steady breath, it’s a sign that something isn’t right.
3. You Become Obsessed And One Dimensional In Your Thinking
I am all for laser sharp focus and determination, but not at the expense of losing sight of the rest of my life which leads to an imbalance. Sometimes I get like this with work and my to-do lists. I get so obsessed with Xing off the items on the list that I ignore everything else around me. This is also an example of pushing through the pain– when the obsession of achieving the goal supersedes the signs the body gives when it needs a rest.
At the end of the day, it’s about paying attention and accepting where we are today. By being more mindful in everything we do, we’re able to see what’s happening both inside our bodies and outside in the world. Sometimes we need to take action, and other times we need to chill out, and allow our lives to be as they will be.
How can you tell when you’re pushing too hard?