Busy Fish: Tips for Changing Your Day from Chaos to Calm
Syndicated columnist Dale Dauten recently wrote, "One of life's great joys that we've lost is that of the empty day, a day given over to quiet, to reading and contemplation. Our planners and PDAs give the illusion of importance and of being in control." A beautiful statement but what Dale doesn't acknowledge is that we've become such slaves to busyness and mental stimulation that spending "a day given over to quite" would drive most of us mad! It would be nothing short of a drug detox.
Any book on brain research will tell you that the brain will eventually create a tolerance to an increase in stimuli. Looking at the stimuli in our lives we find work, relationships, TV/media, music, kids, the list is almost endless. These are all good things and very important to our daily lives but the high level of stimuli has become status quo and the thought of quiet contemplation has been drowned in the mire of pure busyness.
Recently, I called my wife on my cell phone while driving in rush hour traffic with the radio blaring in the background. What was I thinking? I recently had high-speed DSL installed in my house because the three second wait between web pages was killing me! Here's another fine example, last weekend I had some free time around the house and thought I was going to loose it! I had plenty of things I could do but had no interest in doing them and the necessities of the day were all taken care of. The nothingness nearly drove me to scrub the bathroom tiles! Like an addict hitting bottom, I took the first step of recognizing and admitting that I had a problem. Then I thought back to my grad school training and began using some stress management techniques to ease my anxiety and slow down my mind.
Sitting comfortably I closed my eyes and began taking a few deep breaths. I progressively relaxed my body starting with my feet and working my way to the top of my head. This took all of five minutes and when I opened my eyes I felt a world of difference. This was the starting point of realizing the sacredness of silence, the importance of a calm spirit and they joy of a quite mind. Many great thinkers have had their most profound moments in times of silence and solitude. Ever hear of the bathroom break epiphany? Unlike many of the great minds of years past, we live in an information age that moves at a different pace but we do have a choice as to the pace that we will live our lives. By creating time to give over to quiet, to contemplation and to a calm mind we can not only begin reaping the numerous benefits touted by all the health and medical journals about reducing stress, but we will also be creating time to truly be in control of our lives so that the rest of our time we can give ourselves to our day rather than be swept away in the current of busyness.
Here's a few links for additional information on stress management techniques:
About The Author
Dr. Robert A. Eubanks is a life coach who works with people around the country via telephone with organization, time management, goal setting and creating the best darn life possible!