Your only defense is to learn to create good mental habits that allow your brain to have mini-vacations from the cacophony of daily life. Lily Tomlin said it best: “The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
Over the years, I have found the best way for me to enter the day is to sit quietly with my coffee and simply be with the silence.
This has not always been possible, due to a career that has taken me on the road for over 30 years. Some of the individuals I traveled with loved to start their day by flicking on the TV so they could be informed about the latest happenings around the globe, or they would start chatting on the phone. After all, they might be missing an announcement about the end of the world.
I would try desperately not to have a rise in blood pressure, but it was very difficult. I desperately needed to give myself time to get ready for the day, which was often filled with lots of talking, book signing and more travel, all of which can be very stressful.
Yes, I believe in different strokes for different folks, but the latest greatest research on how we can navigate our lives without feeling crazy by the end of the day states that getting your brain in the right zone starts by how you greet the day. I know this can be very difficult when you have kids and they begin their “woodpecker drills” as soon as they open their eyes.
But it is possible to set your alarm to go off a few minutes early so you can lie awake in bed and allow your thoughts to focus on how grateful you are for what you have and not what you need to do.
In fact, I believe this could be a great lesson to teach your children. Today’s kids are suffering from stress overload. If you allow yourself to be led by the incessant inner chatter, you will leave your house feeling like a whirling dervish, and your body will be in a vigilant state, ready to slay a dragon.
There was a time when we could put things off and get away with it. But with the advent of email, texting and cellphones, you are pretty much at the mercy of ASAP. It doesn’t matter where you are, you can’t hide from the technology that demands immediacy.
Your only defense is to learn to create good mental habits that allow your brain to have mini-vacations from the cacophony of daily life. The ultimate irony is that productivity increases when we take time out to refresh ourselves.
Lily Tomlin said it best: “The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”