A childhood where the state of fear, anticipating reaction from others and a consistent undercurrent of stress was my reality. My earliest memories involve being on edge; wondering what others thought, fearing the verbal explosion of divorced parents, worrying about being good enough and sensing the financially woes of my single mother.
As an adult I am looking at how easily I find myself with an overbooked schooled, continually looking at my budget, rushing from one job to the next and rarely sitting still. Is it possible that I became addicted to the adrenaline rush that living in the constant state of flight or fight causes?
When I look at my adult life and the patterns that I am so easily drawn back into, it is easy to conclude that it is very likely that I am in fact addicted to the feeling of unease. The hormone that is produced when stress is present gives that rush of explosive energy that says GO. Recognizing this recently I realized that when my life becomes settled, I become uncomfortable. When my life is chaotic, I am in my groove but my body, mind and spirit eventually suffer.
Catching myself feeding on adrenaline, here is my game plan for easing into a life of contentment:
- Meditate before my feet hit the floor. I tend to jump out of bed with a burst of energy and do not stop until I crawl into bed 14 hours later. Although I do meditate every day, it is often rushed through to get onto the next thing on my list. By rolling over and taking that first really intentional breath, I am able to slip into an easy and open meditation before my mind has a chance to get busy. I set my intention of ease and balance for the day and I spend time with spirit and gratitude.
- Review my calendar. Five minutes looking at my day and setting a game plan for the day. Knowing what is ahead is much calmer than getting the abrasive alerts on my phone, then reacting with a surprise that then causes a flurry of activity, which leads to more adrenaline and more chaos.
- Say no more often. Whether it is the extra trip to the grocery store for the unnecessary items or getting distracted on the internet. It is imperative that I say no to the things that cause me to be late, rushed or stressed. I tend to squeeze as many tasks as I can into the least amount of time. The result is I am often late and that feeling feeds the flurry of chaos.
- Practice, practice, and practice. Yoga is key for my mind, body and spirit to stay aligned. Five minutes on my mat will alter most states of disorder. I have my mat rolled out and waiting most days, and I am learning to consistently go there for solace and to get grounded.
- Breathe. Simple right? Pause and breathe. Often times just taking three really good breaths I am able to take the internal state of pandemonium and create a calm and serene feeling. Watching the breath come in and watching the breath go out. Affirming with each breath that all is well.
Check in with yourself and explore the possibility that your current lifestyle and pattern of chaos may be rooted in the addiction of adrenaline. Look for ways that you can move away from the craving of disorder and into a dependence on contentment.