No wonder there are so many people complaining about adrenal fatigue! Have you seen how much reality TV we are exposed to lately?! Between The Biggest Loser and My Kitchen Rules and The Voice it’s no wonder no one can sleep.
Adrenaline pumps are all very well, but think about how your heart jumps when you escape a motor accident by a spilt second! Or miss a plane only to find that it crashed! Then you can see how that is an extreme stresses to your system in the 21st century.
We were not designed for this stressful living. We are still very close to caveman DNA where the most awful stress might be attack by a predator, or an earthquake, or a bush fire. And they don’t happen every day. But commercial TV does happen every day, so we are willingly exposing ourselves to unnecessary stress.
Often I start to watch something and then ask myself “Do I really need this amount of stress before I go to sleep?” It’s purely for entertainment, not for panic. Really good music (not necessarily classical, but it’s a good idea) would let me truly relax and forget my own troubles or, for instance, allow me a zone of calm to work through them.
But perhaps we look for something to DEMAND our attention so that we can escape our own problems. Perhaps it need sub-plots and crises to catch our low attention span, in case we happen to allow our own thoughts to intrude. But surely down-time is designed most specially for us to process the difficulties we face. We should not shy away.
“In the calm is the solution”
I have recently added another sheet to my office notices, which you may have read already. It says ‘ I can hear the deep silence if I remember to listen; it’s here below the noise’. In the calm is the solution.
When I came to Australia, eight months pregnant and with no one I knew, just my very young husband who, at the time, spoke no English, things were tough. But the wee voice within me kept telling me to keep going, one foot in front of the other, and that all will be well if I could just keep calm, the solution is there. As indeed it was. But I did not have a daily mental diet of panic and stress.
Today we are all working too long and too hard. We expect more of ourselves and are disappointed in ourselves when our grand plans do not eventuate. (Don’t worry, I’ve been there too.)
But the choices we make on a very small scale can affect our happiness in a profound way. We need to be aware that we make certain choices almost unconsciously. Such as what news do we watch, which detective or forensic show do we watch, or who do we gossip about next.
When I was a little girl, only about six or seven, my grandfather was the first to write in my brand new autograph book. (Remember those? Only people of a certain age would even understand how prevalent they used to be!) He wrote something I learned off by heart and have never forgotten:
If wisdom’s ways you’d wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
How, when and where.
Wise words. And they benefit us for not being the source of bad words concerning another person. But we should primarily look out for our own ‘mental wallpaper’ when we turn on the news etc. Be aware that the nuclear threat in Korea is not news unless it is an acute threat.
The funeral of Margaret Thatcher is tame unless there are demonstrations. Do we really need to know that her funeral was disrupted by demonstrations? Do we really need the media to provoke a nuclear threat by constantly talking it up??
We need calm. We cannot hear the voice of our souls if we don’t take time and space to listen to it. When my new first grandchild is born (very soon!) I hope that I will have the privilege of providing a calm place, away from stress, where he (we know its a ‘he’) can listen to the voice of his own spirit and soul to find the answers he needs.
Grandparents are supposed to be less stressed than parents, aren’t they?!