“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” – Etty Hillesum
One important life lessons, I have learned from living these fifty over years is, we should know how to relax our mind and body. We should try to find time and slow down and reduce all the mindless rushing, as much as we can.
Remember ultimately, our final destination is DEATH. Life is not a destination. It is your daily living process. As you live your hours, you create your years. It is your days which make up your life until this moment. The words you speak, the thoughts you think, the actions you take are defining your destiny. It is all these small choices we make each day which lead to who you are today.
In other words, every day is an important day of our life. Our days define our life. We should be savoring the journey of life. Learn to live life in the present moment by moment. Breath by breath.
The life quote, “Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought” is very true. This quote reminds us about our unconscious living and mindless rushing.
Suddenly one day we realize, we are touching forties. Then regretfully, we console ourselves by blaming that time flies. We always wish we have more time. We only have twenty-four hours a day. It is how do we make the most of our time. We just need to start planning and setting priorities.
I know it is easier say than done. All those tips and suggestions which you find in some self-improvement or minimalist blogs or self- motivational books advising us on how to slow down, they all sound superficial and silly. For instance advising us to ponder and take time to answer rather than being pushed into answering questions, yawn often, read slow stories, spend more time in the bathtub, spend more time in bed, shut off our cell phone, go out daily and feel the sensations of water and wind and earth against your skin, whatever you’re doing, be fully present and also appreciate every aspect of it, and find the enjoyable aspects or focus on our breathing.
Many of us do not have the liberty and time to do the above mentioned. We are all struggling to make ends meet every day. Where can we afford to find time to slow down and focus on our breathing, as suggested by Leo Babauta in zenhabit. Or the many unpractical and wish-washy ideas from the SlowDownNow.org., you may argue.
Personally I don’t totally disagree with what they have suggested on slowing down. The fact is we all need to try to reduce our daily endless rushing. As I just said TRY and also REDUCE. We cannot just ignore or just toss away what we have to do and indulge in those slow down ideas completely.
Remind yourself, we are all dying, so to speak. Do you know that on the day you die, there’ll still be things you haven’t finished doing? So why push yourself so hard? Think about this for a moment.
Every moment we are dying. What we have, at any one time is between two breaths. Because we might not able to take the next breath. It simply means, what we have is the very present moment.
Today with all the modern inventions and advanced innovations which are supposed to help us save time, so we can spend more time to relax and enjoy living. But instead we use that “saved time” to engage in more activities, and ironically we ended up living a more hectic life. Then we complain we don’t have time to relax or spend time with our loved ones or indulge in our leisure activities.
What I suggest is TRY to REDUCE whatever you are doing. Minimize is the word. See what you can reduce or if possible what you can totally abandon. What I mean is start decluttering your life; both physical and mental mess. Concentrate on as few important stuff as possible and find space for yourself to relax and unwind.
By slowing down it can improve your productivity. Dr. Joyce Brothers said that no matter how much pressure you feel at work, if you could find ways to relax for at least five minutes every hour, you’d be more productive.
Albert Einstein said, “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.” You need to make time to reflect. If you can every morning spend at least 30 minutes with your eyes closed to relax and reflect. Not thinking or meditating, but reflect deeply about your personal life, your work or dream up new ways to grow personally or professionally.
Relaxation clears your mind. You would have a better sense of your priorities and what you need to focus on. Clarity helps you to make better decisions and wiser choices.
In addition, the rushing and overloading can lead to stress which can affect your health in a long run. Continuous stress can raise your blood pressure, which can lead you to heart attack or stroke. Stress can also disrupt your immune system, speed up your aging process and drive you to depression.
There are many ways on how to relax your mind and body. go for minimalist living or you can take up meditation, breathing techniques and yoga.