Really, actually, just stop. Everything. Press pause on life. Wouldn’t that be great, if even just for a few, blissful, minutes. But how?

Take a moment to imagine this. I’m serious. Close your eyes, sit straight, but comfortably. Pry your tense shoulders out of your ears and lower them to where they belong. Give your neck a little stretch. Take deep breaths, in for a count of four, pause for a heartbeat, then exhaling for a count of four.

Now imagine a television in front of you and a remote control in your hand. Envision your index finger pressing down on the pause button, then watch as the screen perhaps goes grey and fuzzy, or maybe visualize whatever is worrying you suddenly become frozen.  What do you hear? Silence, or perhaps the faint buzzing sound of energy swirling around you?

Try it now; it won’t take long.

Photo credit: Merelize

What did you see or feel? There’s no wrong answer, this is merely an exercise, a little trick, to maybe help take you out of the sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight stress mode, and to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, letting you relax for a moment. 

We have somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day. Add to that all the people milling around us, the radio or music app on in the background, our cell phones vibrating or popping up with texts, messages and notifications from from various social media platforms. We’re possibly even sitting in front of a computer screen, just to add to the fun, and alternate between staring at that screen and the screen of our phones as our fingers tappity tap away. 

Photo credit: StuartMiles

In some ways, I’m happy I’m 50. This means that I was around “back in the good old days”; the days before cell phones and social media, heck, even before computers were a common household commodity. 

If we wanted to change a t.v. channel, we had to stand up and walk over to the t.v. set, and then we maybe had 3-6 channels to choose from, before cable also become an every day household commodity. 

I was around when the land-line phones changed from being dial-up to pressing buttons, and I still remember when name and number display on these land-line phones first came out. Can you imagine life before that? We had to pick the phone up not knowing who might be on the other end! The horror.  When cell phones finally were available to the general public, they were huge and few people had them. Oh no, the rest of us, if needed, had pagers. Now that was technology!

So, you’re thinking, what the heck was so great about all that, right? It was quiet. Like, in a good way. When you weren’t available, you truly were NOT available.  If you went on vacation, you actually were on vacation. Your body had a chance to unwind, tense muscles relax,  and your mind could disconnect.  

Photo credit: Mohamedhassan

It’s no wonder that people here and now have such difficulty decompressing. We are always “on”, always available. How did this even happen?

I remember when computers started gaining popularity.  The buzzwords back then were that they would make work easier, everything faster, and, hence, they would result in shorter work weeks, more time to spend with the family.

They got the first two right. 

Don’t get me wrong. I do, indeed, love my cell phone, Macbook and Ipad. I’m the curious type and I’m constantly looking up information, always learning. I love having knowledge at my fingertips.  Good grief, we used to have to go to a library and research things in encyclopedia’s that were already outdated by the time they were published!

All I’m saying is that there’s a time and place for everything. Don’t be a slave to your devices. Live life, you know, out there in the real world, with real people.  Enjoy your food and your activities and be present for it rather than thinking how great a picture of it would look on social media.

Photo credit: Jack Moreh

Exercise is something more than just a hand and finger workout on gaming systems, computers and phones- get out there and move, or roll out a yoga mat and stretch your body, then be still. 

Be still. Stop everything. Relax all your muscles. Close your eyes. Let the chatter in your mind quiet and fade away until all you hear is your own, calming, breath. 

This is what it’s like to be unplugged, to put everything on hold. This is what our body and mind needs. 

Stop. Breathe. Pause. Exhale. Repeat.


Judy Volhart
cya-ryt 200

Need help? Check out some of these links below (ironically, brought to you by today's technology...)

Brett Larkin, yoga & meditation for energy and stress relief:

Yoga with Kassandra, easy guided meditation for beginners:

Spirit Tribe Awakening, calming meditative music (when silence is too much to handle):

Sarah Beth Yoga, 5 minute desk yoga guided meditation

photo credit: StuartMiles