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    Are You Addicted to Adrenaline?

    Do most days have a peaceful and centered quality to them? Or are you often stressed, rushed and hurried? Do you have trouble focusing? Could be you are addicted to adrenaline and don’t know it. Adrenaline is that old “fight or flight” stimulus that has been around since the caveman days. The adrenal gland is part of your immune system and is suppose to keep you well and healthy. When we are stressed, it kicks into high gear with chemicals that help our bodies face the challenges and cope with difficult situations. Many of us, who live in achievement-focused, modern day America, are using adrenaline as the fuel to keep us going. And while, it’s a great resource to use some of the time, when it is used as your primary fuel, you are setting yourself up for some very nasty side effects.

    Side effects of adrenaline addiction…

    Using adrenaline as your fuel source will lead to eventual exhaustion and burnout. You’ll notice that you have trouble focusing and enjoying life. You will tend to get sick more often, since you are diverting immune system’s resources. While this usually won’t happen until, after the big push, it will happen. John Wanamaker’s observation, "People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness” is on target for those who use adrenaline as their energy source. In the October 2000 issue Yoga Journal, Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa says the stress response of “near-constant cortisol release (from the adrenal gland) can damage the memory center of the brain…..we lose our ability to concentrate, and recall.” He says as we get older, the brain becomes less adept at managing the chemical release. His studies are primarily with treating Alzheimer’s disease. I found this link quite scary. I do notice, though, when I am relying on the energy from rushing and last minute deadlines, my ability to focus is decreased. Dr Archibald Hart’s book, Adrenaline and Stress, is an in depth look at the whole problem and links addiction to adrenaline as a leading indicator of future heart disease.

    Are you and adrenaline addict?

    Here are some questions:

    1. Do you wear a pager or carry your mobile phone everywhere you go? 2. Do you drink 3 or more caffeinated coffee or drinks each day to keep going? 3. Does standing in line make you edgy and annoyed? 4. Do you tailgate, drive over the speed limit regularly and get upset with other drivers? 5. Do you react strongly to surprises? 6. Do you schedule your appointments so you just make it from one to another?

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