Do You Mindlessly Rush & Stress or Mindfully Relax? 7 Tips to Calm Down

Join the Conversation. Are you a Rusher or Relaxer? And have you ever hurt yourself mindlessly hurrying?

Last Sunday afternoon, mindlessly, stressfully rushing landed me in major trouble—specifically, major physical pain.

Despite my recent efforts to relish nature’s magnificence, appreciate my peaceful surroundings, and slow down my breathing, last week I temporarily forgot my mindful intentions.

Instead, I was hurrying and scurrying in an area I don’t know.

Rushing Landed Me in Major Pain

There I was, in the Downtown Disney® Marketplace in Orlando, Florida, speedwalking so I’d arrive on time for the opening keynote of the Launch conference, sponsored by intentional-leadership guru Michael Hyatt and motivational speaker Ken Davis.

I was very eager to attend this event, because I'm a huge fan of Michael Hyatt, author of the fabulous book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, a jewel I discovered, thanks to Hay House, publisher of my most recent book, Beyond Sugar Shock)

Anyway, although I'd been savoring my meandering for about an hour (even finding some sweet-smelling bath salts), I'd simply lost track of time.

Photos 4-11-11 017So as I was rushing to the Launch conference opening talks, a curb came out of nowhere — well, that's what it felt like! — and I wrenched my knee. Ouch! Aargh! Eeeks!

I could actually feel my kneecap move around into places where it didn’t belong (although I was wearing a very thin protective brace, because I’d harmed this same knee before.)  

In short, I hurt myself  because I was in a rush, and I wasn’t fully present or consciously alert.

Otherwise, I would have seen that unexpected, unusually high curb and easily avoided it.

For the next four days, while at the great Launch conference, I regularly iced my painful knee.

(I chose not to spend the many hours it would have taken to find a doctor in Orlando, get X-rays, etc., because I didn't want to miss the amazing event. By the way, I'm so glad that I stayed and didn't miss this amazing event for authors, speakers, and coaches. FYI, I highly recommend this event with Michael Hyatt and Ken Davis.)

Anyhow, yesterday, after returning back home, I realized that I badly needed medical help.

After many desperate calls to orthopedists—who couldn't see me until June or July!—I finally pleaded pitifully enough that one doctor’s assistant felt sorry for me and kindly squeezed me in to see a top-notch doctor to whom I'd been recommended.

The Doctor's Verdict

I have a medial collateral ligament strain, grade 2 (meaning that it wasn’t super-awful, but it wasn’t just a minor injury).

Healing Required

  • I need to wear a big, monstrous brace while walking (see photo above.
  • Plus, I have to see a physical therapist a couple of times a week.
  • And I need to ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.
  • As for exercise, I can't do any Zumba or high-intensity spinning or stair-blasting. Okay, I admit, that's very frustrating!
  • I also can leisurely walk and in about a week, I may be able to start swimming (not my favorite sport) and I can do slow biking on a stationary bike.

I've Also Personalized My Healing Plan

Since I'm a health coach and life coach, I've come up with some more healing action steps.

  • As my awesome tapping consultant, Mary Ayers — who I had to cancel on to see the doctor — reminded me, I need to do lots of EFT on the pain and the feelings associated with my injury.
  • I also plan to get help from Nick Ortner, author of The Tapping Solution.
  • I also need to slow down regularly. (See also my 7 Tips to Calm Down below.)

My doctor predicts that in about 8 weeks — I hope sooner — my knee will heal.

I’ve Rushed for Years. What About You?

Contorting and twisting my knee while confronting that darn curb made me realize and admit that for years, I’ve excelled at rushing.

I'm a Rusher Par Excellence!

Apparently, I’ve even sought out places to live and a profession where scurrying is a plus—or, rather a must. Yikes!

Just consider:

  • Up until two years ago — when I moved across country to be with my then-terminally ill mom, who I later lost — I lived in Manhattan, the city where if you rush, you excel. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it often seems that everyone is dashing about and running late in The Big Apple.)
  • Not only that, but as a trained journalist, I’m used to frequent article deadlines. In fact, my editors often leaned on me, saying, "Connie, where is your story? We need it!" In fact, back in my days as a daily reporter, I had to crank out several articles a day.

Uh-Oh, Is It "Hurry Sickness"?

Now I"m forced to face that I may have something called hurry sickness, which has made me accident-prone. This is "a behavior pattern characterized by continual rushing and anxiousness; an overwhelming and continual sense of urgency, according to Dictionary.com.

The fact is that — like millions (you?) — this isn’t the first time that my stressing and rushing have caused me serious physical pain.

  • While a daily journalist and pushing to meet constant deadlines, striking  computer keys so quickly (I'm super-fast) on an ergonomically unsound work station without taking enough breaks, I ended up with excruciatingly painful carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, tendonisovitis and dystonia.  At the time, I could barely move my hands, but my doctor didn't recommend surgery. Besides, I was determined to find another, more natural route — thank you, acupuncture and B vitamins. Anyhow, I had to take many weeks off work, and eventually I just quit my job so I could go freelance to protect my poor ailing wrists.
  • Another time, while racing to meet a deadline to finish my first book, Sugar Shock, I badly injured my back by sitting too long while on the keyboard and not getting up to stretch often. My amazing acupuncturist helped me get through this time.
  • Then, once, while dashing for a cab in New York City, I severely sprained my ankle by stepping in a nasty pothole I hadn’t noticed.
  • Oh yeah, there was also the time that, rushing to get back to my sailing lesson, I rammed head-first into a glass window and suffered a concussion, which gave me ferocious headaches, mental confusion, and difficulty writing.

