WHAT'S FUELING YOU?

On a recent visit to the DMV, I had an interesting conversation with the lady seated next to me while I was waiting for my “turn”.  She was there because she ran into something and broke her license plate on her brand new car.  This happened not too long after she got a ticket for turning right at a corner during a restricted time.  Hmm, she said, maybe someone is telling me to “slow down”!  I could totally relate to that because the only speeding ticket I’ve ever received was when I was racing home from work to pick up my son from soccer practice.  That was a symptom for me of what was going on in my life at that time. 

Can you relate to this?  Have you ever been speeding around?  Every day, you say?  Are you burned out already and it’s just January?  Recently, I read an article on Adrenaline – the first choice of fuel for many people.  Many are making this choice without even realizing it.  They’re living their life in a way that this happens.  Soon they are addicted. 

Often our behavior and our environment contribute to overstimulation of our adrenal system, making it hard to slow down and relax.  This includes fast paced environments, multitasking, tons of meetings or activities, constant use of internet, phone, email, or  the availability of many TV channels & channel surfing, over committing, decisions, traffic, running late, relying on deadlines to motivate you, always being busy, in a hurry, etc.  You get the idea.  You’re always “on”!  It’s hard to slow down.

Adrenaline is like a drug.  It pushes us to work faster and harder with the energy reserve we have.  In certain situations, you need this.  You’ve heard of the fight or flight response.  But overuse of adrenaline as a fuel can result in a crash of blood sugar, of energy, and a depletion of our nutritional reserves.  High adrenaline levels over time can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and chronic fatigue states, insomnia, suppressed immunity, anxiety and depression.  Have you had any of these symptoms?

Running on adrenaline can be a tough habit to kick.  It can be exhilarating and feel like a good source of energy.  You may even feel a little bored or antsy when you “wind down”.  In reality, you’ll be more productive when you’re not trying to go full speed all the time.

Try one of the following actions and notice how your body shifts to a slower pace and your mind is more clear and peaceful.  Arrive to appointments 10 to 15 minutes early.  Give yourself room to breathe.  Allow extra time before and after appointments. Eliminate distractions, interruptions and annoyances.  Schedule certain time to close your office door to finish work, have a “focus time” in the office, turn off or silence your phone, open email at set times, watch TV at certain times, and keep your environment “clutter free” to eliminate visual distractions.  Last but not least, take a break and relax!  You’ll find that your body will fuel itself in a more healthy and productive way.