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Information Overload

Posted Apr 14 2013 7:40pm

breathe Have you noticed what’s happened? The pace of our lives has increased in a major way. In the past 20 years, our world has been Facebooked and Twittered and emailed into high speed.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning, turn on my computer, and feel absolutely overwhelmed with the sheer number of emails demanding my attention…watch this video, sign up for this webinar, buy this product, shop this sale, read this blog post, etc etc etc.

On the rare occasions when I log onto Facebook, I find myself instantly agitated by the options before me. Should I click to watch this video? Should I read this person’s status update? Oooh look someone posted pictures of their vacation in Hawaii! Hey this person just liked this other person’s status…

It’s endless. And the problem is that our nervous systems haven’t quite caught up. We are not designed to absorb the enormous quantity of information streaming toward us from all directions, all the time. Our only choice is to filter most of it out, but even the filtering process creates a stress on our systems.

We do not live in a culture that promotes being over doing. We do not live in a culture that encourages silence and looking inward. But these things are essential to healing. They are essential to living a balanced and centered and healthy life.

Lately, when I feel this overwhelm take hold, I’ve been turning everything off and sitting in front of my altar (where I’ve placed candles, sage, and incense, and some images that make me feel good) and I go back to the basics. The most basic act of being human, in fact. I simply breathe.

It’s challenging for me to turn off my monkey brain and turn a blind eye to my to-do list, so I focus on the breath by breathing in and out through my nose and simply noticing the way the breath feels warmer coming out my nostrils than it did going in. Putting my attention on this subtle temperature shift is enough to keep me present. It helps me to slow the pace of our webcentric world and reclaim the pace me and my nervous system prefer.

If the ride’s going too fast, you can always hop off and take a break. You just have to remember that you have that option.

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