Stop what you are doing right now. Well obviously keep reading this but stop and lets take a second and do a little self evaluation for a few minutes. Where are you – at home, at work, outside, driving (you better not be!)? What is your body doing – are your shoulders hunched over, are you slouched in a lazy boy or desk chair? Are you breathing ‘normally’, whats your heart beat doing, when’s the last time you had a drink of water or something to eat? Are you exhausted, how many cups of coffee have you had, when’s the last time you slept 8 hours?
We are all guilty of being ‘too wound up’ in our daily routines (the grind) that we easily forget to pay attention to important things, be them little or enormous. The best part though is that paying attention does not have to take away much time and it does not cost that much effort.
So what do I mean when I say pay attention?
Most individuals (myself included) easily and often do not realize how much we put on our plates and are in a constant state of stress. Overtime this beats our physiology to a pulp and what we’re left with is fatigue, irritability, poor sleep, etc… Paying attention is in its simplest form, having the discipline to acknowledge and either change your approach to stressors or learn to avoid them all together.
Pay attention in the morning.
If you start your day by looking at a screen its time to switch up that habit – screen time = distracted time. Pay attention to how you first start each day – breathe, drink a glass of water, do some light stretches, go for a quick walk and get your senses focused on the right stimuli!
Pay attention through the day.
If you sit for a living = get up! If you are on your feet all day, attempt to get off them during lunch or periodically when/if you can. As a Physiotherapist I am an advocate for movement and exercise – I know it is hard but adding a workout or some form of exercise is a great way for your brain and muscles to help each other.
Pay attention in the evening.
After work can be even more hectic than work if you have kids, commitments, etc… but this does not mean you cannot pay attention. Limit screen time, talk to people at the soccer field/at the rink, read a book, call a friend and connect. At bedtime drink some tea, turn off the screens, practice deep breathing just before you close your eyes
As cheesy as it sounds we all get one shot at living. Pay attention daily and make an effort to make each day awesome. Pay attention to what is most important to you and you will be amazed how the ‘white noise’ that too often distracts us will eventually be turned down so low you barely hear it. You will have more energy, you will be happier and healthier and this will further allow you to pay attention to what matters to you.
Written By: Matt Rice