Need a two minute break from reality?
We are always moving. The pace at which our lives move doesn't provide us time to sit and be calm. The constant demands of the day don't allow people to just relax. Thankfully, the Internet comes to the rescue.
Typically, one would think the Internet is the source of our stress. Our never-ending ability to be connected to thousands of people and thousands of ideas, some might say, is the reason we are so wired. (Pun intended). Thanks to an article on Mashable, I was introduced to Calm.com. This relaxation website is designed to give you a two- or 10-minute dose of relaxation via crashing waves, bubbling brooks, swaying grasses, chirping birds or singing crickets. You have the choice of music, as well as a guide that walks you through some breathing exercises.
I opened the site and chose the beach. I expanded my window to fit my entire screen. I chose no music or guidance.
And I just watched and listened to the extremely realistic sights and sounds of waves crashing on a beach. In about 30 seconds, I was more aware of my breathing, my heart rate slowed a little and all of a sudden I was blissfully calm. Out of curiosity, I tried the guidance option and while the man speaking does have a soothing tone to his voice, I began to focus more on the pausing between words and less on the crashing waves. So guidance-man went away.
For two whole minutes of my day, I felt amazingly calm. I forgot all my deadlines, the errands I have to run later and I most definitely forgot about my commute home.
When I closed the window, I became overwhelmingly aware of all the things I had to do before 5:30 p.m. (like write a blog post) and I was no longer calm.
But it was there. For two whole minutes. And it was beautiful. Even though the stress crept back in, taking that time to achieve peacefulness was worth it. Taking the time out of our busy days to focus and be calm is necessary to reboot. No one has an unlimited amount of bandwidth. To expect it of yourself or your co-workers or your clients is unrealistic.
In fact, encouraging (at appropriate times) clients and employees to take their own two minutes to escape is a very healthy and thoughtful thing to do. Being healthy and thoughtful with your clients and employees might just be the start to a less stressful society. One can wish.