Adrenaline used to be for escaping tigers. Today, it’s mostly for fun. Rollercoasters, fast cars, the thrill of our sports team winning at the last second. Those are dosed experiences.
A question I ask myself is: Are we still dosing? Sometimes, I feel like I’m running on adrenaline 24/7. I’m injecting myself, of course. It’s an addiction.
When I wake up and check my portfolio, I start buzzing. I reply to five people on WhatsApp. I think about 17 things I wanna do, and by the time I leave the shower, I’m already behind in my mind. Write a post. Quick! Inhale lunch. Check the phone again. More adrenaline! Emails! Calls! More writing. Fasterrrrrr….aaaargh!
When you work from home, you don’t need adrenaline. When your phone rings and it’s a stranger, you don’t need adrenaline. These are not dangerous situations. But if you’ve already chosen to be frantic, it doesn’t matter, does it? You’ll do everything in a frenzy, even if frenzy is rarely required.
It is not a privilege we’re used to, but it’s one we must learn how to handle: We can choose our stress level. There’s good stress, and there’s bad stress — but you are not obligated to give in to either.
You can choose not to be excited, and you can choose not to be rushed.
When I put my phone where I can’t grab it from bed, I wake up differently. I notice the light, stretch my limbs, and feel the warmth under the blanket. I sort my thoughts for a bit. I remember to not chase down the first mental alley. I drink water. I get up. I open the window. I go to the bathroom, wash my face, and get dressed.
By the time I first touch my phone, I’m in a different mindset. It only took five minutes, but I feel settled. Ready. I took care of myself first. I said no to the adrenaline.
This train can derail at any time. If I check the news too early, I ride the rollercoaster again. If I react to some email I get, I’m right back to hyper-speed highway. It’s precious, our state of calm. We must protect it.
Sometimes, you want to be excited, but of all the best days you remember, how many were adrenaline-fueled ones? A big event maybe, or a holiday full of adventures.
Barring those, adrenaline just means busy without motion. It’s vibration at standstill.
I can feel busy, hectic, and stressed all day, only to realize at 7 PM: It was just a normal day. Nothing crazy has happened. There was no point in sprinting through it.
Throttle your adrenaline. You are in control. Design your day to line up with calm. Choose not to be too excited, and, most importantly, choose not to be rushed.
Unless you spot a real tiger, of course. In that case, take your heels and run for the hills.