Overstimulated

I have a black German Shepherd and he is a wonderful family member. He is bright and learns things very quickly. He is very mellow most of the time and has a routine just like the rest of the family. Sometimes, we have guests over to visit and if the numbers are small he gets a little excited, until we add too many people to the mix. The same is true for human beings. We live in a “always on” society. When I was growing up in the 1970’s, television stations would sign off at night with the national anthem played. Stores closed shortly after dark, if they made it that long. Nothing was open on Christmas or Thanksgiving. We had four channels on the television, ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS were your choices. There were no home computers so obviously there were no cell phones or internet. Communication in the 70’s took place using a home phone ( if you could afford the call) with no answering machines, at least in our house. What a backwards time to grow up, yet, we did not see the great number of people on anti-depressants that is prevalent today. Have we become overstimulated?

I was a Computer Supervisor at BestBuy many years ago. The one thing they taught us in sales was limit peoples choices. If you gave someone too many choices, they would become confused and walk out without making a purchase. I find the same thing happening to me in today’s society. The flood of television program choices, the overwhelming choices of material to read, the vast amount of distractions from social media. Are you overstimulated with the choices? Do you go on vacation to “get away” from the things that constantly vie for your attention? There are many articles written today on minimizing your life. Some have sage advice while others are just as radical as the overstimulation we encounter. It is a novel thought but maybe balance is the answer.

This year I have set 3 goals for 2020. No, I am not talking about New Year’s resolutions. I looked at my life as having one year left and tried to determine the things I value the most. I am trying to work towards doing things that support those three goals. I am finding so many distractions just in the last six days. It is little wonder why we feel overwhelmed with our schedules in today’s racetrack lifestyles. Slow down, eat slower. Do not put down your phone in the evenings, turn them off. Let someone talk and look them in the eye during your conversation. That news headline will be waiting for you tomorrow. Reduce the things in your life that induce stress. Change your “to do list” into something that is manageable for that day. The world will not slow down, it is a carousel that runs at one speed, so maybe just step off when it makes your head dizzy. I know these are easier said than done in some cases. By the way, do you know how I get my dog to settle down when he is overstimulated? I remove him from the stimulation. I think that should be our guide to a happier 2020.

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