So why does this issue of anxiety seem practically rampant in our society?
Look around. The pace of our daily lives is moving faster and faster. This has a lot to do with the technology that has “simplified” our lives in many wonderful (and overwhelming) ways. One of those ways is by making communication via text, email, social networking, and the old fashioned phone call a literal button away.
This “simplification” has sped up our lives and our expectations of each other have changed, a lot. Instead of expecting a phone call back within the next day or so, we expect a text or email back… often immediately. Or we feel the pressure of returning that text or email, the sooner the better. This has sped up the pace of expectation of communication as well as how quickly things get done exponentially.
And this speed has enormous effects on the mental health of us AND our little ones. Kids move at a very slow speed naturally. You ask a 1st grader to put her shoes on, you could watch her dilly-dally her way through that task for 15 minutes, and most likely she will get “shiny object syndrome” and never get it done! So we speed them along because we need to get to school, we need to get to the birthday party, we need to get out the door! But sometimes we don’t need to get anywhere fast and we are speeding at such an eccentric pace for no good reason at all.
These are the moments to pause. In your life and/or in the life of your children. Ask yourself, “why am I rushing?”. “Am I checking my phone obsessively for any good reason?”. “Do we really have any reason to be going so fast?”.
As a society, we need to take a collective chill pill. Anxiety feeds on stressful memories of the past “I’ll never do THAT again!” and worries about the future “Don’t forget THAT deadline!!!”, it doesn’t know how to be in the here and now. Being in the present moment naturally calms our anxiety and slows… us… dooooooown.
So if there is no rush, take a moment to be in the moment. Stop multitasking and simply be with yourself or your family. You will feel better and the people around you will feel better too. It’s incredibly simple, it can also be incredibly hard, but it IS incredibly effective.
For some tips and tricks on how to slow down and ease our children’s anxiety, check out Chill Pill Part 3: The Final Word on Anxiety