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Adrenaline Junkie

 

A Modern phenomenon

Modern living to put it quite frankly is totally nuts! People are working insane hours, trying to perhaps raise a family, get to the gym, spend quality time with their partners, make sure meals are home cooked, make time for friends and include time for all of those things we ”know we should be making time for” like rest, relaxation, creativity time, time in nature and that all important “Me Time” to do whatever takes your fancy.

Fact of the matter is that most people rarely tick all of those boxes in the quest to live a more balanced fulfilling life. We end up with burnout, adrenal fatigue, nervous exhaustion or whatever you want to call it.

Why do we do it?

But why the hell do we push ourselves to the limit in spite of the evidence that all of that chaos in no way does a body good? The answer my dear friends is that adrenaline is quite simply addictive.

It’s one of Mother Nature’s most potent numbing devices that sooths the pain that living invariably brings. Recently when I was on a hill walking adventure I fell into a big hole in the mountain side (who put that there??!!) and really messed my ankle. The adrenaline surge was so powerful that I managed to walk down the mountain side whilst feeling almost nothing.

Many people use this numbing capacity of adrenaline to avoid being fully present in their body’s. You see when you’re not running on stress hormones, adrenaline being the most potent; you start to feel feelings that have been repressed for many years; fear, doubt, inadequacy, guilt, jealousy, and more. In an effort to avoid those feelings we keep that adrenaline pump going.

Why do I say this? I say this because it is the most frequent scenario that I see with my clients on a daily basis.

How we fuel the Adrenaline Pump

People who are adrenaline junkies want to keep their little habit going. How do they do this?

Here are some examples:

  1. Over working. Working insane hours and rarely taking holidays.
  2. Over exercising. If one hour a day is good then 2 must be better!
  3. Doing extreme exercise regimens like Marathon running, Triathlon, and Cross Fit as examples. These are the exercise modalities of choice for the adrenaline junkie.
  4. Over committing to everyone else and never taking time out for yourself. Many Mothers are guilty of this.
  5. Stimulant addiction , be it 8 cups of coffee a day ( I have had clients who drank even more on first consult!) or red bull main lining, or pre-workout stimulants containing caffeine as an example.
  6. Always having to be on the go socially. The arena line junkie rarely does a quiet night in or a relaxing weekend at home. Their colander is full. Weekend trips to Paris, London. Lots of travel. Staying still feels weird and uncomfortable. Being alone is a real no no for these types.

What are the physiological/psychological markers of the Adrenaline Junkie?

1. Belly fat that is resistant to healthy eating and exercise.

2. An inability to lose weight in spite of healthy eating and exercise.

3. Sleep disturbance: Having difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night or waking up really early in the morning and not being able to get back to sleep.

4. Dilated pupils.

5. High blood pressure.

6. Grinding teeth at night.

7. You have longstanding injuries/pain syndromes that just don’t seem to heal in spite of “doing the right things”

8. Feeling guilty if you’re not busy and productive at all times.

9. Being a perfectionist.

10. You are usually running late.

11. You constantly check your phone, e mail or some social network.

12. You always feel rushed like there are not enough hours in the day.

13. You are a control freak. It’s your way or the high way!

In my new book, Cracking the Mind/Body Code, I show you how to get off this one way ticket to disease and unhappiness.

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