Most of us these days are far too connected. Texting, emails, co-working spaces, Wi-Fi, and apps consume our days - and our nights. Even when we "take a break", it's often to post a photo to Instagram, update a status on Facebook, or stream music or videos to our tablets or smart-TVs. It's really a little overwhelming.
And if we are able to consciously see how overwhelming it is from within our personal tornado of technological busyness, imagine how our subconscious feels being constantly bombarded, able to pick up on every passing thing that we have learned to ignore. It's not good for the spirit or our health to be so busy. We need some relaxation, some real downtime, away from the incessant barrage of the modern world. We need some reality.
To do this we have to unplug, and we have to do it on purpose. Decide to set aside some time when there will be no television, no radio, no Internet via smartphone or tablet or laptop, and no interruptions either by phone or in person. Though fitting this time for you into your busy schedule may seem overwhelming at first, it’s easier if you start small. Begin with just 5-10 minutes per day. By allowing yourself to focus on something small, you give yourself the best chance for success.
Establish a ritual during that time frame that will support mindfulness, as we recently wrote about. If you simply try to be quiet for that time you'll likely end up getting antsy thinking about what you're going to do as soon as the time is up, and that could derail your attempts to make time for relaxation. Here is a simple meditation using one of the five senses you can try to get some sort of routine established.
Select something that evokes a happy memory—your favorite scented flower, a candle, an old book, or a jar of your favorite dried spice or loose leaf tea, for example. Use your scented object to create a signal to slow down and invoke feelings of happiness and relaxation in the middle of the day.
When things start to feel rushed, pause and sit in a comfortable position. Hold the scent to your nose, and inhale deeply three times. Let the scent summon your happy memory.
Focus on the scent and how you feel. Don’t analyze anything; just absorb the smell and enjoy the memories.
This type of activity will improve your health, your attitude, and your general outlook on life over time. For more insights and tips on using your senses to practice mindful living, download our free eBook, “7-Days to Fit ‘Me’ Time Into Every Day.”
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