The title of this article may not sound very appealing to most of you, but trust me if you may go through the entire article, you might end up learning a great skill to carry on with more efficiency and effectiveness in your life.
These days the pace of our life is very fast. It is getting more mechanized and complex with each passing day.
Hurry and impatience are getting deep into our conscience. Everybody is getting into the habit of having anything very quickly without paying a required amount of time and energy.
Now, when everything is going haywire, it becomes very essential to stop and ask ourselves seriously – What if we take a pause from our crazy life!
What I am pointing here is about developing the ability to slow down the mind or developing an unhurried mind.
I am not an expert to suggest any solutions to this problem, but I do want to discuss a few skills if developed and practised, can bring about significant change in our outlook.
Do little but do it well
In today’s competitive world there is a fictitious rat race going where everybody wants to get one step ahead of another at any cost.
Unfortunately, our modern education system itself glorifies this rat race by naming it as competition.
With such a high pressure about getting success in almost everything, the mere involvement in this rat race has taken a huge toll on our health.
It, therefore, becomes very important for us to stop for a moment in our busy schedule to take a little pause for a while. Contemplate seriously on our daily actions and not just blindly become one more member in this rat race.
Once we learn to take a pause from our hectic schedule and sit quietly for a while. Suddenly, we will start getting a lot of meaningful insights based on reality and not an illusion.
Then, we will begin to understand how important it is to focus just on particular work and not waste energy while aiming to be always on top-position in everything.
This reminded me of one incident in the life of a famous scientist who has more than 2000 patents against his name – Thomas Alva Edison.
Once asked about the secret of his genius by one of his friends. In a very light note, he replied, that most of the people get up every day and do a lot of things. He also gets up every day but he has very few things to do, and he does it pretty well. That’s the secret he revealed to his friend.
Here, what I am trying to emphasize by this particular example is: we need to get into the mindset of the genius, not by overburdening ourselves but by being selective to pending tasks.
This can be achieved if we get off from this ugly ‘rat-race’ and learn to take a little pause from our stressful life.
Writing down 5 most haunting problems
As the saying goes- the crisis is not the time to fix the society but it is a reflection of the society.
We are never taught in our education to acquire this useful skill of taking necessary breaks and pauses before responding to everything we deal with.
Let’s understand the importance of taking these breaks to contemplate on our life rather than reacting immediately.
Let’s not learn it theoretically but practically right here in this moment. Trust me it will not take a lot of effort from you. So, let’s get into this skill right now!
First, take 3 deep breaths and observe your breathing pattern for 10 seconds. Hey, you have just taken a pause! It is that simple.
Now take a pen and a piece of paper. Write down the 5-most severe problems you faced in your life 10 years ago.
Get a highlighter or you can either use a pen and out of the 5 problems highlight those which are still haunting you at present.
I am 100% sure most of you wouldn’t have found a single problem to highlight as they no longer exist in reality.
Now just imagine, the fresh problems that are existing at present which often make you feel desperate will also no longer exist after 5-10 years down the line. This realization is not small, it’s quite profound and refreshing.
Slowing down the wandering mind
I know sometimes it becomes really necessary to get in sync with the demands of a fast-paced life. For instance, many professionals dealing with science and technology or surgery have to be on their toes to accomplish certain time-bound tasks.
However, it will be foolish to incorporate a similar response in every aspect of our life.
To great extent, this attitude of responding quickly and demanding an instant response from others has already set in our behaviour.
Furthermore, there is no sense in getting busy about being busy. As Henry David Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is what are you so busy about”.
So it is very essential to learn this skill of slowing down the wandering mind to develop an unhurried and steady mind.
As the famous Indian saying goes – “A fast mind is sick. A slow mind is sound and a mind that is still is divine”. Because, the more we slow down our mind (running thoughts and emotions), the more control we have over our lives. When a mind stops racing, it is naturally focussed than distracted.
The people who have already developed this skill to a great extent are naturally more aware in any given situation, more composed amid challenges, and more sensitive to the needs of others. They are naturally more involved, look at the things very clearly and act decisively.
Taking a break
As per modern science, there does exist a way-out utilizing which you can slowly but steadily build this skill of slowing down your mind.
It is quite a simple skill we are all familiar with – it is a process of taking required breaks in between our work.
You may argue that when dealing with extremely complex situations or having too much pressure to finish a task within time, you have no choice but to skip the idea of taking timely-breaks.
However, as per the latest research, taking a break can be very beneficial for you and your work. By taking regular breaks you can boost your work performance.
Latest studies on health and physical activities have revealed enormous benefits of taking breaks. Here is the list of few noteworthy gains in taking necessary breaks:
- They can reduce or prevent stress.
- Intermediate breaks can help in maintaining performance throughout the day.
- Lunchtime breaks can help in increasing the energy levels at work and decrease exhaustion.
- Relaxing breaks can help reset the moods and promote positive wellbeing.
- Social breaks like chatting with friends also help in recovering from stress.
- They can reduce sleep disorders and bring about mental balance.
- Mini-breaks while at work support your wellbeing and increase productivity.
Having covered various pros associated with this self-development skill and also learned about the cons of not developing it.
I would reinforce that by taking time to pause and reflect, once in a while, is extremely helpful in slowing down our mind.
It is also an effective way to make good use of time. Once applied, it significantly adds to efficiency and effectiveness in every walk of our life.
I hope this blog post might have added a little value to your life. Even if you managed to get a cue to little-bit of relaxation after reading and contemplating over it, I believe this post has served its purpose.
Please share this article with your loved ones if you think it is worth sharing and we will definitely love to have your feedback.
- Korpela K, Kinnunen U, Geurts S, de Bloom J, Sianoja M. Recovery during Lunch Breaks: Testing Long-Term Relations with Energy Levels at Work. Scand J Work Organ Psychol. 2016.