Just Stop. Slow Down and Breathe

Seriously, stop. Just stop and breathe. When was the last time you’ve done that? Just sat and felt yourself breathe in and then out? It wasn’t until my girlfriend sent me a link to this TED video that I knew I was doing too much and cramming everything into every minute. [She has a habit of knowing what I need, whether she realises it or not.]

Rush Hour - from Flickr Creative Commons

On the contrary this week has been great for me. I’ve been given permission to write a brief and be in charge of some web maintenance on a blog that gets 6000 hits a month. Also this week I went to finalise a project I’ve been planning for just short of year now, we bought web space and a domain name. This is a sexual health project that I can only see as being very successful and growing yearly. 

But it was yesterday I imploded in on myself. I just had this subtle annoyance floating around in me. That’s the best way I can describe it. It felt like something was missing from my brain, like I was hungry for something but I couldn’t detect what I was really hungry for.

Until this morning I watched this TED video by Carl Honore, one of the many things I had on my “to-do list.” But this time I decided to make an effort to put this part of my life first, self-care and self-manintence – but importantly investing time in what a loved one recommended for me.

In brief, the video is based on the things we do in everyday life, but tend to rush through them, things we should enjoy and invest our time into rather than rush through – life is about going quicker. Carl Honore, uses the perfect example of watching the clock when he reads his son a bed time story, he admits to skipping pages and speed reading.

What I took away from this video was that I just need to slow down. I feel like I have 100 things to do all the time, which is fine I can handle that pressure. But it’s the fact my mind is so adrift from the important things that matter. I need to invest time in people I love and care about more. I need to just put some time aside for guilt free enjoyment in what ever.

Today I just put aside 10 minutes to breathe. A simple breathing exercise where I sat on the floor with my back against the wall, closed my eyes and just focused on deep controlled breathing for 10 minutes. Doing this was the first time I realised I hadn’t used my lungs to full capacity in a long time. Taking deep breaths actually hurt. This was of major concern to me, the one thing that takes me through this life (my body) was suffering and I was neglecting it.

I plan to continue this 10 minute window where I can just sit and breath and refocus my mind everyday. The clarity I awoke from after just taking that 10 minute timeout was astounding. I would recommend all to do it/try it.This is when I had the realisation. Well if I’m neglecting the very thing I live inside of, how are my relationships affected? Once I considered this for a while and got very scared by the what-ifs. I decided to take action and make a plan.

But I plan to take it further than just here. I plan to enjoy times of the day without guilt, I’ll make a conscious effort to enjoy many minutes of different parts of the day that we all take for granted. Every second I’m on the phone or webcam to my girlfriend, any dinner time I get to share with my family, and any minutes I get to share with close friends. It all adds up to a better quality of life and a better productivity level in my work.

Please leave a comment on things you take for granted or should really spend some guilt free time investing in.

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