Adrenaline Junkies—Fighting Distractions

If a light just went on in your head as you read the title of this post then I have a suspicion that you just may be an adrenaline junkie.  If you find yourself sitting down to watch TV while you do your laundry, check your online social network, load the dishwasher, let the dog out, shop on Ebay, read a book, or put the kids to bed, then you just may be an adrenaline junkie.  If your morning routine is rushed and you race to work while you fix your hair in the mirror, have a gas gauge teetering on empty, and you are on speaker phone with a call you forgot to make the night before, then you just may be an adrenaline junkie.  If you feel like you have a hundred things you are trying to juggle at work or home, but you are confident that your “multi-tasking” skills can handle it in spite of all the interruptions, then you just may be (okay, I believe you get the idea) an adrenaline junkie.

Those of us that allow distractions to drive us may at first experience a quick fix of excitement or energy but soon discover that it quickly leaves behind a trail of frustration, anxiety, and physical discomfort.  Our adrenal glands are on full throttle when we choose to be in a constant state of busyness. There are days when we seem to attract events and people who continually disrupt our schedule leaving us feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.  Many times we end up blaming it on the “full moon” or it’s just “one-of-those-days”, and even the “if they would just leave me alone I could get it done” excuse. Certainly being busy with distractions couldn’t be our fault?

Do you realize that being busy does not necessarily mean we are being productive? Adrenaline junkies think differently believing that busyness is getting things done and therefore allow all kinds of distractions into their lives just to keep them busy.  Call it ADHD, habit, or learned behavior, but I find it extremely painful to sit ALL the way through a TV show without busying myself with other tasks just so I don’t “waste” my time.  I have tried to sit outside and enjoy the sunset but within a few minutes I get fidgety and distracted by the weeds that are begging to be pulled, or the lawn chairs that need to be arranged differently, and the thought that I need to get up and for the 10th time check for those little surprises my dog leaves behind in the grass. You may not relate to this subject but everyone needs a “heads up” warning to prevent the possibility of falling into the adrenaline junkie trap.

There are valid distractions in our lives that are impossible to avoid.  It is important to remember that we do have a choice — we can say NO and avoid the distraction or say yes but let it be on our terms. Taking control of distractions prevents resentment, burn-out, frustration, anxiety, and illness.  Our bodies were not made to handle non-stop stress and face it; a life of racing the clock is extremely stressful and takes it toll both physically and mentally.  By the way, multi-tasking is a misnomer and regardless of what you have been taught it is not effective.  The brain works best when it focuses on one task at a time which means higher productivity, better results, and less stress.

My theory is that we have more control over our lives and distractions than we think and if you find yourself too busy to slow down then that’s a sure sign it is time for you to slow down.  Recognize the signs and symptoms of an adrenaline junkie and begin now to train yourself to take control of distractions, avoid unproductive stress-producing busyness and slow down so you can take care of your basic needs and save your adrenal glands for the times your really need it.

To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace. ~Milan Kundera

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