Beyond Sugar Shock Book CoverNow, let's get to the sugar connection. While trying to cope with the ever-pressing deadlines of a journalist, I became addicted to sugar and processed carbs, which I call quickie carbs or fast carbs.

In fact, I often relied on unnatural sugar and carb highs to give me a buzz, help me think straight and write quickly. (Ultimately, I beat my sugar and carb addiction while creating many easy-to-master tools, which I shared in my book Beyond Sugar Shock. FYI, my quit-sugar-iversary comes uup Tuesday so stay tuned for my upcoming post, "7 Ways Life Improved by Being Sugar-Free for 16 Years."

Back to my mindlessly rushing accident. The Universe — speaking through my aching, throbbing knee — is clearly telling me to Slow Down!

Plus, I need to get a handle on this hurry sickness.

As I nurse my injured knee back to health, I’m more determined than ever to breathe deeply, mindfully relax, and consciously choose calm. Read on so you can join the No-Rush Challenge.

Of course, most of us know that scurrying and hurrying while under stress is just not healthy.

A plethora of research shows the many benefits of slowing down. When you’re mindful, you’re happier, you live longer, and (no surprise!) you’re less accident-prone.

Plus, when you eat more mindfully, you lose weight.

Will you join me in a campaign to Stop Rushing & Start Relaxing? Here are 7 tips to get you going.

7 Tips to Stop Rushing & Start Relaxing

1)  Claim Calm.

Before you even get out of bed in the morning, breathe deep into your belly and then exhale. Do this for three to 7 minutes. As you do this, inwardly repeat, “I claim calm now. I claim calm now. I claim calm now.” (If you can't last that long, just try 7 or 10 rounds.)

2)  Stay Calm Even If You’re On Deadline.

Whenever you feel rushed for one reason or another, claim calm for at least three breaths. You can do this even when you’re working, driving, waiting for your kids, walking or preparing that pressing project.

3)  Take Relaxing Time-Outs.

Throughout the day—at least three times a day—claim calm again for seven breaths; notice and enjoy the scenery around you.

4)  Calm Down Before a Meal.

Every time you eat, take seven “I claim calm” breaths first. Research ven shows that you can even lose weight by eating mindfully.

5)  Add Extra Time.

Whenever you have an appointment, give yourself an extra 45 minutes to an hour to get there. That way, you won’t get frazzled if you hit unexpected traffic, get lost or encounter other surprising challenges. (You certainly won’t mess up your knee as I did rushing to get there.)

6)  Keep Track of Time.

Enjoy yourself, but if you have an appointment, keep an eye on the clock so you won’t have to rush at the last minute as I did.

7)  Be Alert for Street and Sidewalk Ruts & Potholes.

What a no-brainer! Wish I’d taken my own advice here.

Join the Conversation. Do you rush instead of relax? Have you injured yourself (like me) because you were rushing?

I'm a former sugar-addicted journalist, who reluctantly quit sugar on doctor's orders in 1998. When all 44 of my crippling ailments vanished, I was so thrilled that I began interviewing hundreds of experts worldwide so I could give you the sour scoop about sweets. Fast forward 17 years, and I'm now author of Sugar Shock (Berkley Books, 2006) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House, 2012). The latter gives you a simple, proven plan to easily, effortlessly squash your sugar habit. I'm also a motivational speaker, a certified life coach, a certified health coach, frequent media guest, and Gab with the Gurus host. I'm now planning the first first Sugar World Summit and I'm finishing writing my next book, Crush Your Crazy Carb Cravings™, which will help you easily escape your must-have-junk-food moments.

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6 thoughts on “Do You Mindlessly Rush & Stress or Mindfully Relax? 7 Tips to Calm Down

  1. This used to be me, too. I have injured myself more than once in my hurry. Not anymore. I also injured my knee severely. It will never be quite as it was but it has made some amazing progress. Sadly it is not the only hurry injury I have and now my neck and elbow have some permanent damage, too. I am a slow learner but I now move with purpose and make every effort to live in the moment. I affirm daily “There is plenty of time everyday for me to do everything I need and want to do” It helps and I am making progress on going sugar free, too. I have occasional slips but my goal is 100% sugar free (and Beyond Sugar Shock has been a big help so Thank You for that.

  2. Anne,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your injuries, too. What a phrase — hurry injury!
    By the way, have you tried tapping to help your knee?
    Yes, I guess, I’ve been a slow learner, too! How embarrassing!
    Did you get that affirmation from Louise Hay?
    Glad to hear Beyond Sugar Shock is helping. Stay tuned for many more new tips.
    Connie

  3. Let’s watch and notice, your recovery may very well be shortened with the tapping! The video is a great reminder that we tap on ‘all’ the feelings about the event, including the frustration, worry, fear, and even how foolish we feel for not paying attention – our bodies will love us for it!

  4. Yes I use tapping in my recovery. I have been tapping for 2 years now. It is awesome how effective it is for pain and/or stress. It is very calming for me. I did get my affirmation habit from Louise Hay. Her book is what started me on this journey of wellness and happiness. I tell people it is the feelings bible and I give away copies to others in stress. I also love Dain Heers Tour of Consciousness. I am a new person now from 5 years ago and I am happy everyday now. How does it get any better than that?! God bless you for your efforts to show us how to feel good everyday!

  5. Anne,
    That’s awesome how tap;ping has been helping you. Yes, it is great for pain and stress.
    Wow! How wonderful to hear that you’re a new person and happy everyday! How awesome!
    Come to think of it, it’s time now to tap about my knee pain!
    Connie