“If COVID has taught me anything, it is to slow down, and be intentional about what I say yes to.”
Brilliance! Sheer, unadulterated brilliance!
“But the crazy part is, the more I have taken busy-ness off my plate, the more scattered my brain has become. I just don’t understand it.”
Chemistry! Pure chemistry!
So we began to pick this bird apart. I started by explaining that it is not her fault…and I meant it.
We are habitual beings. I know that you all know this, but what we often consider as habitual is in reference to our behavior. Yes, we run habitual behaviors…but why? Chemistry!!! Our brain becomes habituated to particular levels of particular hormones running in particular pathways, and that is what runs our behavior. Have you ever heard the term adrenaline junky? It’s often a reference to EMT’s, firefighters, emergency room doctors, nurses, etc. It’s people whose bodies are flushed with adrenaline constantly in their work so they become thrill seekers, or drama creators, in their personal lives in order to maintain that level of adrenaline. Like any other drug, their brains become addicted to it.
Here’s the rub, many of us non-emergency workers deal with the same thing. Our brains have become addicted to the “busy” rush we get in trying to get it all done. So we get busier and busier, not on purpose, but because we’re driven internally by the rush it gives our brain/body. Most of us are affected on some level. Do you panic the second something doesn’t go right? Are you always behind on things? Are you over-involved in your kids, your neighbors, your friends’ personal lives? What keeps you awake at night? And more importantly, why?
Drugs…just not the kind you take. They’re the kind your body shoves into your system and loves to feel the effects of. So, when we decide to change, to slow down, to be more intentional, we struggle. Our mind turns inward for that rush of “busy”. All is not lost. The good news is just like we conditioned ourselves to that adrenaline, we can condition ourselves out of it.
Practice, practice, practice.
Practicing mindfulness: deep breathing, yoga, going for a walk in nature, reading inspirational passages in a book. Be specific about the book thing. Screens automatically create a level of brain stimulation that works contrary to our goals so less screen time makes a positive difference. Reading from the pages of an actual book creates a level of relaxation in the absence of a screen. Sometimes supplementing with a brain support, or a relaxation supplement can be beneficial. Talk to your holistic health practitioners, they can often guide you.
This issue is real, and it affects lots of us, myself included. Breaking the adrenaline addiction can be a challenge and our brains/bodies will thank us!
Remember, it’s not really you doing this. It’s a chemical habit, and like any other habit it takes intention to change it. Be intentional, and allow yourself some support as well. It’s time to retrain your brain.
Forever the journey,