Take a step back to a time when you were living carefree, no stress, no real burdens, pressures or responsibilities in life…..I bet you will automatically imagine yourself as a child again, playing with friends. Maybe you see this as a distant memory or a thing of the past that cannot be achieved again.
I can tell you, from personal life experience, that embracing your ‘child-like ways’ is the KEY to decreasing STRESS, looking more youthful and leading a more balanced, healthier life in 2020 and beyond.
How can a fast-paced lifestyle cause stress?
We are living in such a fast-paced world, further hyped by the constant use of social media and phone apps. I am sat here writing this and I have been interrupted several times by social media updates and contacts via various social media apps. Too many distractions at once will ultimately take away your focus and actually desensitise you to all the ‘calming’ influences in your life. Over time you will become more hypersensitive to being busy and as a result can be easily distracted, and left with an over-stimulated mind. With such a heightened mental state, it will, in turn, affect your physical self. How? There will be an increased production of adrenaline from your adrenal glands, creating an imbalance in your body hormones. Both these factors, over time, will result in more stress and less ‘natural’ calm within your mind, body, and soul.
How can I slow down my pace of living?
There are a few things I love to consciously do when my life is hectic and I am feeling very stressed. Ultimately I would love to rush home to Bali, but that is not practical on an everyday basis. Therefore my first port of call is to take some time out for me, to SLOW DOWN. When you keep yourself busy and have a million things to do, it is very hard to slow down in life. Try it! Honour you, and respect you! Find that space and time when it is all feeling a bit too much, to rebalance yourself. Simply doing this will instantly reduce any stress, and give your mind, body, and soul the rest and recovery that it would have been craving. Next up for me personally is to pray or to meditate. To bring me back to being present in time. If I cannot take time off work or find some decent space, I will take 10 minutes a day to pray and be with God. It is important, faith or not, to learn ways to refocus and to remember how to be fully ‘present’, as tomorrow is not a guarantee! No amount of ‘stressing’ or ‘worry’ can ever change this fact, tomorrow is not certain, so LIVE FOR TODAY. Lastly, I try to disconnect from technology and social media, for a day or so, and to really focus on people and actual engagements with those who I come into contact with.
How does tapping into your inner child reduce stress?
Personally I have always kept myself young in mind, and as a result, it has kept me ‘balanced’ and calm in every life situation from losing a job, moving house, partners being unfaithful and losing all my close family members.
Life is not meant to be a walk in the park or easy, so stress will inevitably be lurking to try and get you off-balance. The way you perceive the world, your life and the outcome of such horrendous life events is what will keep your stress levels low. Unlocking your inner child and learning to keep it alive is so important to mental health and long-term wellbeing. Here are the ways I keep my inner child fed and alive, alongside it being a useful life strategic tool for balancing yourself at all times of stress;
- Love a sense of humour so I laugh lots and mix with those who love it too.
- Forgiveness is vital! Learn to ‘get out of your own way’ and forgive fast.
- Have fun when able – work hard, play harder.
- Be AUTHENTIC.
- Speak the truth like a running tap of water – children are innocent after all.
- Allow emotions to always show – do not try to hide them.
- Be willing and open to opportunities and try something new when given the chance.
What are the ways I can slow myself down, to regain balance and reduce my stress levels?
- Do less
- Be present
- Disconnect from social media for a set time each day or week
- Focus on those you are with, be fully present
- Spend some time in nature
- Try and find pleasure in everything you do!