8/6 Observing your Red and Yellow lines for Total Wholeness

We all live with stress; just different amounts at different times. By being aware of stress ‘messages’, we can learn to live more healthy lives.

How do you know when you are pushing your body beyond what is healthy?  Where are your ‘caution lines’? How do you know when you are pushing your body beyond what is healthy?  Where are your ‘caution lines’? 

However, much dysfunction of the physical body would be avoided if we learned to listen to the “Red and Yellow Line” messages from our body.

One way of doing this is likening our body’s agitation to the speed of a motor. When a car motor is going fast enough to fly apart it is past its ‘red line’ in revs. If it spins less quickly and dangerously, it is over its ‘yellow line’.  In other words, the Yellow line messages your Body sends mean ‘Caution’, starting to feel too much stress.  The Red lines mean ‘STOP – Danger’

Yellow lines are those messages from your body that mean stress is getting to the point it could be dangerous.  Red lines mean that the stress has reached a point where, unless you stop, damage is being done to your emotional, social and physical body.

By learning to listen to the messages your body is sending you, you can sort out when you are close to your “Yellow Line” and when you are so over-extended that you are definitely working past your “Red Line”.

However, the aim is to realise your yellows lines are happening and STOP the stress at this point – never going into the red lines again.

The following are some common red and yellow lines:

Muscle tension in your neck, arms or legs, sleep disturbance, increase in anxiety levels, panic attacks, sweaty palms, depression, time loss, ‘Hard sleep’ – deep sleep without refreshing, forgetful, making unnecessary mistakes,

Increased anxiety levels, impatience, anger, easier to lose temper, hostile, resentful and unforgiving, change in tone or volume of voice, loss of appetite, mood swings, anger, migraine headaches, back pain, eating problems, worry, Restless at night, sleep disturbed, tiredness, hard to concentrate, annoyance, holding grudges, lack of energy,

Loss in concentration, tiredness, stomach tightness, digestion problems, constipation, changes in the menstrual cycle, Binge eating, digestive problems,

Now it’s Your Turn!  Grab a piece of paper so you can do some practical work with this information.   If necessary, draw the following chart on your own paper.  Spend time allowing the Lord to show you how He sees your yellow and red lines of dis-stress.List your own yellow and red lines:

1. Spend a few minutes listening to your body’s present messages to you.  Find an area of tightness.  Talk through the reasons for tightness with your BR and record the conversation.  Make sure the Lord and your spirit are involved.

2. Next, make a list of all the symptoms of too much stress for you.  Include physical, emotional, mental and spiritual signs.  The Messages my body is sending me at this moment:  “I am feeling …..”

3. Identify your body’s signals for your own Yellow and Red lines:

4. Record “My Yellow signs”:

5.  Record “My Red signs”:

6. Which of these are the most serious?

7. Which of the symptoms do you need to concentrate on the most?

8. How could you learn to take care of yourself better?  List some comments to yourself.

You might also be interested in our eBook ‘Understanding Stress to prevent Burnout’.  You’ll find it in our Special eBook Section on www.thebookaboutyou.mentorsnotebook.com 


Remember the aim is to get to the point that your yellow lines become the messages to stop the stress so that you do not have to endure the red lines ever!

Susanne Fengler, Blog Author




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