The Addiction to Being Busy
Happiness isn’t created solely by living in positive reinforcement. Happiness is not black or white- it’s incredibly colorful in that it’s unique to each one of us. Your happiness is likely not defined the same way I define my happiness unless you enjoy color coding dirt.
I wasn’t always this ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. Most days I would just pretend I was ok like a normal person to then naturally redirect those feelings by being passive-aggressive towards other people. Naturally.
At one point I was so unhappy that I was able to quickly recite my crappiest moments in life in response to someone asking me the casual, ‘hey good morning, how are you?’
Usually, when someone tells us they are in a bad mood- we try our best to change/pacify that and say things to make it all better for them and for us. It wasn’t until someone validated my crappy feelings that I actually embraced being in a bad mood. When I learned that it was ok to be in a bad mood, my entire life changed.
Sitting in my bad mood was hard. It didn’t go so well at first. I got curious about why we are conditioned to believe that feeling bad is not socially acceptable while feeling good was always encouraged. Anyway, when I felt safe to express my crappy feelings, I found myself admitting more often that I was in a bad mood. It was so freeing!
Now that I knew it was there, I coped by obsessively over-cleaning. I was avoiding my recent freeing claims of a bad mood so much that I started creating new construction projects in my home to create more mess to clean.
I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from remodeling the bathroom. And I still had to make dinner (insert emotional breakdown here). I cried while I vacuumed the mess I voluntarily created. That’s when it finally hit that I was doing this intentionally. I decided I would stop using ‘busy’ as my excuse to ignore my own crappy feelings.
I learned that being busy was an addiction.
Here are 3 baby steps I created to reconnect and break my addiction from busy:
1. Stretch Out the TO-DO List.
Instead of eliminating the things I am unable to delegate on the to-do list, I stretch out my timeframe of completion to cover 2 weeks or more. This creates pockets of time for me to practice being present in a single moment instead of multitasking. Compassion is key here. This will be a learning curve for you and for others that were used to you responding at lightning speed. Let them know your turnaround time has expanded.
2. Treat Meditation and Stretching Exercise like the Most Important Meeting.
Meditation, Stretching, and Breathing appointments with myself help me recognize how/what I’m feeling. I’ve learned so much about what brings me joy and the things that upset me. The most important person I talk to on any given day is Me. I do not skip Me appointments. I show up early, with enthusiasm, and fully prepared to be present for Me.
3. Confront the Distraction.
When my crap is everywhere, it stresses me out. Stress overwhelms me. Feeling overwhelmed makes me angry. Being angry makes me act out in rare form- it’s quite unpleasant. Looking back, it’s like I was purposely creating situations to be in a bad mood. So now I know…. what I keep in my space is important to my happiness. I’ve learned to simplify by decluttering and organizing my space so that even when it gets dusty it’s still pretty.
During this time of transition, I’ve been able to align my work/life balance with more success because I eliminated distractions that were disguised as ‘busy’ which kept me feeling disconnected and isolated. Being able to pinpoint the specific things that are key in keeping me balanced and happy is my own secret sauce for joy.
If you’re feeling disconnected or isolated, I’d ask to see your calendar before I ask you for your favorite color.