Stress, with all its negative effects, can be addictive. Some people love it, even though it’s killing them.
Stress is an addiction that causes insomnia and weight gain. Moreover, it leads to other harmful self-soothing habits like smoking; excessive alcohol use; and even—I dare say it—running until your toes bleed.
The endless rumination over the checklist can be comforting. Working the struggle lends purpose to one’s life. And, as with all addictions, the mind yearns for the familiar soothing that come from stress.
Take the example of the flat tire on the way to work. Even if the tire was repaired and the incident caused no delay, there are those who give life to this event by allowing it to remain the focal, most important thing that happened on that day, foregoing all the wonderful things that may have occurred.
How does one withdraw from this stress addiction?
Withdrawal is agonizing and emotionally painful. Without something to stress about, one would have to look inward; face old demons; and, define one’s purpose in this world. Too big? Too scary? Is it easier to live a life ever focused on everything external?
Meditation is probably the best pathway to withdrawing from stress. Meditation is simply carving out a few minutes to actively focus on positive things; to slow down the racing thoughts; and to be still in the midst of chaos, and the unknown.
Start by reading Dr. Deepak Chopra’s article, “7 Myths of Meditation”. In his article he writes, “The real purpose of meditation isn’t to tune out and get away from it all but to tune in and get in touch with your true Self…”
For the last year, I’ve been using Deepak&Oprah online meditation. They often have free 21-meditaion exercises—each one lasts about twenty minuets. Or, check around your neighborhood to see if there is a meditation group that you can join. There are many opportunities to refresh, renew, and detoxify—to learn to experience our daily lives with more attention, and more peace.
There you have it. Now spread the word!