Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Importance of Starting the Day Properly

Grab the keys--wait! Find the keys, find the purse, grab those papers, rush out the door. Oh, no! Forgot breakfast, forgot to brush my teeth--did I put on deodorant? No time to go back. Hurry, hurry, hurry to work--people are waiting. . . .

Does this sound like your morning? I know I've had a few in my time. How do you feel the rest of the day? Behind, rushed, waiting for the other Things You Forgot to jump up and grab you. Over the years, I've reduced the number of "rush mornings." I hope you will, too. Here's why:
  1. Rushing messes with your nervous system. In acupuncture, everything is about qi. The closest Western counterpart I've been able to find to qi is the working of your nervous system. Having to lunge for stuff and run out the door triggers your stress response. If your stress response is over-stimulated, it can lead to chronic health problems, such as hypertension, poor sleep, anxiety, high cholesterol, and digestive problems.
  2. You lose a beautiful day. I've rushed out the door, on the road, and off to work before I even notice the sun in the sky, the delicate breeze in the air, the smell of honeysuckle, or freshly mown grass, or the beauty of flowers. Rushing makes us change our focus to the things we need to survive. You lose the joy of just enjoying your surroundings.
  3. You affect other people. I hate to be around people who are rushing. I feel in the way, nervous waiting for the frustrated outburst they seem on the verge of having, and unable to help them. If I'm in the middle of a project myself, it's hard to concentrate with a rushed person making a whirlwind around me. If I am doing something peaceful and enjoyable, their fractured energy makes it hard to continue my recreation. If you want to serve your fellow man, try to live your life so you don't have to rush.
We will all have times when we need to pick up the pace. Sometimes we have things we absolutely must do, and the only way to do them is to pack the obligations in and rush from one to the other. There will be times the alarm does not go off, the traffic slows you down, or life just does not go your way. But when you can exert control over your schedule, try not to rush. Savor the time in your life--it's a limited supply!

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