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From the Therapist’s Desk: June 2023

From the Therapist's Desk - Kate Davey June 2023

Each month we’ll bring you a note from one of our therapists. It might be something they’re reading, learning or just something they want to share.

This month’s note is from Kate Davey, PT:

I am honored and blessed to be a part of a Christian based small group of women. We meet every two weeks throughout the year and we recently finished up a deep dive into the Book of Genesis. Last summer one of the group members (I get to hang out with these extremely wise and extraordinary women!) recommended a book to the group “The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World” by John Mark Comer.

It took me until January (and the New Year typical desire to make a positive change in my life) to follow up on the recommendation. Wow, I was so grateful for the recommendation! This book has literally changed my life for the better.

It is no secret that stress negatively affects our health. According to the APA, “The long-term activation of the stress response system and the overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones that come with it can disrupt almost all of your body’s processes. This can put you at increased risk for a variety of physical and mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, digestive issues, headaches, muscle tension and pain, heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.”

I don’t know about you, but the more I hurry, the more I feel stress.

Thinking back, I actually felt like I was doing my duty as a functioning adult in society to be a busy as I possibly could. To pack as much as I could into every waking minute of the day. But once I’ve paused and reassess, I can’t help but question… what is the cost of all of this busyness to myself and others around me?

Comer has an initial informal litmus “test” for the reader to gage their own “hurry sickness”:

1. Moving from one check-out line to another because it looks shorter/faster.

2. Counting the cars in front of you and either getting in the lane that has the least or is going the fastest.

3. Multi-tasking to the point of forgetting one the task.

Oh boy, I have been guilty of all three on a daily basis! Can you relate? John Mark Comer’s book provides very tangible and realistic practices to “unhurry” one’s life. He outlines the “hurry” problem in our society, the solution and then practices for “unhurrying” one’s life.

His writing is conversational in tone (very readable!) and he does a fantastic job at illustrating examples we can all relate to. Author and a Pastor, he unapologetically puts Christ at the foundation of his life and this book; outlining the Christ’s blueprint on how not to hurry. While I find the content extremely valuable and attainable, I admittedly don’t follow every suggestion in the book.

And yet, even just taking some of his examples and weaving them into my life I can already see positive changes occurring. Do I still sometimes zip into the shortest lane at a stop light? Unfortunately, yes. But the frequency has reduced and I feel myself more relaxed in general and that I am more present with those around me. I’ll take that any day.

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