Adapting? Or Settling for Less?
The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings.
— Kakuzo Okakaura
You are lying in bed, thinking pleasant thoughts and beginning to drift off into dreamland. In the distance – an alarm begins to sound. The noise is a long way off but it still penetrates your peaceful, sleepy feeling. You lay in your bed and begin to count – 1…2…3…4. Still the alarm continues. You roll onto your other side and put your arm over your head which muffles the sound. After a few moments, you are still annoyed but the noise has begun to recede. A few more minutes and the alarm has become white noise. It is there, but you hardly recognise it anymore. Sleep claims you.
This story illustrates how quick our brains and bodies are to adapt to new surroundings. Give us a few minutes, and whether we want to or not, our mind will start to control our reactions and to alter them in order to survive and thrive in the midst of whatever stimuli we are faced with. We are designed this way to avoid suffering from sensory overload. Adapt at all costs.
While most of the time this system of ours benefits us – there are times where it can cause us harm.
What if the stimulus were internal? Say a terrible headache that lasts for days at a time. What would you do then? Unfortunately, many of us follow the same course of action as for the annoying alarm – we learn to ignore it. Our mind recognises a pattern and we adapt. We tell ourself it’s “normal”…just something to learn to live with. We adapt.
The problem with this solution is that it is no solution at all. Our system is trying to tell us something. The pain is a warning that our complex, beautiful body machine is out of balance. By ignoring that warning, or taking pills to mask the pain…we allow our bodies to get further and further out of balance.
The only way to restore balance is to listen to what your body is telling you. By choosing to pay attention – to seek help from Acupuncture, Traditional Medicine and Western medicine – we can begin to restore our meridian system to the balance it craves. Instead of warning signals, pain and fatigue…our bodies will restore themselves and the benefits are limitless. And we could all use a little more limitless in our lives!