Monday, May 12, 2008

Can we get addicted to our own adrenaline?

Can we get addicted to our own adrenaline? The answer, according to Dr. Archibald Hart, is yes. Dr. Hart gives the following as symptoms of being addicted to our own adrenaline:
  • You would rather engage in your activity than sleep.

  • When you stop your activity, you feel restless.

  • You only feel excited or encourgaged when you engage in your activity; at other times you feel "low."

  • Your activity helps you forget your problems.

  • Whenever you feel depressed, you turn to your activity to make you feel better.

  • You fantasize a lot about your activity when you are away from it.

One of the things that Dr. Hart suggests is slowing down our behaviors, which can slow down our metablism and reduce our need for adrenaline (which is released during high stress situations). He suggests:

  • Speak more slowly and deliberately.

  • Pause regularly between phrases.

  • Learn to be a better listener.

  • Walk more slowly.

  • Don't do more than one thing at a time.

  • Eat more slowly and savor your food.

  • Drive more slowly.

  • Do nothing for thirty minutes every day.
Here is the link to Dr. Hart's book on Adrenaline and Stress.

Doing nothing just about kills me. But this weekend, I did feel a need to get some more rest. I took a two hour nap on Sunday, and felt like I could have used some more. I've never had an addictive personality, but could it be because I already have an addiction--adrenaline. I think that Paul was also a person who was a high achiever and driven to try to accomplish great things for God. I don't think that in this sense he was normal. But even he spent three years in Arabia without any recorded activity (Gal. 1). I wonder what he did there in the desert? Did he feel non-productive?

Do you think that our society is too fast-paced? Do you struggle with being productive or being too productive?


Alison said...

I've found that people can be addicted to anything and everything. We are probably all addicted to something, it's just a matter of whether or not we recognize it. This busy and stressful world keeps us so occupied that we don't slow down long enough to evaluate our activities and choices. If we were to slow down enough, we might find that "things" are running our lives, and not God - and we don't feel like we can stop it. Isn't that the most basic definition of an addiction? Just a thought.
P.S. I finally posted a blog about my spiritual gift inventory if you're interested James.

Zack said...

Hi James! My name is Zachary Blaisdell. My parents met you Friday evening at the Sportsman's house over dinner. I had to work that night and couldn't be there.
Great post here. So many people live fast paced lives. We get so busy and just need to settle down and relax.
Lastly, I am deeply interested in the post modern culture. I've read Blue Like Jazz and saw the book on your personal website. What do you think about that book? What other books do you recommend reading about post moderns?
I will certainly be back to your blog to read more. God bless!

Mr. E said...

I might have to check this book out. I think my wife may have read it already. I believe I could be a stress addict. That would explain the OCD and some ADD tendencies I have.

James said...


I checked out your Spiritual gifts on your blog and left a comment there. Thanks for sharing!

James said...

Hi Zack. It was great to meet your parents the other night. They are nice people.

As to Blue Like Jazz, it gives great insight to spirituality at the popular level for younger generations. My favorite part of the book is the "confession booth," where a group of Christians go onto a liberal college campus and set up this booth. The students are ready to pummel them at first, thinking that these Christians want to take their confession. But then the Christians start confessing the sins of Christians over the ages to those that enter the booth. The attitudes of the non-Christians change dramatically then.

A lot of the rest of my picks can be found on my website. On the philosophical level, I like Stanley Grenz's book A Primer on Postmodernism. For ministry implications of postmodernism, I like, Tjeu Like Jesus But Not the Church by Dan Kimball.

Good to have you join us! Hope to hear more from you.