Ways of Un-rushing

You know how it goes. Rush rush rush rush. And then rush some more. 

Especially during the month of December. End of year reports. Gift shopping. Office parties. And all the regular obligations. Yes, our adrenaline is likely to go on mad overdrive.

Add to this the mental rush. A world in turmoil. San Bernardino. Colorado Springs. Paris. Beirut. We are in shock. We feel vulnerable and less safe. Watch the news. Social media feeds. More mental rushing unleashed. It’s exhausting.

Meditation and prayer help calm our mental and emotional speed. Physical rushing is the easiest rush to manage, yet we tend to race into moment after moment with the flustered energy of the moment before. We steamroll through one social encounter after the next. We don’t ever settle in. 

So – how do we un-rush?

Before entering a room for a meeting, before answering the phone that rings, before drifting into a holiday party – stop. Stop and recalibrate. We can recalibrate in a few quick seconds. Here are just some of the ways. Consider these your conscious little experiments for the week:

  1. Stop moving. Don’t just hit the mental stop button – no, physically stop. Don’t walk, don’t run, don’t scan the smart-phone, don’t turn on the TV. Totally stop for a second or two. Stop.

  2. Close your eyes. Open them again. A millisecond close will suffice. The world around you will not change in that millisecond, but when your eyes open again, the world around you will look different. You will actually see what’s been in front of you all along. You will “be there!”

  3. Affirm your mental state. By that I mean – affirm your desired mental state. “I feel really rushed today” will just keep you feeling really rushed. What about “I am talking to some really cool people today?” Why not affirm that state of mind?

  4. Choose to smile. It’s such a cliché, but boy, it sure works. When I choose to smile, the energy in my body shifts. Even if I’m not feeling it, my smile will summon the emotion. So – don’t question the smile. Simply choose it. And enjoy your brief moments of recalibration!