We live in a world where a very common response to being asked, “How are things?” is “Oh, good, but I have been so busy!” Our lives are often FILLED from the moment we rise until we put our head on the pillow in the evening. In the business environment, we are rewarded for being busy and in fact, the busier the better as busy equals success (or so goes the story!). Our personal lives are also scheduled to the brim with activities and chores, making “busy” a common denominator in all aspects of life.
Our busy lives contribute to how many of us often run on adrenalin, using it as the fuel that gets us through the day until the time comes when we actually crave the feeling that adrenalin causes. So, we find more and more ways to constantly get that “fix.” Some get their fix by filling up every moment of their day, while others may use intense cardio-filled exercise to get it, even a cup of coffee can provide the fix many of us feel we need to keep going. Because society respects “busy,” the media encourages “busy,” and the popularity of the “no pain/no gain philosophy,” we have learned to value “busy” ourselves. Many of us are living in a constant state of stress. Yes, adrenalin = stress!
For some, this may be a new concept. Being constantly busy and filling up all of our time is actually causing our bodies to be flooded with stress hormones and operate in adrenalin mode, which can lead to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual exhaustion.
The good news is we all have a choice and we can choose to move from this state of adrenalin to a place of “space.” When we create space, we move towards a place where endorphins flood our systems and we experience ease, balance and vibrancy. What does creating space look like? It happens when we find ways to truly be more present as we approach the month, the week, the day and the moment. Creating space, while different for each and every one of us, can be as simple as:
- Taking a lunch break as well as mini-breaks throughout the day (close your eyes for a few moments and focus on your breath)
- Having a weekend with no or very few plans (and being okay with that)
- Eliminating or reducing caffeine
- Taking a mindful walk or a restorative yoga class (vs. an intense cardio activity)
- Doing nothing and not looking for ways to fill each moment
- Introducing rituals that support your well-being – whatever that means to you (baths, meditation, reading/writing, etc.)
- Being selective in accepting or hosting social engagements
- Slowly easing into sleep through a 30 minute “wind down”
- Walking/talking/BEING with family and friends
- Creating a no electronics policy at certain times during the day:
- Early morning
- Evenings after a certain hour
- Just slowing down (whatever that means to you)
As Marianne Williamson mentions in Aging Miraculously, we need to go slower in order to go deeper. In slowing down and creating space we are not doing less – we are actually doing more as we allow ourselves the time and space to think and feel more deeply.
When we create space, we give ourselves the gift of moving from a life of adrenalin to one of ease. What different choices will you make?