Speed seems to have been ingrained in our day-to-day lives, we are always in a hurry. Imagine the frustration you get if a website takes time to load when a computer or cell phone takes time to process. You feel like it’s taking forever but have you ever asked yourself, “why am I even in such a rush?”
At this age, even sleeping is considered a waste of time. No wonder why genetically modified foods are grown so that it takes less time to harvest them. Quick-fix meals are consumed, instant porridges, instant noodles, and takeaways. But who is bearing the consequences of all these? Ourselves again as we suffer from different health problems that arise from all this.
Always on the go
We are conditioned to believe that we are always behind in time. Yes, it is true that life is short but are we not shortening it further with our rushed acts? Sometimes we are always chasing success, we believe that happiness comes from having a lot of material things. Society has taught us that we need to achieve and accomplish more wealth. Because of that, we push ourselves harder and even deprive our bodies of much-needed rest. Instead of accomplishing happiness, this has shortened our lifespans by causing us health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress. We need to slow down!
Mindfulness helps us with benefits such as reducing stress and depression. We can afford to relax which is highly rewarding to our mental, physical and spiritual health. It can also help us with our relationships. Life is more enjoyable when we take a slower pace and are mindful of what we do. Below are a few things you can do to live a mindful life.
1. Spend time with family
You know your family better, do activities that help you and your family relax. One of the greatest gifts my parents taught me whilst growing up was the gift of spending time with family. No phones, no to-do lists, no targets to achieve, just family time filled with pure fun. I had a lot of siblings growing up since my parents adopted more, our family was quite big. After dinner or on weekends and public holidays, we used to gather and relax whilst those who were older took turns to read us a book, tell us stories or ask us quizzes. Of all the beautiful things I reminisce about my childhood, this is one of my greatest and most treasured moments growing up.
Now that I am grown up, I realize how rare and fortunate we were to get that. I realize how difficult it is as a grown-up to create time that you can just allocate to the family, especially with all the responsibilities that fall upon your shoulders. However, humans are social beings and interaction is extremely required for us to function well and distress after our hectic schedules. It is worth the sacrifice. Make an effort to create happy moments together as a family.
2. Help Others
Be there for those who need you, talk less, and listen more. Times of showing compassion is never spent in a rush. Volunteering is not about having time on your hands, nobody has that anyway, it’s a sacrifice to realize that somebody needs you more. Listen, even when you do think you know what’s best (like with your teenage kids), the other person must feel and know that you care to listen. “Nature hath given men one tongue but two ears, that we may hear from others twice as much as we speak.” Too often our reflex response is to insert our own opinion or counter-point. Even when we aren’t talking, our mind brainstorms responses instead of simply listening. Listen twice as much as you speak. That’s the practice. And it’s not easy!
3. Do your morning meditation
Just waking up at least 10 minutes earlier could give you extra space to ease yourself into your day. Meditation is about slowing down your mind. Practice calming down in the morning and apply it throughout the rest of your day.
4. Spend time in nature
You can take a walk, on the beach, in the park. Wherever you can allow your mind to slow down. Take a walk without any planned destination. Walks open our minds wide. Watch the mountains, the sea, the moon, the stars, and the sunset. Take your time and just look around. Nature can do wonders for your health and your energy. It has a calming effect on us.
By all means, save some money and travel. Short vacations or retreats are great. They give you a necessary break from the hustle of work. Traveling forces you to forget about your day to day life for a while.
As Africans, we are blessed because most of us have our rural areas to visit. If you can’t save enough to travel overseas, just visit your rural home once, in a while, it will help you to slow down.
For me, this is quite relaxing. When visiting my rural home I enjoy so much the simplicity of living there. Leaving your work for a time and returning to your native lifestyle in the rural area is really a nice experience. It acts as recomposing especially after some period of drowning yourself in the duties and obligations of life in towns which often make you lose track of your true self.
Every time I visit, I disconnect myself from my usual day-to-day hype of life, I switch off my phone and that’s also easy because the network reception is bad on that side. I love the spacious land, the expanse of forests and the huge mountains, they all help me to relax. This helps me to come back more relaxed and even with great ideas for my life. I gain new perspectives or regain the ones I would have lost in the middle of the chaos.
If you don’t take time to disconnect yourself from the hyper-connected world you may one day realize on your deathbed that you have not lived at all.
I would love to hear from you about how you relax and cope with the hype of life so please, leave a comment for me below, and if you found this useful, kindly subscribe and share it with others.
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