Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Late Night Mumblings...

It has been a long day, but I have a few thoughts. A colleague of mine, Dr. Gray Otis (President-elect of the American Mental Health Counselor Association) and I were discussing how the mental health of life changed with the industrial revolution. With the advent of technology, the advancements of science and education, etc. distance has been gapped and information availability is possible where it used to be scarce. It has made life "easier" in a sense. However, as we discussed one day, it has had its side-effects. There is less one-on-one socialization; less outdoor activities; less agricultural activities; and just less physical movement in general. Rather than experiencing a horrific catastrophe or natural disaster, what can we do to have a more balanced lifestyle? Here are a few suggestions.

1. Simplify: Make your days and routines more simple. Learn to say yes to the things that are important and no to the things that are not. Being assertive is not a crime.
2. Go outside: Adults and children have forgotten the joys of being outside. Don't "think" about it. Just do it. I remember the days when I would strap my fishing pole to my BMX bicycle and ride three miles outside of town to fish in the Bear Lake Canal with my brothers and cousin. I remember fishing for "crawdads" in the local creeks with rolled-up jeans and wading barefoot through the cold water. I remember marveling (and still do) at how the sky seems to glow when it snows at night.
3. Balance Needs and Wants: We all want our toys. Learn to balance what is important as to not overwhelm yourself with the newest and best things. Make sure the needs are truly needs and not wants. If you are not sure, take a look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs for a few ideas. (http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs)
4. Laugh: Learn to laugh at yourself and to not take life so seriously. If things feel overwhelming, as yourself if what you are worried about is bringing you joy. Most likely, it is not.

Come up with some of your own ideas. What are they? Post them in the comments section.

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