Stress, full agendas, social obligations, a demanding partner, an even more demanding bosses. Urban life can be dynamic and exciting, but it can easily turn into a stressful experience. As life goes on and does not seem to take a break on us, it can be difficult to find a bit of time for oneself; time to relax, time to do nothing, and get away from the hectic day-to-day obligations. ‘Deceleration’ is the keyword.
The deceleration can be a welcoming alternative to the daily stressfulness, allowing yourself to relax just for a moment and forget about all the obligations. Yet, deceleration is an art. Many people do not wish to decelerate, as they believe that leading a full-agenda lifestyle makes them wanted and desirable, and they love to show it to the world and to their friends.
In the long-term, however, these people often start wondering why so much energy is being drained away, why they start feeling tired, perhaps even experiencing physical or psychological complaints.
Deceleration by no means includes firing your friends or quitting your job. But it does include taking it a bit more easy and to slow down. For this reason, you will find 5 helpful suggestions on making your life easier and decelerated. Although this list is by no means exhaustive, please feel free to leave additional comments at the end of the article.
Include finance, health and relationships in your life
Different areas of life are very much interconnected, the most important ones being finance, health, and relationships. This means, that if one area is not going well, it might impact the other two negatively. We have dedicated an article around this topic, which can be read here.
In order to dedicate time to each area of life simultaneously, it is important to keep life in balance and to dedicate a necessary amount of time to each of the three areas. As soon as life becomes out of balance, small things can sweep you off your feet, and you might find yourself being stuck in a negative spiral.
Stop comparing yourself
It is tempting to compare your own life to the lives of others in order to have a benchmark of how you are doing. ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ is the appropriate expression used by many. But keeping up with the Joneses is more than just a benchmark; it creates a desire, to be just like them, or even better.
Keeping up with the Joneses is present in all levels of society, and it can do more harm than good. Because one thing which is often not considered, is that each and every person is different, their visions are different, and their life phase is different. Doing things, just because others do them, can result in living far beyond your standards, or even losing sight of your vision in life.
Plan some ‘spontaneity time’
Keeping an agenda is important, and it clears your mind from all the things that keep you busy or things to do. But too full agendas are counterproductive, as they demand a lot of energy, and it hardly allows for any spontaneity in life. This spontaneity is an important factor.
It allows people to relax just a bit more, and have some time to truly do the things they fill like doing without making any commitments. You can plan to spend your spontaneity time by yourself, to do some fitness, or to visit a friend you have not seen for a long time.
Many people are increasingly irritated by the fact, that many of their friends have so full agendas, that it is almost impossible to meet up with them. Too full agendas, therefore, could well literally cost you your friends.
Escape the urban environment
Those who have seen “The Last Samurai” might remember the scene, where Tom Cruise for the first time lives in this samurai village, and he admits how he is getting more and more relaxed each day, and that he had a good sleep for the first time in years.
On the countryside, things actually happen a lot slower than in urban environments. It is almost like a different world, people seem more relaxed, there does not seem to be as much stress, and everybody seems to happily live their lives. Such environments can have a great positive impact on the mind.
Therefore, it might be a good idea to escape the urban setting on a regular basis, either as a day trip or perhaps over the weekend. Even better is to plan your holiday in a rather rural area, with few tourists, and perhaps no television.
Deceleration is a choice
Finally, it might be worthwhile to remember, that both stresses as well as deceleration are a choice. Every single individual has the potential to change something in his or her life. It could be the living environment, it could be the kind of work they are doing or the company they are working for, sometimes even friends can add a lot to the amount of stress experienced each and every day.
Admittedly, sometimes making a choice to decelerate, and take a job which is less stressful and more regulated might, in the end, result in less pay. Therefore, it is up to each person to evaluate his or her situation, and the change needed.