People who love themselves see themselves as very caring, generous, and kind people. However, it can be difficult to love yourself if giving too much of yourself occupies you a lot with everyone else, in love, generosity and attention, especially in today’s world. The modern age greets us with a sense that everything must be done “now” and we feel as if we are doing wrong if we do not heed that sense.

Like when we fly for the first time on an airplane, especially if you are a mother with very young children, and you read the part on the security card about putting on your own mask before taking care of your children. The mother often thinks “that is so selfish”, but once she becomes aware of the reason behind it, she only has to agree: you have to put on your mask first before helping your children so that you do not faint while helping them . That way, on the plane you won’t have an unconscious adult, hysterical children, plane personnel needing to be diverted to that area to help that person, etc. It’s actually a lot less selfish to pay attention to your kid’s masks after you’ve put your own on.

Signs of giving too much of yourself and how to change it

We come across this enigma a lot, we want to give, but we cannot give tirelessly otherwise we would run out of time, energy, money, to help others. The following are signs that you are being overly generous to a point that it is already affecting your own life. Review, reflect and see where you can make the change to resume your life in a different way, and where that ability you have to give, is something you do in the right way and is not something that leaves you drained, cutting off your right to be happy with you first.

1. Your happiness is in danger

While there is certainly a certain amount of pleasure in helping others, too, giving too much often ends with the unintended consequences of anxiety or depression . If you are seeing this in your life, stop what you are doing and see a therapist.

2. You have too much drama in your life

Do you feel that there may be too much drama in your life? It’s probably because you’re so generous. Even for those who set a threshold for the level of drama they are willing to deal with, it can be easy to be outdone by the people you are trying to help. When you are engaging with people’s lives and stories, the amount of drama in your life increases. And vice versa. So it may be time to reduce your generosity so there is less drama in your life.

3. Too many people are looking for you

Although it is good to be asked for advice, you have to have a cut-off point. Do it with just a series of counseling calls (“okay, I’ve had my 10th call today, I’m turning this phone off!”), Or with a particular moment (“I turned off my phone at eight, doesn’t that sound ridiculous? But since I started doing it, I have found that I sleep much better. ”) Whatever it is, make up your mind and stick with it. You have to take care of yourself, too.

4. You rarely say “no”

Again, this does not allow you to win any prizes or give you any honor for being selfless. Being truly selfless means taking time to take care of yourself so that you can be of great service to someone else. You can’t take care of anyone if you’re exhausted, dramatized, and about to have a nervous breakdown. You have to take care of yourself first, and that means saying “no” more, a “no” a lot more.

This you can start to do: ask if you can call the person back, or if you are in person, tell them that you have to check your schedule and then talk to them. Then take a few minutes to take a few very deep breaths and think in your heart about the idea that you were asked to do. If that thought makes you smile, try doing it. If it makes you feel bitter or upset or in drama at all, just say you can’t this time, “but thanks for including me.” And then let it go.

5. You don’t have any time for yourself

Giving too much of yourself and not having time for us either doesn’t earn you an altruistic badge of honor. If you spend fifteen hours a day helping feed and clothe the homeless you still won’t have enough time at the end of it all for the fair rest and recovery, which are essential to your survival. Burning the candle at both ends sounds like you’re doing a bounty of spirit, but in reality, you’re just dragging yours (spirit) down. Your work and your life will suffer from it. Consider eliminating some things from your schedule if it is too crowded and cater to the ones that are really super important to you.

If you are having any or all of these characteristics, it may be a good idea, as discussed in # 1, to see a mental health counselor or therapist to help you with your over-generosity issues .

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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