For many of us the pace of life will have accelerated to a fever pitch as the holiday season approached and we tried to complete time-sensitive tasks while being deluged with emails, messages, images, reports and demands for a slice of our time. Fredrik Sjoberg in his delightful book, ‘The Fly Trap‘ suggests that ‘if you think the torrent goes too fast, then in nine out of ten cases you can turn it off or just close your eyes and breathe your own air for a while.’ Nile crocodiles have a life expectancy of 100 years which some have attributed to their ability to slow their metabolism. ‘Unfussed, they can reduce their heart rate to about three beats a minute’ according to Peter Hughes. So in this holiday season: switch off, close your eyes, go mind-wandering (see my post entitled ‘Mind wandering‘ on September 3rd, 2014) and you are likely to live longer and have time for everything.
Fredrik Sjoberg, The Fly Trap, Penguin Books, 2015
Peter Hughes, ‘Gently does it’, Financial Times Weekend, 17/18 October 2015
It’s not just slowing your heart rate (although that certainly helps) but doing something different which fosters relaxation and promotes creativity. I find that ironing my shirts is a perfect unwinding exercise: it requires very little concentration so the mind can wander. I have composed (in my head) many short articles and pondered many ideas while undertaking such otherwise unrewarding domestic tasks.
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