Your answer to this question is one litmus test of an over-stressed, over-scheduled life. It's a sad commentary on contemporary life that many people can't seem to find the time to answer nature's call. Some of us studiously avoid fluids so as not to waste valuable time taking bathroom breaks. We "hold it in" while we multi-task our way through life, disregarding the risk of bladder and kidney infections. When we do make the time to visit the restroom, three-quarters of us continue to use our smartphones.
The same pattern applies to our eating habits. We often mindlessly overindulge, oblivious to our body's satiety signals. It's so old school to sit down at a table and give our undivided attention to the plate of food in front of us. Add a dollop of stress to our workday and off we go to the vending machine to grab a poor quality chocolate bar or a bag of stale chips. Cooking just takes too long. Even nuking in the microwave wastes several minutes. We prefer to order online, park in the "take out only" spot, run in, rush home, and gobble it down before it gets cold. Or we inch our way through the fast food drive-thru, never missing a beat on our smart devices. Sometimes the food doesn't even grace our doorstep. We scarf it down at 70 mph, like a ravished dog, paying little attention to what we are inhaling unless we get unlucky and ketchup lands on our freshly laundered white shirt.
Many, if not most of us, are "running on empty," as the Jackson Browne song goes. Our constant go-go-go mode may be attributable to technology run-amuck, the drive to be the perfect parent, or simply the inability to utter the word "no" when asked to take on yet another task. No matter. The result is the same -- we're rushing through life like so many tornado chasers. Is this any way to live?
This constant adrenaline fueled pace is taking a toll on our health. Is it any surprise that 43 percent of adults suffer adverse effects from stress and that 75-90 percent of all doctor's visits are for stress-related ailments?
We all need to slow down and stop rushing headlong through life like we're on a bullet train.
Here are some good ways to decrease your stress level:
• Move your body
• Take a real vacation to a place with no cell reception
• Get your muscles kneaded
• Get your shut eye
• Stop relying on drugs like caffeine, tobacco, and prescription meds to make it through the day.
Try these on for size. You just might discover that a less frenetic pace equates to a more enjoyable life. Remember, we only get one chance to get this right ;-)
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