06/09/2015 05:45 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Are You Addicted to Feeling Stressed?


"Stress is caused by being here but wanting to be there.

Eckhart Tolle

We were together for quite a while, years in fact. I feel like I'm betraying him by writing this. Fuel this with pending procrastination, looming deadlines and slowly I feel any anticipation, excitement, adrenalin and aliveness overshadowed with that percolating familiar feeling. Stress. It's so familiar it's comfortable. In fact, it feels like an addiction.

This is how I used to get my work done. In stress mode. It was like a right of passage and I was doing something 'worthwhile' if I felt stressed about it. Heart racing, tense body, always ten steps ahead and on a mission. I was on autopilot and fuelled by stress because it was the only way I knew how. I had a very close relationship with stress for many years, we were inseparable. Have you two met? Maybe you're still together.

Eventually I realized he had a dark side. You know how it goes. You start to dread him coming around but you still can't function without him. You wake up and can't resist reaching for your phone to validate your day. Your mind is already working on that nine am call or how you can swing the afternoon client session and still be on the sidelines for your daughters basketball match, eat healthy and make yoga this week.

Although your relationship is turbulent you can't let go. You can justify all the other lacks in your life by embracing stress. There is no room for anything or anyone else. All this being 'in the moment' and feeling completely 'on purpose.' This can feel like such a foreign language when it's just you and stress. You both focus on your To Do list, your busyness and working hard. You both enjoy living on the edge, maxed out.

Boom! Then one morning you wake up and can barely move. You're pinned down and feel trapped. Stop, now. He's suffocating you and your breathing comes in short sharp breaths. He's killing you. Someone please help!!! Nothing. It's over. He's left and you're broken. Your body hurts and your heart bleeds but no tears come. You're alone.

What was it all for? You've got nothing to show for it only a broken body and an empty mind. You don't have the energy to start over. Everything is just way too hard. You used to have such high standards, you wonder how you will ever reach those dizzy heights again. You never give up, this is not the end for you. There has to be more, and you're going to find it. There it is, that little spark.

Then you wake up. It was a nightmare. Or was it? You move slowly into your day, pausing a little more. You take time to greet morning faces, breathe in the dewy air as you let the dog out, stretch whilst you brew your morning cuppa and gently hum that catchy tune. Did you smile just then? Indeed, it's a beautiful start to a new day.

There's always a new dawn, an opportunity to start over, expand and become a better version of you. If you are chasing your To Do list and spinning in your wheels with no direction and little to show for it, then lets talk.