As we round out Stress Awareness Month, I want you to think about your addiction to stress.

Right now, close your eyes and dial into your language and how you plan your day. Your day today, what does it look like? Do you have time to get to where you need to be, or do you schedule appointments back to back leaving no time for unexpected interruptions or a proper bathroom break? What do you say and affirm? “Busy busy busy” “I’m so stressed” “I’m fine, just so busy.”

Now, I want you to think of why you are addicted to stress. In this great video by Tony Schwartz, he explains why we need a balance of stress and recovery (just like when we exercise) in order to fuel our personal growth. However, the hormones related to stress, like adrenaline and cortisol, arouse and excite us, and those feelings can be addictive. As a matter of fact, we are instinctively programmed to get away from pain and move toward pleasure as a means of survival.

But in our world today, where we are not in constant fight or flight mode, we instead use stress and being in constant motion like any other addictive substance—to avoid what we are afraid to face.

We don’t want to face our thoughts, which often scare us. When most of us stop to think, we are immediately drawn to what might happen and what’s wrong with us. Who wants those thoughts? But here’s the thing: only when you stop to feel what you are feeling and to know what you are thinking are you going to find your truth, which ultimately leads to your true happiness.

So I challenge you for this week to plan enough time between appointments to fully show up (on time and fully present and ready for the meeting), to take breathing breaks throughout your day (set your phone alarm for every three hours to stop and take five deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling for a count of five and doing nothing else but focusing on your breath), and to meditate (here’s a quick guided meditation to get you started).

I am interested to hear what comes up and shifts for you when you create some expansion and actually sit with your thoughts.

I hope you have an amazing week and, as always, take care of you.

Love Love Love


Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Tune Up Tips and follow her on Twitter.

*Photo Credit: stuartpilbrow via Compfight cc