Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stress Relief

For fast acting relief, try slowing down.
Lily Tomlin

That advice works well and the more stressed we become the slower we must go to repair the damage a frantic life causes. Life is complicated nowadays, simplifying is a major key to stress relief. The possibilities for cutting out unnecessary crap varies from person to person, but all of us have areas where we could and should reduce the clutter we box ourselves into a corner with.
Life is often treated as if it is a race. Speed quickly becomes the main aim, a habit that exists for its own sake and we follow behind it like we are the ones in control. Once speed becomes the leading force we may travel further than the next fellow but what we accomplish will be less structured and stable. Sometimes just the wind produced from our mad dash is enough to destroy something priceless. And before long we are only racing ourselves anyway, which is a contest you can never hope to win.
I have found in my own life the faster I go the harder I crash. For my own peace of mind I have to stay at a speed that is comfortable. Measured steps work for me. When I try to match my footsteps to someone who is racing it is a sure bet that within a few miles I am completely off-balance.
I am walking wounded. I have to tread beside others who have slowed to catch their breath or lick their wounds. I do not carry all the baggage I started out with years ago, so it is possible to help others to learn how to travel lighter. I do not stroll beside them and say poor traveler, poor me. Empathy is much different than sympathy. I know how they feel, but I do not feel sorry for them and end it there. Understanding pain and how to heal it is not an enabling thing, but an empowering tool.
So if you are frayed and tattered from too much, too quickly, and too franticly digested then reduce the speed at which you are traveling. Just as a car gets further on a tank of gas at a slower speed humans get more mileage out of their energy if it is used at a measured pace and not just wasted in a race that never ends.