Productivity and GTD

Are You Addicted To Your Stress?

AUTHOR: Kayla Matthews
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” ~ William James

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Stress addiction

Have you ever had one of those days where you’re super busy and you just don’t get a chance to relax? You look at the clock, realize the day is over and discover you never even took your lunch?

Now, what if this same type of scenario is repeated day in and day out? On the weekends? Even on your vacation, are you still fitting so many activities into a short time that you’re still busy on your time off?

If this sounds like you, or you know someone like this, then these people may be addicted to stress.

It sounds crazy, but it happens to a lot of people. If people are kept busy, then they feel like they are accomplishing things.

If they’re too busy to feel emotions, then they can’t hurt. Some people equate stress with value. When you’re trying to impress people for the first time, you want to sound busy, right? Your life is so busy they wouldn’t believe it.

It’s a cultural pressure, especially in the Western world, to stay busy. Busy equals importance.

However, the truth is a bit more complicated. Yes, being busy can be a good thing. It’s when you over stretch yourself that it begins to become a problem. And, you shouldn’t lie to impress people.

You just need to be yourself and tell the truth. But, when it comes to stress, it’s almost easier to embrace it and over-work yourself. If you find yourself doing this, know that there are ways to get out of it.

But, the question remains — what makes us delve into stress?

The Feeling of Importance

If you’re busy 24/7, you’re important. You wouldn’t be blowing time on something that wasn’t worthwhile, right? This is the mantra people tell themselves when they try to justify their ridiculously busy lives. Again, busy lives can be a great thing.

However, it’s when people stay busy for the sake of being busy that the whole idea of meaningful engagement goes out the window.

Busyness can sometimes lead down dark roads. Did you know 15% of med. school students used stimulants while in school? The stress of their schooling and the sheer idea that they wouldn’t have a moment to themselves drove a lot of them to drugs.

You don’t need to be busy to be important. You need to value yourself and realize you’re important even if you’re not busy every second of the day.

It’s a Biological High

Wait, can it really be true that you can get “high” on being stressed? Biologically speaking, yes. When you’re stressed, your body releases a couple of different hormones.

Cortisol and adrenaline are both released to help you deal with stressful situations. In small doses, they’re fine, but, when you stress constantly, you’re constantly releasing these stimulants into your blood stream.

Eventually, when these compounds go away, your body begins to crave them. You feel better when you’re stressed because it’s what your body has become accustomed to. It’s a scary thought, but a realistic one.

How Can You Deal With Being Addicted to Stress?

Luckily, there are some ways you can deal with this addiction. First and foremost, unplug. Whether it’s your laptop, phone or even your house, get away from it all. Go camping in the woods for a weekend. Turn the TV off for the night. Tell your friends you’re going to have personal time.

Secondly, you can exercise. Not only is it good for the body, but it’ll help clear your mind of all the clutter that’s causing you stress. You should also make yourself your top priority. Get the right amount of food and sleep. Drink plenty of water. You are completely worthy of rest and relaxation. It’s about time you start realizing that.

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