By Ivette Moutzouris
I recently came back from a holiday overseas and it amazed me how different the pace was there, even in a major city. It was noticeable different from Sydney where everyone seems to be in mad/manic rush to get somewhere and it appears that we are constantly packing more and more into our lives.
I often like to reflect on what I get out of a trip and what I can bring back with me and this realisation is something that is not new but that still took me by surprise. I believe that we are very goal oriented and future focused and that can be great because it allows us to achieve many things but it also comes with its negatives if we are always on the go, for instance;
- the inability to slow down and enjoy the now which is a teaching of current streams of thought in Psychology such as Mindfulness.
- the increased amount of energy and adrenaline that is constantly released in our bodies which can lead to health issues such as reflux, anxiety/stress, and insomnia to name a few.
- the inability to know how to quieten down and be still and instead feeling the need to constantly be DOING something instead of just being. This can sometimes turn into addictive patterns of behaviour.
- the ripple affect that this constant tension and activity has on others around us, especially our children, if we don’t learn how to function at a healthier pace. It seems that there is an increased amount of anxiety being experienced by children of all ages because of high expectations and constant busyness and not enough down and leisurely time.
- the need to alternate from extreme busyness to extreme down time and not learning how to find a balance in between. When we are living at a manic pace we sometimes feel that we need to just switch off to recover and activities such as social media, watching You tube/ TV can be helpful but going from these two extremes isn’t really enjoying and embracing life.
- The feeling and belief that you need to do more to achieve satisfaction, contentment and/or success in life. This comes at the expense of appreciating the simple everyday things as well as being grateful for the now. I recently heard a wise friend say that we have to learn to be happy with what we have not what we want. This really challenged me and I hope it challenges you too.
So in conclusion I guess I realised that ‘more’ isn’t necessarily ‘more in life’, is it? I have been reminded that I can’t change my world but I can change my attitude, my perspective and my priorities. I will strive to enjoy and appreciate the now more often before it becomes my past and I hope you will learn to slow down too and enjoy the benefits