by Lori Ciccarelli-Stotko, MPS; Certified Spiritual Director
We live in a time when we’ve created more time because of technology. At first it was liberating making life easier with constant connection. However; due to becoming slaves to electronics, we have filled our time back up with more technology. We have become a culture of multitasking contributing to cognitive overload, stress and burnout. Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine and author of The Compound Effect, says there is no such thing as multitasking. It’s not cognitively possible. It’s called switching that can bring the IQ down 10 points. According to research from the University of California Irvine, people tend to switch activities an alarming every three minutes during the course of a typical workday. Dr. Daniel Goleman author of The Meditative Mind and Emotional Intelligence states, “There’s been this silent, invisible ratcheting up of invasion of our space. You’ve got your devices that follow you everywhere.” Recent studies indicate the average American consumes 13-plus hours of media a day defined by electronic devices. Did you know the amount of information we receive in one day is more than the information one received over a lifetime back in the early 1900s?
Stress impacts all systems; musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and respiratory. Research shows stress untreated can lead to serious illness that include heart disease, depression, anxiety, suppression of the immune system, eating disorders, cancer and diabetes. The U.S. Surgeon General reports 80% of non-traumatic deaths in this country are stress-related. According to the American Psychological Association, 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress, and 75%-90% of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
Self-care (soul care) is essential to finding balance in our lives. Where do you find happiness? What do you enjoy? Where do you find inner strength? Some think taking “me” time is selfish. It’s vital to take self-care time daily as it’s a disservice to others when we operate from a depleted battery.
Meditation with relaxing deep breathing can help reduce tension and stress, but also releases endorphins the “feel good” hormone in our brains as does walking, biking, swimming, laughing and dancing. I am re-energized when I take soul time in the morning before heading to work. I spend 30 minutes to two hours quieting my mind through prayer and meditation, reading uplifting spiritual books, journals, and the Bible. I also re-energize by taking a hike or walk during my lunch break or after work taking advantage of our big beautiful backyard!
Ironically, we need to unplug to recharge. It’s also biblical, “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10 is an invitation to quiet the mind, breathe and reflect. Take a “device” Sabbath or “digital” fast and unplug for 24 hours to reflect, restore, renew promoting harmony and balance as mind, body and soul are all connected. Give yourself permission for self-care, some soul time. Practicing Feng Shui for your soul is essential for optimal health.
Article first published in Mammoth Times, Mammoth Lakes, CA 9/15/2016