Often, life can seem like a treadmill, a non-stop, frenetic obstacle course that we have to negotiate each day. There never seem to be enough hours in a day for all of the things we need to do, at work or at home.
Thanks to technology, which is supposed to make our lives easier, we are always connected, checking email, or perusing Facebook or LinkedIn. And all of this drives up our stress levels, which in turn impacts our health.
So, if you find yourself caught up in what seems like an endless race, feeling more like a pinball than a human being, what can you do to slow things down a little and take more control of your life? Here are a few suggestions.
1. Drive a little slower
This may come as a bit of a surprise, but we all spend a good deal of time every day in our cars, and so slowing down the pace a little while we are on the road can help to reduce our stress levels. When you drive, stay within the speed limit. Don’t try and beat the red light. When you have to stop, stop completely. To give yourself more time to get where you are going, leave a little earlier.
But the truth is, just by slowing down a little, you really won’t be losing that much driving time, and you will be more relaxed and just feel better.
2. Make yourself slow down
Often, once we begin rushing around, we develop a kind of inertia, and continue to rush because we feel we have to. But stop and think a moment, how urgent are the things you need to do? Be conscious of your speed, and tell yourself to slow down. Repeat the command as necessary. Take a few deep breaths. Look around and enjoy the scenery. Grab a cup of coffee.
Prioritize your tasks so that you are doing the most important ones first. This alone will relieve a lot of pressure. Limit your list to three to five things that are most important. And don’t allow yourself to get distracted from doing the things on the list.
3. Stop multitasking.
This is a big culprit in making us feel hurried and overloaded. Focus on doing one thing at a time and only one thing, at work and at home.
4. Limit use of electronics
Before you log on, decide how long you will spend with your computer, smartphone or other device, and then stick to that time limit. At work, set aside a certain time for email, and stick to that time, rather than opening up your email several times a day.
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