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The world is too fast. From fast food to fast alarm clocks, fast talking and driving too fast; waking ourselves and our children up quickly, eating and dressing at the speed of light -- it can cause a myriad of health and emotional problems.
Stress levels, as we know, increase under pressure and decrease when pressure is reduced. What exactly is pressure but the quickening of molecules? As the water boils, the pressure is intensifying and so many of us find ourselves thrashing about like lobsters in a pot.
Some times people have heart attacks, life-threatening illness, car accidents or other traumatic experiences that not only act as a call to cherish life, but as a call to slow down, to appreciate each moment as it comes, to leave the speed to the racers.
Is it even possible to slow down in the face of our every day responsibilities, our children and significant others, our jobs and our homes? Can we slow down inside even if we’re rushing through things like traffic to get to work on time?
Inner peace is having the quality of peace inside of yourself even as the storms are raging and the stressors of life are attempting to whip you into a frenzy of activity and hurrying.
Stillness in meditation means finding that candle flame, the core of you, and maintaining not only your focus, but your calmness in the midst of chaos.
Some suggestions for ways to slow down are:
• Deepen your breath. As you move through your day, remember to breathe. You may have paperwork, a nasty co-worker or boss, a million phone calls to make or heavy items to lift, but you are still allowed oxygen and the rhythm of your deepening breaths will lower your blood pressure and slow down your heart rate.
• Drink a lot of water. By cleaning out your system with water, you will be less tempted to use caffeine and sugar to enhance your energy levels. This is crucial because both caffeine and sugar keep you speedy but crashing all day long; the opposite of slow, cultivated inner peace.
• Bend over and touch your toes a few times each day. Stretching can be a form of meditation in and of itself (what is yoga, after all?).
How do you typically manage day-to-day stress?