Stress became a common denominator in our every day life. And with stress we’ve gradually lost our ability to enjoy and savour life.
A study by UCLA found that women respond to stress differently than man. In addition to the famous fight and flight response, we, women, experience what the researchers called ‘tend and befriend’ response… This is an innate healing mechanism that makes us go out and seek fiends to talk to and chat with and seek others in pain, need or distress to help and nurture…
Historically, this ‘tend and befriend’ was an amazing natural remedy that generates enough oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin to lift our mood and re-motivate us into action. But, today, this is not the case any longer… “befriending’ shifted from the cozy, warm, caring kitchen table into the vain, competitive coffee mornings where we compare the latest iPhone models, fashion styles , restaurant and desserts… Befriending became empty gatherings where everyone seeks to gain ‘something’ out of it even on the expense of others. We’re depleted and exhausted so we go on a full survival mode and all we do is suck energy out of each other.
Even ‘tending’ is no longer a volunteer, heart-felt act that kept us in touch with our blessings and filled our hearts with genuine satisfaction and gratitude… It became another marketing tool, marketing our ego: ‘see how good and generous I am’ it says. Instead of filling our well, we deplete it even further.
No more! Let’s today decide to stop this endless race… let’s today decide to live with full awareness and mindfulness… But, how?
We need to Slow Down!
“But I have so much to do, endless lists… work… kids… studies… responsibilities… You don’t understand!”
I do. Believe me. I have my share as well. We all do. And, the only thing that works is actually slowing down…Believe me, it works… It worked for me, for 100s of women I taught and for 1000s of my readers…
Take 10 minutes every morning to put down all your thoughts on paper… Brain dump, as a friend of mine calls it. Write down everything, even your to-dos and tasks, your pains and complains… it is all fine… even whining is fine. After all this fog is dumped, clarity will start to shine again.
For many of us, the fog could be so thick that it will take weeks or even months to lift… Keep going… Please don’t stop and don’t doubt the process… keep going even when you feel this is leading no where… keep going even when you feel tired, depleted and exhausted… especially if you feel tired, depleted and exhausted.. Keep going… 10 minutes every morning just 10 minutes… you owe it to yourself, this will do all the difference believe me!
Soon you’ll see your dreams, your hopes, your blessings and your loved ones resurface on those pages… soon you’ll find that the day has more hours and the time is slowing down… What you are slowing down is not your action, it’s your endless mind chatter that goes on and on and on up there…
Soon, you will find clarity… you will find answers…
And, whenever you find yourself caught in the ‘tend and befriend’ response ask yourself: “Is it real friendship that adds meaning to my life and supports me?”
“is it real ‘tending’ that adds meaning to others’ life and supports them?”If it is not ‘real’ than you don’t need it in your life!