Siri. Alexa. Cortana. Echo. And then there’s the Staples Easy Button. “Siri, search Internet. Alexa, order pizza. Cortana, turn on the garage lights. Echo, what should I name the baby?” There! That was easy!
We talk to our digital assistants to save time. But save time for what? So we can jam more stuff to our already over-busy lives? Hurry, hurry, hurry. To where? To what end? That six-foot-deep hole in the ground will be dug soon enough; no reason to rush it. And yet rush the grave we do.
At the turn of the 20th Century, when a physician treated someone it was most often for the flu or some other physical disease. But no more. Now when physicians see someone, it’s usually for a stress related problem.
Are you stressed out? How to tell: Try sitting for a half hour doing nothing. Can’t stand it? Can’t be idle for just a half hour? Then most likely there’s too much stuff clawing for your attention.
Let’s consider a few options for lowering your stress level. There’s lots on the Net about this, but seeing as how you’re here, let’s consider some stuff quickly – quickly ’cause we’re in a hurry, right?
- Have a talk with God, otherwise known as prayer. God likes to hear from us, and I’m convinced we can talk to Him friend to friend. I don’t advocate being disrespectful, such as addressing God like, “Yo, Pop, wassup?” But you don’t need to be formal. Just talk to Him conversationally.
- Sit down to dinner with the fam, or share a meal with a friend. Shut off the tube, close the laptop, trash the newspaper. Use your mouth for something other than chewing food: Talk.
- Build a network of friends. I’m an introvert, so I know how hard it is to make new friends. Still, I look for ways to relate. Here’s some advice from Arnold Bennett: “You will make more friends in a week by getting yourself interested in other people than you can in a year by trying to get other people interested in you.”
- Breathe. I mean it. Breathe. You might say, “I AM breathing! If I wasn’t, I’d be DEAD!” What I mean is, sit comfortably with your eyes closed, relax, and slowly draw a deep breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth (to do this properly, you’ll need to know how to belly breathe). Repeat for five minutes. Don’t know how long five minutes is with your eyes closed? Tell your friendly but impersonal digital assistant to set a timer for five minutes. And don’t peak to see how much time is left.
- Laugh. Out loud. Hard. Repeat. Of course, first you have to find something to laugh AT. How about laughing at yourself? Most of us take ourselves way to seriously.
- Get some exercise. Hike, walk, run, whatever. It’s been proven that exercise relieves stress. Also helps your bowels move. And increases your sex drive. Hey, jus’ sayin.’
I think I’ll go hiking. Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Echo are gonna hafta figure out life without me . I’m gonna slow down and live.
Now it’s your turn, if you have the time. You can comment here, send me an e-mail, or even subscribe.