As a nation, we are characterized by our work and productivity ethic. To slow down means to fall behind the competition, to not meet our sales goals or not make payroll, or to fall behind in rent, mortgage or college payments. From High School onwards, most children and adults in this country don't get enough sleep, with damaging effects on concentration, learning, mood, weight, stress-tolerance, and health.
Lack of time hurts kids and families
Why we need mindfulness
All of this time pressure leads us to be on automatic pilot a lot of the time, disengaged from the fabric of our lives. This creates anxiety, depression, and impaired quality of life. That is why we so desperately need the attitude of mindfulness!
Based on ancient Buddhist philosophy and validated by neuroscience studies, mindfulness involves slowing down for long enough to observe your breathing, your thoughts, your feelings, and your body's reactions. When you observe your own reactions with relaxed acceptance, you begin create distance from your judging, worried mind and can get closer to your own, authentic truth. When you let go of your attachments to things having to be a certain way in order to be happy, you can tune in to what you really want and need at a deeper level. Such self-awareness helps you make more conscious and authentic choices about your values and how want to spend your time and energy.
What is most important to your happiness?
Do you really want the drive for status, and keeping up with the neighbors to have such power over your life? Research shows that beyond the point at which your basic needs are met, more money doesn't necessarily lead to more happiness. Rather, it is the quality of relationships and living an authentic life that makes us most happy! Exercise, health, and fitness can also help us combat depression, sleep better, and feel happier.
Learning mindfulness skills like meditation and a mindful attitude to living can help you slow things down and refocus. Seeing a psychologist to deal with an important life issue takes time and investment, but by helping you make better choices about your life priorities, it is an investment that can pay huge dividends by giving you more authenticity, time, choice, and freedom.