Maximum contact stiffness is too big

I am doing a 2D thermal expansion simulation and received the following warning: "The maximum contact stiffness is too big. This may affect the accuracy of the results. You may need to scale the force unit in the model.". I have done some research and understand that the contact stiffness (normal stiffness factor) determines if the elements are allowed to penetrate into each other during deformation. I lowered this value to 0.1 for each of my contacts and this got rid of the warning, but now during the simulation the elements deform into each other which is not desirable. Why does this warning occur and is it something that can be reasonably left alone?

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