, Derry, New Hampshire


February 6, 2014

Column: There is relief for the stressed out among us

Are you tethered to your electronic devices like a dog to its leash? Can you navigate TurboTax, text a friend, and read the latest Jodi Picoult novel at the same time?

If so, according to a recent cover story in Time magazine, you can probably benefit from something called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, or MBSR.

It’s telling that we’re all in such a hurry to get more things done faster that there’s no time to utter the full name of a therapeutic technique that’s supposed to help us slow down and smell the cappuccino, KWIM (know what I mean)?

Anyway, the writer of this article begins her piece by describing what it’s like to “mindfully” eat a raisin, and the process begins long before she pops it into her mouth. She begins by looking closely at the raisin, how its “skin glistens,” how she notices “a small indentation where it once hung from the vine.”

Then she writes, “Eventually ... I place the raisin in my mouth and roll the wrinkly little shape over with my tongue ... then finally, I chew -- very slowly.”

Seems to me that if all of us were this mindful of everything we did, it would be like getting stuck behind someone at the ATM -- ATAD (ain’t that a drag?) -- who takes their sweet time depositing a check, begins to drive away, then brakes when they remember they needed some cash too, but lacks the mental acuity to re-enter their password.

MBSR sounds like LITSLTM (life in the slow lane to me). Maybe what we need instead is an HM (happy medium), something in between FSA (full steam ahead) and ATTSSIAT (a three-toed sloth stuck in a tree). Let’s start with some good old-fashioned common sense as we strive to get more done in less time.

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