A few weekends ago I thought it would be a good idea to “unwind” baking cookies (gluten and refined sugar free!). Cooking for me is a natural stress relief. Unfortunately I was not really unwinding – because I decided to listen to a webinar at the same time.
It seemed pretty harmless, but I can’t really multi-task and I should have known better. I decided to stick my hand in the hand mixer while it was on because I wasn’t paying attention.
Half a left thumb and lots of blood later – I was reminded that multi-tasking is not such a great idea. Without a fully working left hand, any “gained productivity” went out the window for the next few weeks. I also didn’t get any cookies 🙁
Why are we constantly multi-tasking these days anyways? All it does is raise cortisol levels and increase the risk of adrenal fatigue. While it gives the perception of productivity and we never feel like we have enough time, it’s been proven that its largely a myth.
Additionally… multi-tasking raises your stress and cortisol without you even realizing it. If you are someone who prides themselves on their ability to post on Facebook while holding a conversation while working on something else, you are likely defeating your mental performance and as well as holding onto stress related weight. This has an affect on your sleep – causing insomnia – and additional sleep issues.
After my earlier fiasco I decided to spend last weekend in a very different way. Rolling hills, wooden cabins, yoga 2x a day, the smell of nature in the Spring, and zero internet connection.
My sleep was amazing (no late night screens to raise my cortisol level) and I was actually able to meditate without thinking about my “to do” list. There was ZERO multi-tasking. It is incredible how noticeable it was when taken away, and how different my body felt after only a few days.
what you need to know:
• Multi-tasking interferes with your short term memory. And it has a lasting effect. Done over time, the gush of stress hormones that flood the brain each time can cause permanent damage to your short term memory.
• Multi-tasking increase the potential for insomnia and adrenal fatigue.
• Multi-tasking stresses your body. That means a lot of things but at the very least decreased immunity, increased weight, and accelerated aging. Taking it away is one of many natural insomnia cures.
• Multi-tasking literally splits your brain. When you are working on one thing, the left and right side of your prefrontal cortex work together. When you are trying to do 2 things at once, they are split. Sum is definitely more powerful than the parts in this case.
what you can do about it:
If any of the above speaks to you…it’s pretty simple. Stop multi-tasking! Take 10 minutes out of your day to breathe. It’s a best way to get some natural stress relief. If you can get some time in nature…that’s even better. And don’t check email all the time (but read our emails:).
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