Are you feeling too calm? Are things going well in your life? Have you been bothered by being too relaxed lately? Do you sometimes wish you could recapture that special feeling of panic you got in 11th grade when you realized it was 10 p.m. and you forgot you had a history paper due the next day?
Great news! You don’t have to feel this way anymore. Following my simple plan, you too can become a stress addict in four easy steps.
If you are finding your to-do list is actually getting done, try adding a few extra commitments. The opportunities for over commitment are limitless, but here are some easy suggestions:
- Volunteer for a position in your church or local community organization, knowing you have about ¼ of the time required.
- Make promises to friends that you know you can’t possibly keep.
- Schedule two social events on the same day across town.
- Put your children in extracurriculars every day, or even better two or three every day
- Agree to deadlines at work, home or in the community knowing you can’t meet them
Sometimes, even when you overcommit, you can still get everything done in a reasonable amount of time and without adding to your stress level. If you find that you still aren’t feeling extra stress after overcommitting, try putting off unpleasant and time-consuming tasks until there is almost no chance you can complete them. Don’t wait too long – make sure you leave enough time to complete things within your deadline, whether self-imposed or from the outside.
When procrastinating, it’s best to stay busy. Don’t procrastinate by binge-watching OITNB, instead, busy yourself with important, but non-time-critical tasks. Examples would be putting off doing your taxes, but instead cleaning out the refrigerator. Or, instead of making an unpleasant work phone call, write a blog post!
Decrease your sleep
Your body does a lot at night, including releasing human growth hormone to build muscle and heal / repair. First thing in the morning, we get a nice boost of cortisol to wake us up and help us be alert for the day. By reducing your sleep from 7-9 hours per night to 4-5, you guarantee disregulated cortisol, which will increase resting stress level. Sleep deprivation also leads to poor attention, difficulty with decision making, memory and motivation. This guarantees more effective procrastination.
Never be still
If you are too comfortable in stillness and silence, try the following:
- Compulsively check your phone
- Ask yourself “what am I missing by not doing something right now?”
- Berate yourself for how little you accomplished today
- Finish other people’s sentences. In fact, don’t listen to others at all
Even the most relaxed person can develop a stress addiction by using these simple tricks to feed your brain stress hormones. Once you are addicted to stress, being relaxed will feel the same as being bored, tired and unfulfilled.
Doesn’t that sound great???!?!?!?!
Gotta go check my phone and rearrange my fridge.