You probably didn’t know this but stress feels pretty darn good. The chemicals released when we are under pressure keep us focused, energised and pumped full of fatigue annihilating adrenaline.
And this is exactly why we are addicted to the hustle.
Our coping mechanism lets us disconnect from the emotional burden of being tired. We over ride our fatigue and push on. We buy into the story that we are coping just fine with no rest.
But our body’s needs do not really disappear, as much as we will ourselves to be superhuman.
The impact of constant hustle is quite insidious in fact and you may not even see it coming. When we go and go and go without rest we inevitably hit the wall and burnout.
You see rest isn’t an indulgence or a weakness. It’s a biological need. Digestion requires rest. Sex hormones require rest. Happiness requires rest. Our health relies on rest. Every time you push yourself past your natural limits you are denying your body an opportunity to stop and repair.
And I know a secret. I know deep down you’re exhausted and you want rest. Good solid rest. We all do.
The most common health complaint I see in my practise is fatigue you guys. We are not resting and it’s crazy. We need to slow down and connect with the body.
Dr Richard Chambers is a Clinical Psychologist and internationally recognised expert in the practice of mindfulness. According to Chambers “The body is a wonderful tool for showing us reality. To push ourselves beyond our limits we need to dissociate from the body, usually by getting too much ‘in our heads’. The moment we tune in and notice the effects of our busyness and lifestyle on the body, we immediately start to regain balance.’’
Rather than waiting for the vacation or the special day before you relax, why not start relaxing before you go do the special thing. Get grounded little by little, rather than all at once. This is a small but significant shift in mindset, a little preventative medicine that could make all the difference to your long term health and happiness.
Researchers in the new field of Interruption Science have found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to recover from a phone call. Yet such interruptions come every 11 minutes in our daily lives. You do the math- we’re never caught up. And no one’s winning here.
We seem to have gotten accustomed to this new fast pace, but it wasn’t always this way. Remember? We didn’t used to have access to work emails and newsfeeds 24/7. Life was simpler, we did one thing at a time, we sat on porch swings, we had down time in the garden, in nature, or waiting for a bus with no phone in our hand. The one thing technology doesn’t provide us with is a way to make the best use of the technology. We now are exposed to so much information, but are lacking the time and tools to sift through it. It’s a perpetual cycle that the mind struggles to keep up with.
Fortunately we are not a lost cause. There are things available to us every day that will bring us immense peace and grounding, if only for short bursts between the hustle, and they don’t require a plane ticket or a lot of planning.
Go to your yoga class, but don’t rush there. Stop and breathe. Go to nature. Step away from your device and your desk. Make time to meditate.
In fact, just. Do. Everything. More slowly.