Can setting high goals and expectations get you sick?

March 23, 2021

Can setting goals too high get you sick?
Here's a quick look at my own experience along with scientific evidence that reveal some side effects caused by inducing too much stress on the brain.

Recently I went about my day just as usual after a long week of brainstorming and planning sessions where I had set some big goals. I found myself starting to feel uneasy and completely drained towards the end of the day. Over the next few days, I had eventually led to what started out as uneasy to not being able to get out of bed. It was difficult to know what was going wrong. While I was laying in bed not able to summon enough energy to rise to the tasks I had previously planned to tackle. I found myself reviewing my plans and trying to figure out how I could keep working while laying sick in bed. It was then that I realized what may be causing the issue as this has happened several times over my life. I was only adding to the problem and prolonging any progress.

After much thought and research, I had realized that high amounts of stress can lead to unhealthy levels of cortisol causing fatigue, lack of energy and many other things that regulate the brain and body.

According to Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on webmd. Cortisol is nature's built-in alarm system and is your body's main stress hormone.
It works well with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation and fear. Its best known for helping fuel your body's "fight-or-flight" instinct in a crisis, but cortisol plays an important role in a number of things your body does including:
  • Managing how your body uses carbs, fats and proteins
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Regulates blood pressure
  • Increases your blood sugar(glucose)
  • Controls your sleep/wake cycle
  • Boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward
These are all great things given the right level of it, however when cortisol is out of balance can alter or shut down functions that get in the way. 

It can derail your body's most important functions that can also lead to a number of health problems including:
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Problems with digestion
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain. 

But wait! Cortisol can help to fight heavy tasks by increasing or activating our adrenal systems.
So which is it? The answer is both. It can be healthy when it's balanced appropriately and one of the best ways to keep you in optimal shape is to coordinate it with balance. This is what led me to build Letsgoal in the first place. I was experiencing some ultimate lows that were keeping me from progressing my tech company. I quickly found this common element being revealed time and time again in my past journals. My highs and lows were related to a state of imbalance.
Can being sick help to re-evaluate or possibly reset our bodies?

In conclusion: Setting high goals can be fun and extremely healthy, however on the flip side setting high expectations or short deadlines to hit ALL of those goals can lead to unhealthy conditions.

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