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Hyperactivity

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 22 January 2009

Are you one of those people who never stops and is everywhere at once? If there's a party to organise, you're game. Brainstorming session at work? You produce 1001 ideas per minute. You're never still and never seem to rest. Find out the causes of hyperactivity and how to teach yourself to take a breather!

I. What causes hyperactivity? Life is too short. You don’t want to regret anything and want to do everything in record time. You fill up your diary to bursting point with activities. Trying to do everything means you can miss out on fun and feelings. You can't appreciate things properly if you're just out to try and do as many things as possible: some things deserve all your time and attention. You can actually miss out on life if you try to live it at 100mph.
Fear of having nothing to do. You don't think you're alive unless you're moving. You don’t understand people who lie in bed, laze around on the beach or nap. You think that sleeping or resting is a waste of time. But your body is a machine that needs to switch off and recharge from time to time.

You don’t know how to say no. You say yes to everything: working night and day to help a colleague, making a return trip from London to Manchester to see your friends, taking part in the company triathlon even when you've got a 39° fever, organising a hen party for a distant friend at the last minute, and so on and so forth.

this kind of hyperactivity masks something deeper: maybe a fear of disappointment and/or a need to be loved. You need to realise that you don’t get respect or love by always saying yes; quite the opposite, in fact. The more you help people out, the more they'll demand of you.
You're very demanding of yourself. You're a fighter, a winner and you think you can manage everything at once. Not being able to would be a personal failure, so you impose a gruelling schedule on yourself to prove that you can do it. Why? What are you trying to prove, and to whom - yourself or others? Being demanding with yourself is a good demonstration of a strong character, but being realistic is an even stronger attribute. The day where your mind or your body cannot keep up with each other, you’ll end up disappointing yourself.
You can't bear being on your own. You run around like a headless chicken, always on the phone, in meetings etc. You're not happy unless you're busy. In your whirlwind of activity, you don’t have time to ask yourself serious questions and you don’t want to think about the state of your soul or your worries.

II. How do you cope with hyperactivity?
Far from trying to turn yourself into a slob! Being active is good, but the adjective ‘hyper’, which means excess, is be a warning. Learn to make choices. Wanting to do everything and try everything can mean you miss out on what's really important to you. You need to evaluate what choice means to you: it means leaving something our, but it also means choosing with care and going for quality over quantity. You need to take a look at your priorities and make a list of what really matters to you. Put things into perspective so you can react better to changes you make.

Be aware of your limits.
No one's Superwoman. We all have good qualities that we need to know how to tap into and weaknesses that we need to be aware of, but we can't be good at everything. Accepting this gives you the power to be more self-aware and effective, stop spreading yourself too thin and appreciate who you really are.
Listen to your body.Insomnia, back ache, stomach ache, mood swings, irritability, palpitations and other symptoms are your body's signals to rest. Don’t ignore them: slow down, otherwise you'll pay a high price: burnout, depression, exhaustion, heart problems, etc.
Learn to say no. 'No' isn't a bad word and it can open up new doors for you and help you be more serene. Are you afraid of disappointing or being rejected if you say nay? Daring to say no will teach you who has your best interests at heart and actually gain you more respect. No-one wants to be a dependable doormat. Don’t be afraid to see a life coach or psychologist if you feel the problem is ingrained.
Value laziness.Cilling out, being lazy, watching the world go by and doing absolutely nothing may freak you out, so start slowly by disconnecting yourself for a few hours a day, in the evening or at the weekend. Turn off your computer, phones, Blackberry etc, say no to invitations from time to time and make me time. When you get used to it, go a little further and treat yourself to a relaxing massage, spa or relaxation session. You'll learn to channel your abundance of energy and you may just end up getting used to it!

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