Everyone agrees that the modern world is hectic and busy. Most of our days are packed full of tasks and challenges. We’ve all got places to go and people to meet. The more the pressure builds in our lives then the faster we rush, but rushing isn’t the way to relieve that pressure. No, we have to take a line from Simon and Garfunkel’s “59th St. Bridge Song” and simply slow down and not move so fast.
The only way to relieve stress and pressure is to step off the fast-track of the modern world and spend some time looking for fun and simply feeling groovy. Take a deep breath and do nothing except watch the flowers growing. There are three good reasons why we should all take a detour into the slow lane occasionally.
First, giving yourself permission to relax and feel groovy for a while can be wonderfully rejuvenating and healthy. Giving yourself permission to enjoy some down time (and don’t fool yourself, we need to give ourselves permission or we’ll spend the time updating our “To Do” list) can actually save you time later in the day. When you are refreshed you will be more focused, more energetic and less likely to make mistakes or miscalculations.
Set aside just 10 minutes of “me time” every day. Try to locate the time during a point in the day when you are likely to feel stressed and tired so that time will pack the most punch. If that’s not possible then don’t worry because simply making that time a priority is what is key.
Experiment with various ways to spend your “me time”. It isn’t really important how you spend that time as needs vary just as individuals do and some days you may want or need something different. Some people might choose to just be while others may choose to meditate or pray. Is there something leisurely you’ve always wished you could work into your schedule? Read a devotional, read a poem, pick a flower, or simply tip your face up to the sun. Enjoy a quick day dream or fantasy or whatever device works to take you out of the moment. Perhaps you’d rather immerse yourself in the moment and people watch or bird watch or fish watch or whatever catches your fancy and suits your location.
The modern person is often extremely performance-oriented and driven by success and competition. However there may well come a time when life forces us to slow down and if we have never learned that skill it could be incredibly frustrating and depressing. Not only can giving ourselves a few moments to slow down every day help us handle the stress and pressure of life Now, it can also help us prepare for a less intense lifestyle in the future. Perhaps we’ll find we like the slow lane so much that we move off the fast track permanently.
Finally, taking some “time out” once in a while will also give us a chance to think and dream. When we are busy living life at hyperspeed there is no time to look at the big picture or even to be fully engaged in our life. We live our lives focused on the end goal or the task immediately before us but rarely stop to determine if this is how we really want to live our life or decide if this particular goal is even important to us. Allowing our imagination free reign may well lead to decisions and ideas that would never have come into focus without taking time to dream.
So slow down starting today and give yourself the gift of time to enjoy the world around you, the people within that world, the words and ideas within that world, and the world within you.
When was the last time you felt groovy? Slowing down can help you feel groovy again by helping to reduce stress, teaching you how to relax, and helping your dreams flow.