Eliminating Overwhelm Part III: Are You Addicted to Busy?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Nurturing Your Success

caffeine "I sleep very little. I'm always pressured and stressed. I feel a constant need to push myself to do more - be more. And then I take two weeks vacation with my family in the summer. It usually takes me the first week to simply calm down and relax; the second week is when I actually get to enjoy myself. I know I'm doing this to myself. I just don't know any other way to live."

This constant state of "up" is a cause for concern. You could be an adrenaline junkie. This is a person who craves the 'high' from living on adrenaline, the body's natural "upper." Anytime you feel yourself slowing down, you do something to get yourself "up" such as add more work to your plate, make a deadline, procrastinate, use guilt or fear, create problems or chaos - anything that will give you the internal stress to produce the 'fight or flight' response in your body.

(Some people gamble, use drugs or participate in other high risk or illegal activities. There's also greed, getting ahead, winning, and keeping oneself in survival...)

Then, like the client above, it takes time to calm down if you even give yourself permission to do so. Many people won't take vacations because of the uncomfortable feeling of not being busy. You just don't know how to handle it if you don't have something to do.

heartThis way of operating has tremendous health ramifications. Adrenaline is not meant to be used this way and causes damage to tissues leading to heart disease, stroke, as well as anxiety and depression.

Another result is that people who are carefree and calm, who are "over" their adrenaline hang up, will stay away leaving you with other co-dependents, rush-aholics, or addicts.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Besides enjoying feeling "up", people use adrenaline to avoid their feelings. Like any other addiction, an addict uses their drug of choice to avoid letting their heart and intuition guide them. It's scary. They have never been taught.  In fact, most of us learn to become human doings so the "being" part of human being is very difficult for us.

How do you know if you are addicted? Here are some behaviors to look for:

  • Regularly running late.
  • Driving over the speed limit, tailgating.
  • Winning at work but working really hard.
  • Trying to get ahead financially but spinning my wheels.
  • Overpromising results and becoming overwhelmed with things to do.
  • Overreacting to things that come up.
  • Attract a lot of problems and disturbances - there's always something!
  • Holding back intimacy from another - being nice, being angry, not owning up to what you did, not extending a boundary.
  • Trying to prove something by your results - impress others, people pleasing.
  • Having unresolved matters in your life - keep you in pain, angry, complaining, and a victim.
  • Letting people walk all over you.

What's a person to do if you discover this is YOU? Here are some first steps:

  • Underpromise. Take on less. Give yourself more time to complete tasks.
  • Leave an extra 15 minutes early for each appointment.
  • Breathe. :)
  • Learn to be more emotionally aware.
  • Resolve your past and let go of your pain. Forgive. Go to therapy. Hire a coach. Whatever it takes.
  • Stop putting up with things that you've been tolerating. Seek excellence from yourself, from others around you and from your environment.
  • Extend your boundaries. Teach others how you want to be treated and hold them to it.

slow downBeing more conscious about your motivations and learning to enjoy yourself and the people around you will help to put you on a path toward peace. It will take time to adjust. When you feel yourself becoming bored, you know you are on the right course. It is in this space when you will start to experience your emotions so be aware that this is coming. You have nothing to fear. Together, we will learn to help you manage these emotions. Having a wide range of emotions is part of our human experience. Most of us were never taught how to manage them. The first step is to slow down so you can gain control. You cannot experience joy when you're traveling at the speed of busy.

Your partner for success,

Coach Julie, Nurturing Your Success

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