We live in a land constantly bombarded with entertainment options. With a massive array of shows and movies streaming at your fingertips and a constant funnel of new creators online we are huge consumers of media. The questions stands, is this relaxation?
Here in America, as well as other countries, people are overworked. From working 8-12 hours daily, to taking work home on the weekend, people are putting in massive amounts of hours in their career. This can be to achieve a certain level of success or promotion. Sometimes it’s because they’re starting their own business and do the job of 10 people. Perhaps it’s not a job, but family, bills, children or a million other little things causing stress and anxiety in our minds. So, in those rare moment of solace and freedom how do we spend our time? If you Google “how to relax” you will see thousands of articles, blogs, questions, videos and so much more all sharing how to accomplish this feat. It’s easy to see that we have a problem.
Often, that time is spent flooding ourselves with media. We can spend hours scrolling Facebook and Instagram. Lose ourselves down a YouTube black hole or binge a whole season of the newest Netflix show. Does this actually provide relaxation, though? Or does this simply provide a level of mindlessness? Is there a lost art to relaxation that’s driving us to be absent from our own lives? Many people flip between extreme stress and anxiety to complete brain shutdown.
Rather than simply accepting the societal norm, you can examine this narrative and what you want. Accepting that mindlessness is not the answer. The change is mindfulness. This wonderful, simple word encompasses so much of what’s needed and often missing in the world today. This art can be as simple as stopping where you are, examining the room around you, and the way you feel. Through breathing, journaling, meditation, and even the way you shop, you can channel simple mindfulness into everything that you do. Practice quieting your mind to focus on what someone is saying to you, and you’ll likely see a change in the way people talk to you. Take some time to clear your mind by coloring a picture, and find if you don’t feel relaxed, calm and centered.
We only have one life to live here, by relaxing, using mindfulness, and being open we can embrace more goodness into ourselves and give that back to the world.