The first answer I would get from most people who feel stressed and possibly overwhelmed is —- YES —-!!! I’ve learned to question that notion. Why? Because I’ve given the almight “yes” to that question too only to really discover that I thrive on stress – it’s like an addiction – I learned it well early in my career – work hard, long hours and you’ll succeed is what I was told! So I did! Long, hard hours most often 7 days a week, so tired sometimes, I couldn’t remember getting up!
Stress – an addiction???? You got it – and everyone in a constant state of high stress knows exactly what I’m talking about – the chemicals in the brain give you that high – you move faster, talk faster and you feel super human – look at everything you accomplish in a day! Like any addict, we hate the down side – it’s not so much fun! The energy is simply not the same when we reduce our stress – it feels good for a while – the body feels more refreshed but . . . the excitement – it’s missing! And . . . let’s face it, social norms encourage and reward “hard work” – it’s in our daily vocabulary as is hello and good night! Note here – notice I didn’t say social norms encourage healthy attitudes towards work because they don’t!
How do we keep it going? We find an environment or create one in which we can keep that “high” generated. However, eventually, our brains and our bodies just can’t take it any more and we end up in a heap! It may take years of abuse. Denial, all that time, is such a great friend!
Don’t believe me? Read about it in magazines, newspapers and on the net – stories of people who achieved their idea of success and they crash! Either their health gives way or their spouses leave or they lose their jobs or someone dies or . . . but, something, “whacks them”! Something interrupts their “relationship” with the arena in which stress is perpetuated.
So . . . ask yourself: Do I really, really want relief from stress? Be very honest with yourself . . . not your first reaction; Watch what you say and do . . . it’ll give you clues how you perpetuate your acutely stressful life. Likely, you won’t see it at first because, hey, why should you – this is exciting! But . . . you know . . . . somewhere at the back of your mind . . . . you know . . . you need to change this modus operandi! It’s exciting but it’s dangerous . . . what is it you really want?
Tomorrow – another blog about stress – why? Because it’s wasting your time, your resources, your health and your relationships. Time management is about managing your life – managing stress is part of that equation.
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twist on an old theme at