In ‘modern day life’ we are bombarded with information - this information can become ‘toxic’ as it clogs up the system i.e. our brain. Think of a computer attempting to process data, if it is provided with too much information at once it slows down the efficiency of the device as it becomes overloaded - now draw a comparison between this and your brain.
I see this in many aspects of our lives:
Thoughts – the term ‘mindfulness’ is very often used as a way to encourage a term that promotes a deeper aspect of thought or thinking. The process is flawed in the fact that our minds are already full! The concept of emptying the cup in order to fill it up really comes into play, as we actually need to be ‘mindless’ for a certain part of the day.
Answer – Take part in an activity that allows you to become fully absorbed in the present moment, rather than fretting about the past or future.
Possessions – “We spend money we do not have to buy things we do not need”. We fundamentally need a lot less than we think but are encouraged to continue to consume and collect.
Answer – … ask yourself, “Do I need this?” If the answer is yes, give something similar, that you already own, to charity or someone else. The less we have the less we feel responsible for, meaning less stress in the long run.
Technology – “We are more connected than ever but have lost the ability to communicate with each-other.” Areas like train stations used to be full with people talking to each other, but nowadays we have our heads buried in phones and computers, we see the opposite. I have seen people walking into the road, lampposts, fall over small walls and most importantly … miss out on life!
Answer – Engage with people, talk to them, avoid flicking through your phone whilst talking and read the room. There is a time for this of course, but not at the expense of our development as a human race, missing out on the world around us and our overall safety.
Trainers – “More cushioning and stability of our footwear is actually causing more damage to our bodies” - as we add padding we become dependent on it. It is the same concept as sitting in a chair and losing the ability to control your core! Our feet are no different and are incredibly well designed to absorb shock when used correctly. Reduce the padding on the heel and we rely more on a mid foot to forefoot strike. This can be seen with a lot of countries in the Olympics – Ethiopia, African nations etc, why? Because they have ‘evolved’ to do so and time has been given in order for things to adapt.
Answer – Walk around barefoot more, look at gradually introducing shoes that are minimalist with a low heel drop below 6mm. Initially walk and skip in them to encourage the body to build up the required strength and stability. I personally recommend: Vibram five fingers, Vivo barefoot, Merrell trail gloves and New balance Minimus.
STOP BEING BUSY!! – The last one but definitely not the least! We love to be busy and are encouraged to do so as in most jobs, finishing the job in good time is not rewarded, but carrying a piece of paper around and looking busy is! We think that being busy for the sake of being busy is a good thing. What it is actually doing is creating more mental turmoil, using up excess energy, encouraging adrenal fatigue and promoting the need for simple fast foods to replenish this useless expenditure of energy.
Answer – Write a list, be efficient, get the job done and move on. Take regular breaks, stay motivated and understand that the preservation of your own health through stopping to enjoy life is far more efficient in the long run.
The answers listed above are just a couple of examples that have worked for me, we are creatures of habit that need to break the cycle repeatedly in order to find more effective ways of completing tasks and enjoying life.
I will leave you with this quote – “Less is more”