When Running Is Worse Than Standing Still
I know that these articles haven’t been coming at their normal pace. The reason for this is that I have been waiting for inspiration. Most days, she’s sitting on my shoulder whispering sweet ideas into my head all day every day. But for the last few months, she has been mostly silent. Perhaps it’s the exhaustion I was feeling from getting a new business model and website off the ground. Perhaps it was the inner work I’ve been doing on myself. And now, I can even say it might be the planning for the holidays coming into the mix. Whatever the reason, she has been silent. (I should have listened to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love, being interviewed on Radio Lab earlier – maybe I would have had something for you sooner.) But my feeling is that if I don’t have anything valuable to say, I should keep silent. Your time is far too precious for me to waste it with drivel. And so you’ve guessed it, since you are now receiving this article, I feel like I once more have something important to talk to you about. Thanks for reading.
Where Are You, Right Now?
I think one of the reasons why inspiration eluded me for so long is that I was stressed out from running so much. With all of the details to handle from the website, to he free energy scans I’ve been doing, to the increased workload of the resulting new clients, I’ve been busy. But what happens when you get busy is that you often forget that there is anything more to life than the details of the work in front of you. You spend most of your day mentally in the next part of your day thinking about what you need to do next rather than being where you are now. It’s really no wonder that you can’t seem to find peace. It could be sitting at our feet and you wouldn’t see it because mentally, you’ve already left the room.
The Adrenaline Rush
The other thing that comes with the stress of running all the time is the adrenaline rush and a vague sense of panic. The former can be a issue since it is easy for some people to become addicted to the rush of the adrenaline surge and so they put themselves in situations over and over again that give them that feeling. The problem with this is that it will eventually wear out your adrenals causing fatigue like you’ve never experienced in your life. In other words, it’s a short and perilous road.
A Vague Sense of Panic
The panic, on the other hand is even more insidious, it is what makes stress all-pervasive. It gnaws at you in a non-specific way that is kind of easy to ignore in the beginning. If you’re really good at ignoring it, it can sit, undermining your confidence and draining you of your convictions for a good long time. But eventually, it will amp up and start to overwhelm you. This is when people get panic attacks or get depressed or have huge feelings of being totally, crushingly, horribly overwhelmed. It’s not the overwhelm that’s getting you – it’s the panic.
We Can’t Stop Running
The solution to reducing your stress levels is to stop running. Take a break. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. But when you’re panicked, it’s hard to think to do this. You get further stressed out because you don’t want to admit you’re panicked because, really what is there to be panicked about. Your rational mind doesn’t want to accept it. Your reptilian brain on the other hand is screaming – oh no! I’m panicked, it must be time to RUN!!!! (Or, if those around you are really unlucky, then your brain believes it’s time to fight and you’re getting angry about everything.) So we keep running because our physiology is demanding it. And the worse part is – we did it to ourselves.
A Vicious Cycle
You see, our programming is such that our bodies and brains know that these two things go together. It doesn’t matter which one comes first, your body or brain will supply the other one – they don’t exist in separation – this is why stress is so dangerous. So if you are running in a flurry and you’re worried, your brain will happily provide both the adrenaline and the panic to go along with it. Or, if you’re panicked with your adrenaline running, then your body will immediately want to flee (or fight, or freeze). These are hardwired responses from millennium-old instinct patterns. We can’t change them.
Break the Cycle – Breathe
What we can do is utilize other hardwired responses to break the stress cycle. For instance, it is physically impossible to panic and breathe deeply at the same time. So if you focus on your breathing and you keep it deep and steady, then eventually, the adrenaline has to give way and allow you to relax. Drink water too, it helps clear the adrenaline from your system faster and it slows your breathing at the same time. Do slow, stretching movements to loosen your muscles – relaxed muscles are another way that the body knows it is out of danger. Run your fingers along your bare skin in a soothing fashion – when we have time to touch and be touched, our bodies realize that we are not in danger. Make sure you’ve turned off your phone and your email and don’t let anyone barge in – it’s important not to train the body to think that just as you get to relax something else goes horribly wrong. If you train it into that pattern, it will never relax.
Keep It Down To A Dull Roar
And then, once you get the stress under control again, you’ll need to keep on top of things. If you find yourself worrying or thinking forward too much, come back to breathing. If you find that you are rushing, take a couple of minutes and breathe. If you are being pulled in too many directions, close your door, turn your phone off and take a 5 minute vacation – and DON’T think about anything you have to do. Mentally, pull your energy in from everything it is doing and consolidate it all in your body once more. Light a candle if it helps and stare at the flame. For so long as the candle is burning, you don’t need to think about anything else. If you really do only have 5 minutes – set a timer to go off so that you don’t have to keep checking the time. You can sneak in a vacation from your stress anytime you like. It’s just a matter of changing your focus.
More Effective When We’re Calm
And if you’re thinking that you don’t have time for all of this stuff (and, who are we kidding here – those people have stopped reading long ago, but you can share it with them), then consider this. We make better decisions when we stop long enough to consider all of the consequences. We communicate more effectively and create less drama that we’ll have to clean up later when we take a breath before we open our mouths. And, when we are mentally in the room, we notice little details that could turn into big problems later – while we still have time to head them off at the pass. In short, we are more effective when we are calm. Go figure.
Does This Sound Like You?
The women I work with are typically competent, busy women who are frequently running. They are women who have done a lot of work on themselves and made a lot of progress but who are still feeling stuck in some area – most often in the areas of personal power, self love, and/or relationships. My specialty is working on these issues and facilitating the healing of the deepest, core wounds.
If you’re looking for the solution that other therapies, healers, and workshops couldn’t find, come talk to me. The best way to start is with a free energy scan to identify the energies that are present in your field so we can figure out where to begin the healing process.