auf-ewig-gefangen-im-hamsterradGuest article Picture©Konoplytska - iStockphoto

Trapped on a hamster wheel forever?

I was visiting a friend when we were interrupted in the middle of a conversation by a strange noise. Searching for the source of the noise, I let my gaze wander through the living room, which was crammed with decorations, and noticed that it got stuck on a hamster cage, which was standing between books on a shelf. To my astonishment, I saw a hamster in a wheel that seemed to be running for its life as if "stung by a tarantula".

He ran and ran and ran, while the wheel turned faster and faster, until it continued to rotate without hamster's help and reminded me more of a washing machine in the spin cycle, rather than a hamster wheel. Already quite dizzy from watching, the speed finally slowed down again, but this caused the hamster to fall out of the wheel with a big "plop". Somewhat dazed, he retreated to a corner.

Then the second hamster came into play: he too climbed into the wheel. Instead of running, however, he took it easy and walked very leisurely. He paused every now and then and then trotted slowly on. The wheel turned slowly and when he had had enough, he got off and treated himself to something tasty.

Two hamsters as teachers

I didn't know at the time that I could learn anything important from these two hamsters. However, when I was asked to write an article on the topic of stress, the two little animals in the wheel came back to my mind and I could figuratively relate to how we are trapped in the infamous "hamster wheel". The two hamsters gave me the idea of my quote "The wheel only turns as fast as we run", and gave me more ideas on anti-stress therapy.

Chased by existential fears we drive the hamster wheel

Who hasn't experienced this: we rush through our daily routine, trying to work off as many of our pending tasks as possible, but new orders or tasks come our way faster than we can ever manage. Whether in the office, sales or on the construction site: We have to do more and morewith less and less personnel and, of course, absolutely flawless.

Many of us would want to break outBut we don't see any possibilities, because we have to earn money to make a living. Chased by existential fears, we run along in the hamster wheel and help to drive it, until at some point we no longer like and fall out of the wheel, like the first of our two fur friends.

And what about the kids?

Often we don't even manage to enjoy our oasis of calm at home, because even there stress makes its way in. From the children is in the School more and more, which not only puts pressure on them, but also, and above all, on their Parents (I'm speaking from experience there as a mother of six).

Finally, parents are always admonished by teachers that mother and father have a responsibility to ensure that their children are Homework Get it done on time and study for the exams. Quick note from me: Try explaining to an adolescent who is a head taller than you and doesn't "want" to do homework that he needs to do it NOW before he hangs out with his friends.

The "super gau" are then all the parent talks and clarification tests, which are carried out for the benefit of the child, because it does not function in our performance society as the average and one must trim the child for the sake of it, so that it can run later in the hamster wheel.

If the children are still a little younger, their parents often play taxi service in their free time and drive their offspring to all kinds of events and courses so that they can plan their free time sensibly and keep up with others. After school and homework, it's off to sports, music lessons or an excursion.

Is rest or boredom a no-go?

Sometimes it seems to me that we do everything we can to avoid rest or, even worse, boredom, so that we don't feel unproductive or even have the time to listen to ourselves, only to find out that we have to change something in our lives, so that we don't suddenly find out late at night that we are have missed out on life.

The sad thing is that we have become so "used" to this constant stress and overstimulation that we don't even notice it, how we are moving further and further away from ourselves and therefore also of what we really want in our innermost being.

We can determine for ourselves how we deal with the "hamster wheel".

Unfortunately, as a hypnotherapist, I see people visit my practice every day due to unnatural, stressful lives because they are suffering from Fear- and panic attacks, Depressions, Burnout, Insomnia, sexual lasciviousness or suffer from other psychosmatic complaints. More and more children are also coming to hypnotherapy, because they want to follow the School pressure and suffer from anxiety, abdominal pain or concentration problems.

Here's the thing: We cannot abolish the hamster wheel or the system. But we can determine how we deal with the hamster wheel. We are our own boss and determine ourselves and our lives. Therefore, we never forget:

"The wheel only turns as fast as we run ourselves."

Here are three free exercises (videos) from my practice as a hypnotherapist that have proven to come to rest and find relaxation. Unlocked are the 1st , 56th and 125th day

  • By means of these videos you can participate free of charge in some effective short-term exercises and experience inner peace.
  • Treat yourself every now and then Fresh air break. After all, every smoker takes different smoke breaks. So you can take a fresh air break with a clear conscience.
  • Turn off your mobile phone at set times and put it out of sight.
  • In your free time, consciously allow yourself times when you do nothing at all.
  • Make 10,000 steps per day.
  • The important thing is to listen to yourself and realize that it is your life that you are living and that you have the right to live it the way that is right for you.
  • Learn to delimit yourselfso that stress and negativity from others has no chance to reach you.
  • Learn with a clear conscience saying no and share your opinion without constantly eating things inside of you.
  • become aware that it makes you human and sympathetic if you make a mistake once in a while. After all, we're not robots.
  • Just be who you are, authentic and realize your worth.
  • Lead Mindfulness Exercises, mental training, Autogenic training or self-hypnosis and become calm.

This article is a guest contribution from Barbara Müller-Kütt.


I am a hypnotherapist and anti-stress coach with experience from over 20,000 sessions practiced.

I am happy to help you with all kinds of stress, burnout and blockades in my practices in Zurich, Lucerne and Sursee.

With Pimp your life in 6 months to inner peace, serenity and self-confidence. Here there are three methods (videos) free of charge and without obligation.