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The toughest thing in the world for me is to let go and just breathe. I speak nineteen to the dozen and think way faster than that. Like any spirited person, I tend to focus on each and every word, action or reaction of mine and of those around me. Every day is a roller coaster of emotion and bouncy house of ideas, plans and what not as I multi-task and process things rapidly, just because I can.
I have a single-minded focus during a crisis or when emotions ride high, tempers flare or adrenaline is pumping. During such episodes, I am almost in a meditative state because I can zero in and concentrate on the overriding thought, feeling or experience of the moment. Those moments are far and few. At all other times, I am fairly certain, you can feel my mind racing.
To someone like me, slowing down is worse than staying still.
Recently, however, I came to a grinding halt when a friend told me to try and live in the moment, and soak in the present for a bit. She was referring to conversations at a breakneck speed and darting at an all for leather pace (mentally) in many directions. And how it can get overwhelming for others.
But, it also made me think about how 'being me', affects me on a day-to-day basis. It makes me constantly do, or think, or act, or plan. It makes me cling to memories. It makes me never forget because I am constantly processing things without slowing down and assimilating, or discarding. I am not really moving on to the next thing, but hoarding each and every thing, and in effect carrying baggage.
Then, I took a step back and thought about all the times I have paused and just lived in the moment. It is not as though I had an epiphany or anything. It is something I have sporadically thought about and tried to do off and on over the years with varying degrees of success. I came up with a list of things that have helped me slow down in the past.
I have taken stock of what worked and what didn't and can check the items on my list using the fingers of one hand. If you are anything like me, or have to deal with someone like me, this list should come in handy.
I will try to focus on the larger picture, which means not being nit-picky about why people behave the way they do. For example, if you are good to me on the whole, I will chalk your minor indiscretions, insensitive reactions or any other nastiness to a bad day or a momentary lapse of good sense.
Remember how Chandler used to wait for Joey to get there? I promise, I will try to wait till you finish your train of thought and stay with you through the next steps instead of waiting for you 3 stations ahead and expecting you to get there faster. I do not think you are slow, but I think I need to adjust my pace so we can arrive at a different conclusion or the same one together.
Just because I have considered what you said through all possible angles and arrived at a different conclusion, doesn't mean that is what you intended to say or do. So I will not fret about it till I check with you!
I need to focus on one agenda at a time and at a stretch. I will pick and choose the one thing I want to win you over for and let the others go, so you win some and I win some.
I have hoarded a bit too much over the years. It s time to let go of things that are not in my control. That does not mean I have to act or decide or do anything specific. I just have to realise that a particular emotion or idea is lying in the recesses of my mind and it can continue to lie there. I won t actively bring it up or examine it from time to time.
I will just breathe!
Live Simply is a series of experiences that have taught me to try and live simply. Can I manage to live simply? I don t know. But, I intend to explore the possibility and I invite you to be a part of my journey. Comment to share your life experiences.
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