Have you added some wait-training to your wellness regime?
In 1970, futurist Alvin Toffler released his notable book, Future Shock. He predicted that information overload would leave people overwhelmed and struggling to cope with rapid technological and social changes. It seemed as if he had insider information, doesn't it?
Many of my clients express stress over the urge to do more, be more and have more, all at warp speed. The body however is still operating with a nervous system that developed during the time when dinner was a woolly-mammoth or when you were an afternoon snack for a sabre-toothed tiger!
Have you noticed how agitated you get when your computer is slow? Or how you can't wait for the next advanced green and end up screeching through the amber-to-red traffic light? Patience is not to be found in your active vocabulary. The more you hurry, the more harried you seem to feel.
Perhaps your Urgency Emergency sounds more like this:
Paul Pearsall, PhD writes on page 106 of Wishing Well:
"Mistaking more speed for a better life, our brain is urging us to move faster and faster. The result is often hectic turmoil, a consumerist orientation to life, and a set of 'hurry-illnesses' that includes hypertension and cardiovascular disease."
New brain research is showing how habits are formed by repeated actions. Neural pathways are forged that allow the execution of activities and tasks without thought which includes how you respond to the speed of change. As Marshall McLuhan states:
We become what we behold. We shape our tools, then our tools shape us.
The constant accessibility and need to be accessible creates a heightened sense of urgency and, in 2013, everything appears to be urgent. But, is your health and well-being on that list?
Awareness. Pay attention to what is clamouring for your attention. Is it a false sense of importance? Are you being distracted from the things that really matter? Can you be using your time differently? Do you allow yourself time to be unplugged? How do you feel when you are not rushing about? Guilty, unsettled, anxious? Do you feel so badly that you jump right back into the fast lane, even when you know you need down-time? This is important information. It is your choice and you do have a choice as to whether you wish to take heed and learn how to better respond during this rapid time of change.
Knowledge. I'm sure that you agree that knowledge is important but on its own, it's just information. How are you applying that information? Perhaps you are like Cliff Clavin on Cheers with an endless fount of facts? You may know about the deleterious and disastrous effects of stress but don't have the practical experience to recognize that you can apply techniques that can alter and improve how you feel. Do you accept that this is a normal way of life, unaware that normal is very different from natural? Natural is the way you are meant to be before your stress became so prevalent in your life.
Practice. Your perceptions trigger a cascade of chemicals. The type depends upon how you feel. Negative emotions results in the activation of the stress response; nature's way to give humans an advantage in the face of life or death situations. Unfortunately, time, or lack thereof, and the urgency emergencies create ersatz life or death situations. The body responds regardless.
Activate and practice positive thoughts and emotions to help restore your equilibrium. Reset your nervous system so that you can work and play wisely and efficiently. The change is immediate and registered in your heart rhythms, which then affects the type of chemical cascade that occurs.
Perhaps you're waiting to begin your training when you have more time? When will that be? Life appears to be speeding up with each successive year and each new technological advance. In five one-hour sessions, I provide you with guidance, information, support and opportunities to practice.
"Patience can't be acquired overnight. It is just like building up a muscle. Every day you have to work on it." - Eknath Easwaran