Are you an underfunctioner or an overfunctioner?
You may think that it's wrong to underfunction - but according to Murray Bowen, the psychologist who developed this distinction, there are some important lessons to learn from the sloths in your life.
Firstly, overfunctioners have a higher propensity to burn out! It's great to be highly productive, but not at the cost of your health, family and friendships.
Here are five tips an overfunctioner can learn from an underfunctioner:
- Step back and do less. This not only gives you a break but allows others to shine too.
- Put your feet up for five minutes. Try to meditate for a small time each day, research suggests will keep your stress levels in check.
- Check out the costs of being an achievement zealot. You may end up sacrificing other important elements of your life like friendship and fun.
- Less is more. Sometimes you can over prepare and run yourself ragged getting everything just right, but you are so shattered, you cannot enjoy the fruits of your labour.
- Lie in sometimes. Don't stint on your shut eye. Sleep is good for us.
Like most things, relaxation takes practise, but if you’re having a lot of trouble relaxing it’s a good idea to try out something like mindfulness or yoga.
Yoga tip: The yoga app, 'the yoga studio' is fantastic for home practice. Simple, varied and expert teaching. I can't recommend it enough. After regularly doing half an hour a day - my shoulders have dropped at least an inch away from my ears and my back has stopped aching!
I've been practising mindfulness and meditation for 12 years and the benefits I've experienced are many - probably the most important one is summed up in the following Tibetan saying:
"To look for happiness outside of yourself is like waiting for the sun in a cave facing north."