Life comes at most of us with the speed of a bullet train. Always on the go, we are constantly bombarded with information and messages. Change happens and events occur faster than ever. Nearly everyone is always within reach of their smartphone. For many, the phone is the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we check before bed. As a result, many of us live with high levels of anxiety, clouded judgement, and the terrible physical toll it takes on our bodies. Your pace is not likely to slow down. So to feel your best you need to find ways to slow it down and liberate your mind of everything that stands in the way of clarity, mindfulness, and renewal. In this article, you will learn about the problems caused by living an accelerated life an how to find peace of mind by practicing stillness.
Accelerated Life Disorder
I created this term, accelerated life disorder, to describe what happens to people who have lost control of the pace of their lives. They are tethered to their smartphones and other devices every waking moment of the day, constantly checking in to make sure they don’t miss the latest headlines, emails, text messages and social media posts. At the same time, they are juggling careers and family, with little time for self-care, meditation or the stillness needed to re-center and clear their minds. According to the New York Post, people check their smartphones an average of 80 times per day. That’s once every 12 minutes in 16 hours of time not spent sleeping. On top of that, AC Nielsen reports people spend an average of 5 hours per day watching television. All this screen time speeds up the pace of life and can result in serious health problems.
The Toll it Takes. . .
Here are just five ways too much screen time can harm your health. . .
- Weight Gain. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease in adults.
- Headaches. Vision issues are the result of looking at an electronic screen for extended periods of time. This causes headaches and strained/blurred vision.
- Chronic neck and back pain. Poor posture from looking down at a smartphone or sitting in an ergonomically incorrect position for an extended period of time can cause spinal alignment problems.
- Poor Sleep. The blue light emanating from cell phones interfers with the production of melatonin and a restful night’s sleep.
- Impaired cognitive function and decreased retention. Constant flipping of screens and scrolling news feeds mean less time processing information. You see more information but actually process and retain less of it.
The Benefits of Practicing Stillness
Practicing stillness requires very little, yet the physical and psychological benefits are far reaching. Sitting still, free of thought and untethered to technology is a powerful tool. Some people think a quiet, natural setting is needed to practice stillness. That’s not true. Stillness happens in the mind and if you practice it often, you can reap the benefit of stillness wherever you are and whenever you need it.
“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat anytime.”
It clears your mind, renews your spirit, and resets your energy. It’s a mental power you control that lowers your anxiety and delivers you to a calm place, regardless of the circumstances around you. With that sense of calm, your heart rate and blood pressure will fall. You will think with clarity and make sound decisions, listen to others and your own intuition better, handle adversity better, and be in the moment.
Tips on Practicing Stillness
Practicing stillness is easy. All you need is your mind and luckily your mind is always close by. Here are some tips to get started. . .
- Simplify. Free yourself from the demands of daily life. A peaceful lake or mountain vista is nice, but if you’re in a loud office or busy home, just close your eyes for a few moments and release the distractions.
- Breathe. Slowly inhale and exhale, deliberately and with focus. This will help to slow your physical response to stress and enable you to release it.
- Loose yourself. Let go of any resistence and open yourself to the sensations around you. Focus on being in the moment.
- Don’t expect anything. There is no goal, no destination, no great answer. It’s the road to nowhere that connects to a quiet place within your mind. That’s where renewal begins.
You will experience the benefits of stillness the more often you practice it. I recommend you schedule time each day to practice stillness. Start with just 5 minutes before you go to bed. Soon you will be looking forward to your escape into stillness and reaping the benefits it brings.
Naturally. . .You is Here to Help
Naturally. . . You is dedicated to helping everyone live a healthier life. Practicing stillness can help you regain control of our life and slow down your pace. It is one aspect of renewal. Renewal is one of my Six Keys to Optimal Health. For more information about renewal, visit the Six Keys page on my website and click on Renewal. There you will find more ways to feed your soul and renew your spirit. Plus there is a resource guide that recommends a couple of books to help you on your journey. I’m always available to discuss this or any wellness topic. You can chat with me on my site or call me directly at 813.505.9815. I look forward to speaking with you soon.