Welcome to 2015, or should I say, life in the fast lane. We live in a world of instant gratification, instant information and learning stuff about people, places and things that we never imagined possible. I think a lot of us would agree that it’s tough these days to keep up with the pace of modern life. Technology is continually invented to save us time, but ironically we use that time to just do more things. Then soon enough we again have no free time and end up rushing through the days even faster. There’s a lot to be gained when we slow down and live in the moment but it’s not always easy. So how do we adjust to both thrive and survive in the chaos of modern day life? My answer suggests mindfulness and turning off and tuning in, even if it’s for a few minutes a day.
When you tune in, assess your level of harmony, energy and stress. Allow yourself to notice if in the present moment you feel in equilibrium or off balance. Set goals for small actions to move toward health, deal with distraction and move away from habitual patterns of negative behavior. Make it a habit to do this each day. You should fight for and protect this time used for disconnecting and allow yourself to simply be. Listening to quiet music and being out in nature are also good options for quieting your mind and checking in with yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush and speed of life, but it’s important to remember that there is no finish line and that often times when we try to do it all we find ourselves exhausted and unfulfilled.
Think about how a traffic jam, line at the grocery store or a screaming kid can quickly disturb your peace and make you tense. What if instead we slowed down, accepted annoyances one at a time, made good conversation and smiled in the face of adversity? These are difficult things to do but doing them brings great reward and you might just find you’re a lot happier. I think author Jay Walljasper says it perfectly, “We have quickened the pace of life only to become less patient. We have become more organized but less spontaneous, less joyful. We are better prepared to act on the future but less able to enjoy the present and reflect on the past.”
We all have the chance to slow down, maybe not all the time, but some of the time. We can choose to make small daily changes that will slow us down and bring more peace and calm to our lives. For example, when you’re washing the dishes, turn on some music, feel the water on your hands and enjoy the experience. Be thankful for another new day and be mindful to appreciate the moments that make up the journey.