I am an adrenaline junkie. What do I mean?
- Experts say that action-addiction is both a process and a substance addiction. We get a high when we over-do, over-rush—or even over-help. As long as the chemical keeps flowing, we medicate our past or current distress.
- Incidentally, some action-addicts appear motionless at times, but their minds are racing.
- Normally hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline release when we sense there’s a threat to our well-being. It’s the “Fight or Flight Response” and it produces a shot of energy, giving us strength to cope with frightening situations. Heart rate escalates, digestion slows, and blood flow forces to our muscles. Our bodies return to their natural state of relaxation when the real or perceived threat passes.
- Yet when we’re addicted to action, we remain in chronic stress-mode, causing damage to our bodies. Initially, symptoms are fairly mild like chronic headaches and lowered resistance to colds. Eventually we can develop depression, panic attacks, gum disease, unexplained weight gain, diabetes, stomach problems and even heart disease. Who wants that?
- Yet doctors agree that there is a pandemic of action-addiction in our world today. Author Anne Wilson Schaef writes, “What belief have we accepted that suggests that, if we are not rushing and hurrying, we have no meaning?”
- An often effective treatment for action-addiction includes identifying and modifying our negative thought patterns. For example, modification of the above misbelief can become: I am a valuable person, even when I quit working and helping to relax.
What helps you become friends with tranquility again?