In this fast-paced world, it is almost impossible to shut off, or slow down. What this results in is an increase in our stress, anxiety, and feelings of being constantly overwhelmed. In fact, in the book Thank You for Being Late, author Thomas Friedman outlines the turnover for our ability, as humans, to adapt to new technology, as being approximately 7 years. That would be fine, if significantly new and different technologies didn't have a turnaround time of 3 years. Currently, we are experiencing a shift in which humans are unable to keep up with the paradigm shifts in our technological world. This is evidenced by the increases in stress, anxiety, and need for meditation, mindfulness, and shutting off.
Last week, I was in the USA for a wedding, and I purposely did not add a US plan to my cell phone, craving a chance to be off-grid. This resulted in me leaving my cell phone at home when going out, and not checking it quite so often. I noticed I was able to be more present in what I was doing, and who I was spending time with. Additionally, I noticed this interesting phenomena with time, in that it actually slowed down. Days seemed to stretch out, and towards the end of my trip, I reflected back to the week before (when I was inevitably scrambling to pack) and it seemed so long ago. I was lucky to experience some back country hiking, and that took things a step further, in that there was no service anywhere in the area (or even neighbouring towns for that matter). My husband and I both noticed that seemingly mundane things (e.g. dishes) seemed to be more enjoyable. Was this because there was no other distraction? Very likely so.
Here's a challenge for you. When it is feasible (i.e. if your primary phone is used to for work, don't do this on a work day), turn off your phone, or leave it at home, and spend the day doing your tasks/hanging out without it. Notice what happens for you. It will be both challenging, frustrating (you might realize how much you rely on your phone), and freeing. Become aware of what's going on and how you interact with others, and what you observe around you.
I found the quickest way to slowing down was directly related to technology, which validated for me what Friedman found, but it is not feasible all the time, neither would I want that all the time. In today's world, adapting to the fast-paced world, but being able to tap into your inner calm is how to successfully navigate our current landscape.
How do you access your inner peace? What works for you? Comment below as it might provide someone else with a new suggestion or possibility.