“At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.” – Christine Mason Miller
A few months ago I realised that I was getting too attached to my smartphone, waiting for the notification sounds of incoming WhatsApp messages, email, Facebook posts, Tweets in addition to the phone calls. I would waste no time picking up the phone the moment it beeped. That was when I decided that I could not let the phone dictate my life.
I decided to regulate my phone usage. I started off with a self-imposed restriction of not picking up my phone to answer any messages after 10 pm. I communicated to my contacts that I would not mind answering a phone call if it was really essential, but messages could wait till morning. My morning usage was restricted to half an hour while I enjoyed my mug of coffee. Over a period of time, I became the mistress of my phone. I now take a two-day detox every month from WhatsApp messages during which I read only personal messages and respond if required but completely ignore/ don’t read group messages.
Life can be a hectic mess. There is always an ongoing to-do list, in addition to all the goals and dreams that each of us also have. Most of the times we are so highly strung and at the point of breakdown.
There is no quick fix for this situation. It is possible to remain calm in the midst of all this buzzing. Silence is not just the lack of sound. It is also the inner quiet and stillness that we develop in us. What can be done to bring in the calm and the quiet?
- Keep a fixed work routine. Leave your workplace for home on time. When you don’t carry your housework to office, why would you carry office work home?
- Disconnect from technology. Keep the usage to a minimum. Impose the restrictions on yourself. Nobody else can do it. Technology can at no point become your master.
- Spend time with your family and friends. Make memories. When you think your life has become predictable, remember anything could change in a heartbeat. The only constant in life is change; however much you try to control the future, sometimes all you can do is adapt and make the best of it.
- Rediscover and learn to appreciate the simple pleasures of life. Stop and smell the roses on the way. Learn to dance in the rain.
- Go on small outings with your family and friends. Visit new places. Embark on adventures.
- Cultivate a hobby. Sing, dance, pick up the knitting needles and knit a scarf, work on some embroidery, learn something new.
- Read books. It is not necessary to read motivational or inspirational books. Pick up anything that you want to.
- Exercise, meditate and stay healthy. A healthy mind can only exist in a healthy body. Stay fit.
- Find some ‘me time’. Sit and do some introspection. Enjoy your solitude. Love yourself.
- Spread some cheer and positivity.
- Express your love and gratitude to your family and friends.
- Be happy. The power to be happy is in you. Choose it.
- Most importantly, learn to say NO when it so warrants.
I have now learnt to enjoy the silence in the midst of the chaos around me. I am happier.