The cost to you and your marriage
From adrenaline addiction to authentic living. You get busier and busier with no relief in sight. You push and push yourself and create situations to get a hit of adrenaline. Extended periods of stress will in time catch up to you and roll into chronic stress which will in time affect your health. You cannot live this way forever and something must give….
- Are you constantly late so then you must rush?
- Constantly checking emails, social media and booking a tight schedule?
- Do you leave things to the last minute, e.g. A project or preparation for work?
- You set unrealistic timelines and must push yourself to complete?
- Cleaning your house, doing your garden, you over-exert yourself and do too much in a short amount of time?
- Always busy, busy, push and no relief in sight?
If you answer yes to some of these, read on as you may be addicted and didn’t even know it. Try and move from adrenaline addiction to authentic living.
How an adrenaline addiction starts…
A traumatic event or high stress – Life-changing diagnosis (e.g. cancer), rape, abandonment, hard drug withdrawal, parents divorcing when your young, anxiety disorders, etc. There are plenty of things that could trigger the start of an adrenaline addiction – even a bunch of less severe, minor stressors.
You become used to living with the rush of adrenaline and don’t know another way. You get hooked to the adrenaline flooding your body and unconsciously create ways to receive a hit. E.g. running late.
When adrenaline rushes through the body, it brings on a surge of power. Our temperature rises, our senses are heightened and for addicts, that initial feelings leaves them wanting more, more frequently.
Someone who lives their life “wired” may not know he or she has a problem, but life is often chaotic and stressful — and yet he or she thrives on the stress. Other warning signs of adrenaline addiction include:
- Drinking several caffeinated drinks daily
- Constant scheduling appointments, meetings and events with little downtime in-between, and always on-the-go
- Frequently causing drama between themselves and others, or knowingly putting themselves into stressful situations
- Takes on the image of a high roller/risk-taker
Your senses all become heightened – hearing, vision, taste, smells, and touch.
Brain and body get conditioned to adrenaline – The sensitisation of adrenaline is a heightened state of awareness. Your brain’s natural supply of chemicals becomes used up by the excess adrenaline and you are left to seek out external stimuli to keep the production going. You feel powerful when you receive a hit of adrenaline.
You would have heard of adrenal fatigue, burnout where the body says NO MORE. Not allowing yourself to stop and just BE is a form of avoidance of yourself and stressful events that have happened in your past that you haven’t healed.
How to overcome adrenaline addiction:
An awareness that you have this and an understanding of why. Being honest that your hooked and you want to change it. By the time you get to this point, your realising the cost to yourself and your family. And be very patient with yourself. I’ve been working on this for at least 2 years, learning how to slow down and I certainly have time to go where I can say I’m free of this.
From Adrenaline addiction to authentic living. Ways to overcome adrenaline addiction:
- Exercise – While your body is pumping with adrenaline, the best thing you can do for yourself is to put the excess energy to use via exercise. Here’s where it gets tricky – if you go overboard, you may damage your body and/or cause further production of adrenaline. The key is not to overdo it.
- Yoga Pilates – When done properly, it burns energy in the body, and relaxes the mind. When done consistently once or a couple of times a week, it will help your body and mind start to relax. The relaxation may initially feel uncomfortable, but just keep pushing through it.
- Self-hypnosis – self-hypnosis and/or guided imagery recordings. Begin with simply downloading some self-hypnosis. Helpful for the body to slow down and relax.
- Deep breathing – Practicing deep breathing can be beneficial for consciously training your body to relax.
- Meditation – Perhaps one of the most effective ways to improve your mental state and increase happiness, self-control, and reduce adrenaline is by learning how to properly meditate. There are many different types of meditation, so choose one that is aimed to help you relax. Most meditation types will help you relax and get you on the right track if you are consistent with your practice. Even 15 minutes a day before bed may help a lot more than you expect.
- Stop stimulants – All stimulants will exacerbate this addiction and cause further problems. If you are serious about getting back to homeostasis and overcoming this addiction, you need to stop with chemicals and foods that are stimulating, coffee, Red Bull, etc.
- Sleep – Aim to get plenty of sleep. Go to bed at a reasonable time and wake up when you feel well-rested. Don’t make yourself get very little amounts of sleep. If you are consistently getting less than 6 hours of sleep, your cortisol levels will be greatly amplified. Research recommends 8 to 10 hours per night for adrenal fatigue.
- Fewer electronics – Whether it’s video games, television, cell phones, or computer – when you have an addiction to adrenaline, electronics can make you even more amped up. If you cannot cut electronics completely for a while, at least minimise your time spent using them.
- Diet – There are certain foods that lead to further production of adrenaline too. Try to eat a healthy balanced diet and limit excess carbohydrates. Too many carbs can cause a major insulin spike which will release more cortisol and adrenaline.
- Relax – Something you may have to learn how to do. Start small and be patient with yourself.
Part 2 (Next blog) I will write about signs that you are overcoming adrenaline addiction
Tune into to my Empowered Marriage Podcast to learn more. This week’s podcast is available now and discusses this topic in more depth. From Adrenaline addiction to authentic living – Part 1: https://www.powerofchange.com.au/empowered-marriage-podcast/