September 26, 2007

Fast Track to Calm: Tao of The Unhurried Way

Does your life look like a race car running at cut-throat speed and, to your horror, the brakes are broken? Do you feel like you are perpetually in a hurry, even when you are not in a hurry to go anywhere? Do you feel like all the items on your to-do list are dancing around in your head, and you can't seem to concentrate on any of them? Do you run around like a chicken without a head all day, and still feel like you will never "catch up"? Has it occurred to you that you have forgotten how to relax?

You are not alone.

Many of my coaching clients came to me, all frazzled and stressed, brimming with anxiety that they will never get it all done, or get it done the "right" way. They wanted to learn how to manage their stress, and create some balance in their lives, but they simply did not know how to relax. You'd be surprised how many people draw a complete blank, when I ask them what they do for fun, or what relaxes them. It's so sad that they have become so disconnected from themselves. A client once told me that even when she was at the spa, she could not totally relax, because half way through her massage she was already thinking about what she had to get done after the spa.

Addicted to Speed
With so much to do, and so little time, how do you deal?

Many people told me they tried to become more efficient so they could squeeze in more tasks in a day. Some proudly told me that they thrive on stress under deadlines. Can you relate to this?

What you may not realize is that, you have been running on adrenaline. When we are under stress (either physical or emotional), it triggers the fight-or-flight response in our body, which is then flushed with adrenaline to help us deal with the "crisis" at hand. Adrenaline is like caffeine that pumps us up with extra energy and alertness. It's referred to as adrenaline rush because it's highly addictive. You feel so much more productive and on top of everything. However, just like how caffeine affects our body, once the adrenaline rush is over, you'd experience a "crash" afterwards.

Some people try to stay in that "rush", so they wouldn't experience the "crash". The problem is, when you are running on adrenaline, your body is filled with stress hormone cortisol. Research has repeatedly linked chronic stress and cortisol to increased risks of heart disease, hypertension, weight gain, sleep disorder, etc. In other words, unchecked chronic stress can wreck havoc on your health.

Haste Makes Waste
There is a Chinese saying that's similar to "Haste makes waste". The fastest way is not necessarily the best way to get you where you want to go. Sometimes, when you try to rush somewhere, you end up not arriving at all.

When people asked me how to reduce stress quickly, I'd tell them to take a deep breath and slow down. Sounds very counter-intuitive, but, the fastest way to restore inner peace is to slow down. Slow w-a-y down.

Take time for you, and take the time to do what you enjoy. Savor every moment. Be fully present. Then you'll be on the fast track to true peace and calm.

About the Author:
Hueina Su, MS, BSN, CEC, is a Certified Empowerment Coach, Consultant, Writer, Speaker, and the Founder of Beyond Horizon Coaching. Hueina empowers women nurturers to go beyond their horizon, and re-arrange their lives so that they can practice Intensive Self-Care, reduce stress, create more balance and live the life they truly desire. Hueina can be reached at


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1 comment:

  1. Aparna:

    Thanks so much for inviting me for a guest post on your blog. I appreciate you. Keep up the great work!

    Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul


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