Setting up a good health regimen is the first step in developing a fitter, happier you. But what happens when your systematic plan for reaching your health goals starts causing you way more headaches than happiness? Maybe you have set goals for yourself that are unreachable. Or, maybe you’ve put too much pressure on yourself to make a new fitness or diet plan work. When any of this happens, your stress levels can go through the roof.
So, how do you know if your plan is too much to handle? Here are the signs your health regimen is causing you too much stress.
1. You stop seeing results
This is one of the most telling signs that your health regimen is too stressful. But there is an easy solution here. Recognizing when a workout or meal plan isn’t working for you is half the battle. There’s no shame in revamping your plan so it works for you — instead of making you stressed and obsessed over your goals.
2. You’ve become obsessed with your regimen
Stressful situations tend to make us obsess over things, especially things that don’t go our way. Maybe you set a timetable for losing a certain amount of weight and you aren’t losing it as fast as you hoped. If this sounds like you, it’s time to back away from the scale and re-prioritize. It’s important to remind yourself why you set up a health regimen in the first place. Chances are, it wasn’t so you could think about the numbers on the scale all day.
3. You become irritable
Your health regimen should be making you happier, but a stressful plan can have the opposite effect. This means a stress-inducing health plan can make you annoyed at even the smallest of things. What’s worse, is that exercising is a common tool for unwinding and de-stressing. But if your new health plan is the root of said stress, your workout might just make you more frustrated and irritable.
In reassessing your health regimen, start using exercise as a means of unplugging from the world and channeling your stress.
4. You aren’t sleeping well
Many people aren’t able to get a full seven to nine hours of sleep at night due to their schedules. However, making a conscious effort to start turning in at least a half hour before bed can help clear your mind and lower your stress levels. That way, it will be easier for you to tune out any nagging thoughts and get some shut-eye.
5. You are emotionally drawn to bad food
This goes back to recognizing that you are exhibiting stress-induced behavior. To keep from going overboard on junk food, WebMD recommends stress-proofing your menu. Eating regularly throughout the day and having certain healthy snacks on hand that will keep you full are just a couple good tools for keeping this bad habit under control.
6. You start forgetting things
Headaches and forgetfulness are common symptoms of stress. If meeting your diet and fitness goals has you extra stressed out, you might start forgetting things because you’ve been so wrapped up in your health regimen. If your head space has become a mess, you should consider taking meditative breaks throughout the day.
7. Your friends and family want you to make a change
One of the best ways to maintain a health regimen is to have a good support system, whether it is family, friends, or a significant other. These are also the first people who will notice if your health regimen is causing you too much stress — and will likely suggest that you revamp it.
Mayo Clinic tells us that having social support has health benefits. (And the whole idea is that you want to be healthier, right?) If your loved ones have reached out to you to help you cope with stress, you should accept their aid. It is a heck of a lot healthier to be relaxed and supported than it is to be stressed about a health regimen that is clearly doing more harm than good.