Are you suffering from a Type A Personality addiction? Going non-stop 24/7, always on the go? Do you even know the last time you sat still and reflected, or weren’t doing something for the sake of what you would achieve? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you might be Type A.
I am a recovering Type A myself. Constantly trying to make the most of every single moment, I lived by the motto, “I’ll sleep when I am dead.” I once had a friend (thankfully) tell me I wasn’t speaking in complete sentences anymore because I was always in such a rush. Things had gotten so bad that I had found myself being 10 minutes late to every meeting because my schedule had zero gaps for down time. I even tried not to pee at work unless I was already walking by the bathroom, just because I didn’t want to waste time. It sounds crazy now, but it seemed totally logical then.
No one wants to be stressed out and constantly overbooked, but if you’re Type A, you understand how hard it can be to take it down a notch. The good news is, we are learning through research and neuroscience that we don’t have to shut off our Type A behavior or thinking. We can learn to manage our thoughts, energy, and nervous systems in a healthier way by finding strategies to reset. We can keep chronic stress at bay, move more, and allow ourselves some recovery time. We can use tools and practices to manage our focus and time, and to learn how to use our breath to help us in many ways: to be present, calm our bodies, reset our nervous system, and to be able to respond versus react.
Each of us is different and needs a different prescription for recovery. For me, it was starting to meditate for just two minutes a day and changing up my exercise to include yoga and cardio. For others, it may be taking time to garden, listen to music, or walk outside and look at the sky. These kinds of mindfulness practices that allow your mind to “get in the zone” help you become present and give yourself a brief respite from the constant barrage of thoughts in your head. This in turn calms your body and resets your nervous system, which allows you to counteract chronic stress and access your best thinking.
Developing a mindfulness practice is a recovery plan that doesn’t require you to go cold turkey, but to take small steps each day and find what works for you. Instead of constantly rushing from one thing to the next, you can enjoy being in the moment, which is how life is meant to be lived.