Stressed Out? Chill. Relax. Slow DownWith the hype and momentum this time of year it's easier said than done...

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  • Stressed Out? Chill. Relax. Slow Down

How often do you look back at the week that’s been, and all you see is a blur?

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Do you yearn for a quiet weekend but in reality, use it to clean the house, do the grocery shopping, take the kids to sport, weed the garden, wash the car, and pay the bills, to only head into another week of madness?

Have we forgotten how to just be, and acknowledge the rest of the people we share this beautiful space around us with? Do we make the time to enjoy what matters most to us? Even to just stop and smell the roses?

It is documented fact that we as a race of human beings are moving faster than ever before, literally.

The actual pace of pedestrians in several cities around the world have been the subject of a recent study showing an average ten per cent increase in walking pace since the mid 1990’s, in some countries up to 30%!

Do you feel like you missed out on something?

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Mobile phones, internet, social media and email – it all gives us 24-hour access to the world, our friends and sometimes our jobs. We don’t like to wait, to queue, to take our turn, to share; we forget common courtesies in our desire to complete the task as quickly as possible. So, are we wasting the pleasure and mindfulness in our lives in the fear we may miss out on something – anything – however unimportant?

We travel further to work thanks to our cities’ urban sprawl and most of us will spend that time wrapped up in our own little world. If we use public transport, it will be heads down catching up on email to give us a head start at the office or we will share with our Facebook friends our frustration that the train is so crowded, or smelly, or for racing out the door so fast this morning you left lunch on the kitchen bench.

During our drive to work, we battle the congestion, and impatience makes road hogs out of a lot of us. We don’t want to let the person next to us get in front, we rage that we weren’t quick enough to close up the gap on that car trying to merge! We are mentally worn out before we get to our destination, having spent the last hour or so fighting to stay ahead in the queue.

Frustration seethes out of our pores.

Our relationships become stolen moments where we grab a kiss as we pass each other in the hall and if we are lucky enough to have a meal together at the end of the day amongst the mayhem of children, animals and television, conversation is stalled as we fight to regroup and try to slow down and quiet the pandemonium in our heads, in order to survive to do it all again tomorrow.

It’s time to chill…

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There will eventually be a breaking point, a moment in time where you stop and look in that rear vision mirror and realise; ‘Shit!!! This can’t go on. Something has to give!’

When we realise this, our sense of self-worth can strengthen and the negativity we have been surrounding ourselves with will dissipate. We will let that nice lady in the red car merge in front of us. We won’t rush to be the first through the door, but instead will stand back to hold the door for the mum with pram and toddlers in tow. Our neighbours will be more than a house number and we might even collect their mail for them when they go on holiday, or invite them in for a drink at Christmas.

Housework could even take a rain check one weekend while you take the family to the beach! But most importantly, we will be really living. Slowing down and savouring the moment reduces stress and increases quality of life. Let go and free up your mind for some down time.

Have a think about what you could do to make a small change in your life for the better by slowing the pace a little.

How would you love to slow down? What do you do to relax?

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