You’re probably an overachiever or a perfectionist, or you tend to obsess a little over things? If we become locked into these modes of thinking, we can easily become hyper-fixated on achieving and doing. This is extremely stressful and exhausting in the long term. This mindset tends to lend itself towards external achievements, so there will always be something to do before allowing oneself to be at peace. You end up trying to do things faster and faster which doesn’t bring relief either.
Being doesn’t mean doing. We all find this out at some point in our lives. There are things we can do to help us be, like building self-esteem, social interest, or relationships, but we don’t have to do anything to be ok. Finding balance requires the stopping of activity, not more. Acceptance of yourself now, just as you are, is not doing, it is being, and is the best thing you will ever do for yourself.
This difference can be very difficult to grasp, as we’ve been trained to focus on achievement. We wear it like a badge. “I’m busy” tends to be a common reply when you ask someone how they’re doing. We value activity and accomplishment and devalue passive behaviors as laziness. Going all the time helps us to feel in control, but unfortunately peace, self-esteem, and self-acceptance are not activities to do, they are ways to be.
The underlying problem here is that always going and doing quickly becomes goal oriented. Even doing something quickly shifts your focus to the future instead of being in the present moment.
If you’re trying to do too much, working too hard, or feeling run down, stop. Stop, relax, take a few deep breaths and slow down. Try to focus on yourself; make your physical and emotional well-being your first priority. Catch up on sleep, meditate, get some exercise, or just do nothing at all. You’ll notice the world goes on fine, and you’ll be able to contribute more when you come back calm, refreshed, and less anxious. One big reward to slowing down is being able to enjoy life instead of racing through it.
When we slow down, we calm down. Life is much more fun when we take care of ourselves. When we feel rested and satisfy our needs; when we don’t feel trapped.
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