When small changes make a world of difference

Sometimes an image is worth a thousand words. I find I get so used to reading that I can too easily forget the power of the picture. But when I came across this film I knew I wanted to share it with you as it conveys a very serious and important message with more charm and humour than I could ever aspire to!

Yes, it’s a cliché, but most of us have at some point felt like a cog in a machine, robotically carrying out the same tasks and raging against inanimate objects that are supposed to make our lives easier but seem to conspire against us. I could only nod in sympathy at the protagonist of the film, having just the other day experienced the frustration of the photocopier breaking down on me at an incredibly crucial moment.

The beauty of the film, in my opinion, is that it not only holds up a mirror to the shortcomings in our own lives but also provides some very simple suggestions and solutions that can make a big difference. Sadly, it often takes a serious event such as a heart attack or long-term illness for many people to see how their stressful lifestyle is damaging their most precious possession – their health.

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to wait for a major crisis before we took stock of our lifestyle and made some changes for the better? So, to take the example in the film, our hero makes himself some fresh food for breakfast and eschews the TV in favour of simply watching the world go by. He has fun playing table tennis and makes contact with another human as a result.

Recreation for the sake of it is one of life’s great joys. It puts us back in touch with our real selves and helps us shake off the labels (and some of the self-importance) we can assume at work. In the same way, so can surrounding ourselves with nature. As the film shows, we don’t need to move to the country to enjoy the natural world – the simple act of buying a pot plant or two for the office or sitting outside and listening to bird song can be incredibly healing and calming.

Be honest with yourself – how much of what you’ve done so far today has been out of habit or routine? What small changes could you make to your day that might help you deal better with life’s unexpected but inevitable frustrations?

I found that making time to cook a big meal from scratch and then freezing the rest for another day was not only enjoyable in itself (and significantly cheaper than stuffing my fridge with ready meals) but made me feel I was doing something nourishing for my body and soul. I also made an effort to look out of the window rather than burying my head in a book during my commute to work and realised how much I enjoyed noticing the leaves changing colour.

It’s all about balance, in the end. And you don’t need to give up your job and live on a remote farm to reap the benefits of  a more holistic lifestyle. But see how many small, painless changes you can introduce, then sit back and enjoy the positive effect they have on bigger areas of your life. Why not get in touch and tell me about your successes, I’d love to hear from you!

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