Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Slowing Down for Stress Reduction

In today’s modern world, the pace of life seems to be getting faster and faster.  That’s why it’s important to make a point to intentionally slow down sometimes and not feel the need to always keep pace with the increasingly, unrealistic demand for speed.

Let's face it, if you accomplished the daily-recommended suggestions of nearly everything society claims to believe you should do, you'd have to give up relaxation completely.  Whether you are walking the dog, working out, brushing your teeth, or trying to fit in the recommended number of hours for sleep, it's not realistic to believe it can all fit into a single day.  Yet, we all try, and that is what contributes to the world's rising levels of human stress.

One idea for facing off with these external demands is to not let them become internal demands because, in the end, the final push to meet unrealistic demands eventually comes from ourselves.  We can blame the boss, spouse, and kids, but the lack of boundaries are actually our own.  If the "shoulds" take hold from the inside, then the ongoing drive to meet the demands of the world come from no one but ourselves.

In addition, when it comes to trying to slow your schedule down a little bit, big decisions may need to be made.  You may have to decide if you really have enough time to be a pet owner, or if the amount of time you devote to TV may perhaps need to be reduced.  Maybe you are devoting far more hours every week to your job than you are actually getting paid for, or maybe you are discovering that you are just not getting enough sleep to make it through each day.  In fact, if your schedule is so full that you find yourself getting up long before you are done resting in the morning just to keep up with tasks and events, then there may be several items that need to come off your plate in order to allow you to get the rest you need.

It's not necessary to race through life at warp speed.  Not much of any of those days can really be enjoyed or savored when you are hitting each event just lightly enough to hurriedly move on to the next thing.  Reducing unrealistic internal drives and setting healthy boundaries is a good start to finding more time in your day for relaxation.  It doesn't change overnight, but gradual progress can be made by trying one new thing each day that helps to reduce your load.

Thanks to Dennis van Zuljlekom for the great photo - Slowing Down