This week we are going to start our newsletter with a great quote from Stephen Covey -
"Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important."
I stumbled across this quote earlier this week, and it has been bouncing around in my head since that time. This is one of those quotes that are applicable in so many aspects of our lives. It can be applied at work, at home, in relationships, on the golf course, in the kitchen... EVERYWHERE.
Take a moment to digest this quote. More often than not we have a tendency to handle the things that are directly in front of us. Often those tasks are thrust upon us by others. They are not even the things that we want to do. In tackling these tasks that others give us, we often lose sight of the things that are truly important.
Earlier this week, I was talking with a new patient about their chronic pain. They told me about how long it had been going on. Described the pain in detail. Told me about how it started. How it had progressed. Told me about their medications, and previous treatments. Explained what had helped, and what made it worse. After they painted a full Bob Ross style picture (minus the happy trees), it was abundantly clear that their pain is URGENT to them. More than anything, they wanted to know what was wrong with them.
I also wanted to know what was wrong but, in my opinion, figuring out what we can do to make the pain stop is much more IMPORTANT. We had a long conversation about things that they could do throughout the day to get relief. We talked about their nutrition and hydration habits. We discussed their stress levels and mental health options. We discussed safe exercise options for them. Rather than just talk about pain, we talked about health.
Many of the changes that we discussed would have very little direct impact on the cause of their urgent pain. When we focus our energy only on the urgent, we tend to stimulate our sympathetic nervous system. We go into "fight or flight" mode. Our heart races and we get stressed and anxious. However, when we slow down and look at what is important we stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system. Think "rest and digest." Much lower stress levels.
Shifting to focus on what is truly important will have a profound impact on this patient's overall wellness. Improved overall health allows their body to heal and recover from their urgent pains.
What are you doing to focus on what is important?
Movement is my medicine,