“Slow down, you move too fast. You got to make the morning last now, just kicking down the cobble stones. Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy.” The words to Simon and Garfunkel’s The 59th Bridge Street Song say it all.
Do you feel like you are on a treadmill and can’t get off – even if you want to?
Do you wake up in the morning feeling as tired as when you went to bed?
Do you have your kids over-scheduled with activities, making you over-scheduled too?
Do you ever think, if one more person asks me to do one more thing, I’m going to scream?
Are you on your computer or other devices all night when you get home?
Are you non-stop texting and e-mailing work-related issues from everywhere you go? (restaurants, those kids activities, etc)?
Are you always late because you are doing too much or are you just too darned tired to even care anymore?
If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then I recommend that you stop and have a serious look at your life. You may be on the way to making yourself physically or mentally sick.
In his book, When The Body Says No, Dr. Gabor Mate states that, “stress undermines a body’s physiological balance and immune defences, either predisposing it to disease or reducing the resistance to it.”
I wish everyone would read Dr. Mate’s book, especially those of you in the helping professions.
We know this information is not new and we’ve been aware of it for decades. When anyone speaks of this common knowledge, everyone nods their head in agreement. “Huh-huh,” they say in unison. But, here comes the important question, what do they do about it? Knowledge is meaningless without action.
When was the last time you got sick? Do you get every little bug that goes around? How about your family? Do they get sick a lot? Observe the next time you or anyone in your family gets sick and see if there is a connection to what is going on in your lives.
Do you have a chronic condition? Go back in your memory bank to when you were told you had this condition and see if you can figure out what was going on in your life at that time.
Sometimes we are born with a predisposition to a condition, so while genetics kick in, stress can exacerbate the problem.
Dr. Mate writes, “The prefrontal cortex (behind the forehead) is where the brain stores emotional memories. In people who have experienced chronic stress, the prefrontal cortex and related structures remain in a state of hyper-vigilance. Prefrontal activation is not a conscious decision by the individual; rather, it is the result of the automatic triggering of nerve pathways programmed long ago.”
So, for those who are told their fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, etc. is all in their head, it’s true. The situation, or experience or trauma that created the condition, is stored in the prefrontal cortex. So, for future reference when it is implied that something is all in your head, you can agree, as it is indeed in your head as opposed to your imagination.
So, slow down, un-schedule your life and focus on the things you want to do, the things that feed your inner soul and make you smile.
Make fun your goal, then you can feel groovy like the song says.
Be groovy ‘man’. It feels kewl.
Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist and freelance writer. www.amindfulconnection.com