You wake up and reach for your phone. There's a bunch of unread messages and emails which have accumulated overnight. You sift through application notifications from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram while eating breakfast and scroll through your news feed on the bus to work. You respond to urgent emails while skilfully avoiding pedestrians on the footpath. You then check your calendar to slot in a last-minute meeting.
Let's face it: we're all glued to technology. And there's nothing wrong with that - it's inevitable in this day and age.
However, making time and taking a step back from the hectic rush of endless Facebook notifications, text messages, urgent appointments and deadlines can greatly benefit your wellbeing.
Here are three reasons why you should be slowing down:
Your brain health improves
Engaging in slow and creative activities such as arts and crafts has been proven to benefit the brain by working both hemispheres. It's important for us to strengthen the part of our brains that not only engage with logic and problem solving, but also taps into the creative and imaginative side of our minds.
Your stress levels go down
Having a hobby where you can sit down for a few hours and block out the constant noise of society can work wonders for your mental health and bring down stress levels. Not having constant deadlines to worry about lowers cortisol, the 'stress hormone', and engaging in relaxing, enjoyable activities heightens levels of oxytocin and serotonin in the brain.
You operate better at work
Believe it or not, your professional life also benefits from slowing down. For instance, children who are encouraged to learn a musical instrument, or receive visual arts education during their formative years grow into more well-rounded adults. The same theory applies in a work environment. Having a slow crafts hobby like sculptural basketry has allowed me to think more creatively, and energises me for work.
Too often have I seen very successful people close their minds and hearts to the concept of slowing down, and they burn themselves out.
I use art as my 'slow-down' method to break away from our modern fast-paced life, but there are many ways to do it. Go camping. Hike to the peak of a mountain. Start meditation. Learn a musical instrument. Create a garden and grow nutritious slow foods. Or simply stop and look out the window and have gratitude that you can.
About the author
Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com
Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au