We live in a culture that values doing, achieving, and succeeding. Though these habits are valuable and necessary, the downfall to our health is that we undervalue doing "nothing" or simply being. And the result? Chronic stress that has become normalized.
Why should we care? Stress underlies most of our modern day maladies. A "doing, doing, doing" way of life contributes to dis-ease over time because the nervous system never gets a chance take a load off. The fight-or-flight affect of stress leaves the body thinking and feeling as if a lion is chasing it 24 hours a day.
So what if we allowed ourselves to simply be, every single day? What would that mean to our quality of life and health? What would doing less even look like?
Giving our mind and body a daily dose of under stimulation primes all systems with a system reboot needed to build a Cadillac of an immune system. Here are 5 ways to begin practicing the art of doing less:
1. Go on a social media and electronics fast.
Yes that’s right! Avoid Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and turn off your cell phone and laptop for an extended period of time. Start with an hour or give yourself a cutoff time each day (i.e. no thumb tango after 8pm).
Do ONE thing at a time. Its can be harder than it sounds, but practice makes perfect. This cultivates presence and focus that will enhance productivity, efficiency, and peace of mind.
3. Explore meditation.
It's the ultimate practice of being in the moment. Mindfulness meditation is one form that offers numerous ways to incorporate your meditation into daily life. Explore your options and find a practice that suits you so you’ll stick to it.
4. Attend a restorative yoga class.
Restorative yoga allows you to bring balance to the mind and body by accessing the healing, "rest and digest" part of your nervous system through supportive postures and a nurturing environment. The effects are cumulative, so reap the benefits of regular practice.
5. Schedule time into your schedule for simply being.
Try relaxing in your favorite chair without a book or the TV on. Try stargazing, watching the sunset from the beach or your back yard, or sitting alone for a few minutes before or after work. Time with yourself is essential to building an awareness of when you're back on the "doing" train at high speed.