I've been thinking about all the violence that's surrounding us a LOT lately, as I'm sure you have too. The other day I had a thought that maybe all this violence was resulting from our innate need for space. Said a different way, I’ve been wondering if a lot of the "crazy" we're experiencing around us is a kind of survival mechanism or instinct that's kicking in due to overcrowding. People are being crammed into smaller and smaller spaces and there is a pressure to live with less these days that can’t be ignored. With the rise in popularity of subdivisions with houses crammed into the most efficient patterns possible, new apartment complexes popping up everywhere and now there’s this whole tiny house thing. The fact is, the world has a finite amount of space, and humans are multiplying at an exponential rate.
Have you ever had a roommate? How long did you live with them before you just didn’t want to go home because you just simply didn’t want to be around that other person? Sure it’s all fun and games in the beginning but eventually your need for space and alone time wins out and you find yourself staying later at work, or going to the bar more often just so you didn’t have to go home. I would bet there are a lot of people out there who are feeling this pressure that just don’t know how to deal with it.
A hundred years ago there was lots and lots of space in between people's homes. People went to town to get supplies and to socialize but for the most part, people lived apart from one another. Now it’s the opposite. More and more people are cramming into smaller and smaller spaces. Add in the constant noise from the street, the neighbors, and our own technology - our brains literally never get a chance to decompress until we sleep, and most people don’t get enough of that either. We are constantly being interrupted and hijacked by the world around us and we never get the time to just be alone with our thoughts.
I recently read this article that talks about the latest coloring craze and how repetitive actions like coloring can put you into a trance-like state. The act of focusing on one singular thing for even just 10 whole minutes a day can work wonders for our mental health. I thought this was a great idea! What was really amazing was that the very next day I was given a coloring book. Coincidence? I think not. I also came across this TED Talk about 10 Mindful Minutes which again emphasizes the need for us to just be in the moment. This seems to be a consistent message that’s coming across my desk these days. One of my favorite past times is to crochet, which I’ve been craving to do lately. I have an entire dresser filled with yarn, but I hardly ever crochet anymore because I’m always trying to stay focused on the next step in my music career, and I feel guilty if I am not working on something that’s moving me forward. But what if I’m hurting myself more by not taking time out than I am by always trying to push onward?
So how do you cope with the never ending distractions? Where or what do you escape into?