Equating Rush to Stress

It has lately come to my attention that I often equate rush with stress. For example, if I have a quick pace in the subway I often have thoughts of me being elsewhere than ‘here’. The same phenomenon occurs when I am riding my bike at high speeds, driving fast or whenever I start running late.

It seems to be a direct effect of societies conditioning. Whenever I do people-watching I see a clear distinction between people who would rather be elsewhere and those that enjoy their time being ‘here’. Does it mean that rushing is bad? No. I feel like rush could very well be seen as an exciting challenge. Where do we start?

Well, I’ve found that it is important to notice this behavior when it starts affecting our work. When you see people who just want to ‘get over it’ your intuition can also tell you that they are slowly forming up a bad habit. When you start treating everything like a stepping-stone to something else you never give yourself a chance to slow down and look at the step as the destination. Without the journey there is no destination. What we are really interested in is the transformative agent that happens every second, not our idea of how things will turn out to be when were done here. So, we can convince ourselves that what we are doing is slowing us down and draining away our vital energy.

I’ve struggled applying any kind of practical strategy to have moments of rush be more than just a substitute for what is. Taking deep breaths has been fundamentally simple, but effective. Delving into the sensations of my body and of the surrounding environment has also been helpful. So I invite everyone to experiment a little and see how they think and feel whenever they are put into a stressful situation. Time spent in a traffic jam or waiting in line at the supermarket are great opportunities to look at our internal state of mind.

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