The Gauger

Slowing Down Really Quickly

Student analyzes culture of speed

Mackenzie Brown, Editor-in-Chief

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While living in a culture of speed- or worse, growing up in it- we have learned to cram many activities and extracurriculars into small amounts of time. Speed is a necessity and every day is a race against the clock. We all have goals, and we are told that we can achieve them if we are motivated enough. You can ace your classes, work out, spend time with family, relax, do a Bible study, keep a job and get 8 hours of sleep if you try hard enough.

Staying busy is not always the best solution to making the most out of your day or even your life. There are ways to slow down without losing your success or good health. In fact, slowing down may even improve your success, health and even happiness.

Since everyone around you is moving so fast, it can feel like you’ll drown if you try to press pause. It’s nearly impossible to make plans when everything happens at the last moment. However, one thing that is imperative to slowing down is setting a realistic schedule and committing yourself to it. Spread out your events. You may not be able to limit how much homework you have or whether you need a job to pay for your car insurance, but you can regulate other activities by planning out your day. This doesn’t mean you need to outlaw spontaneity, but you should definitely choose a time to end your day. For instance, you may have a long list of things to do after school, but if you know that you will be turning off your TV at 11 pm and putting your backpack in the car, then you’ll learn to prioritize and make time for what matters most.

By limiting access to your cellphone and the internet, you can break that nasty habit of texting and driving. Some people believe that you should leave your phone at home or turn it off after 8p.m., but that’s just unrealistic for most kids. A less extreme change is to be aware of your body’s response every time you get a notification and perk up.

In an evolutionary sense, one of mankind’s most basic learning processes is positive and negative reinforcement. There’s a conversation between our brain and our body where our eyes see food, our brain recognizes it as a necessity, we eat the food, and then our brains will remember where we found the food and how it made us feel.

When you’re driving or sitting in class and you feel the urge to check your Twitter feed, it’s because your brain remembers how relaxed, happy or even spaced-out you may feel when you’re looking at memes and old vines that have little to no effect on our lives. You may know cognitively that you need to focus on driving or your teacher’s lesson plan, but when you allow yourself to mindlessly scroll through your phone, your craving will never go away.

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Slowing Down Really Quickly