Overstimulation

Jul 1, 2018

Down time is a beautiful thing. It’s a shame how little of it most of us have. I think I’m pretty typical when it comes to this issue. I believe we all get so caught up on our task-oriented, overworked hamster wheel, we lose sight of the importance of low-key quiet time.
 
I spent this past week lounging by the gulf with family and friends on our annual beach trip, and boy did my body, mind and spirit need the break. We walked on the beach, cooked, worked several puzzles, played a few games, and slept – a lot. Unfortunately, it took me a good portion of the trip to detox from my overscheduled schedule. That’s the problem – when we are conditioned to jump from task to task, it can be difficult to just exist and recharge. Things just don’t feel right if we aren’t “doing something”. And sadly, this affliction is evident in adults and children alike.
 
The problem, as I see it, is one of stimulation. My work stimulates my brain pattern to accomplish tasks. This seems to be a common issue among adults. My youngest son’s brain is stimulated by electronics. He mixes music, watches videos, and texts. He seems to be typical of his generation. And I saw the negative effects of his compulsion on the trip, as he had a hard time putting the electronics away and just hanging out. His brain seemed to be wired for stimulation – just like me – the same need, manifested in a different way.
 
I often hear adults complain about today’s youth with their need for instant gratification and entertainment. I believe this is the case, but I also believe kids follow the example of adults. [My youngest son might be the apple, but I know I’m the tree.] If we want our children to develop healthy lifestyle habits, we have to model these patterns. So your homework? Jump off the hamster wheel, unplug your scheduled compulsion [whatever that might be] and just hang out with your family. Walk the dog. Cook a meal. Talk. Play a game. Spend time. My homework? Practicing what I preach. Alas.

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