I really was not aware that my restless and anxious feelings were mostly caused by myself and by my attitude. I believed that "outside factors" were the cause of most of stress. I realized after many many years that the Italians around me had the same stresses that I had and many had much worse situations to deal with. How then I asked myself are they able to be so resilient? I wanted what they had and I was on a quest to find it.
In my program "Living the Italian Lifestyle...Anywhere," I discuss how the first step to living a slower and simpler life is by doing an honest self assessment. There are worksheets one can print or download and spaces where you judge how you do certain activies as walk, talk, eat, exercise, sleep, and many more. When I did my own assessment I was amazed how my anxiousness translated into almost every area of my life. It affected how I communicated with my children, how I ate, how my thought patterns were. It was a huge eye opener for me and really showed me how I needed to take steps to change things.
Certain things made me realize it was time to slow down. When my youngest child was a toddler he made me notice that I was multitasking and it was a no no. I was helping him put on his sweater while he was still putting on his pants. He basically told me I was making him fast, which translated was I was making him nervous. Not only was I making him nervous but I was teaching him what not to do.
Another bad habit of mine that showed me I needed to slow down was that I was impatient when others would talk. I found myself interrupting with an answer even before the other person finished the question. Bad.
I burned soup because I was multitasking. How do you burn soup? Well you leave the water in the pot so long that it just dwindles away until you have a burning pot on your hands.
Another obvious sign was I was constantly checking emails, social media sites and online newspapers. Here again one of my children was smart to point out that mommy is always on her phone so why cannot he always be on his nintendo? The online newspaper reading was not only frequent but would create mental baggage that would upset my sleep.
There were so many signs that I needed to slow down and that I was causing this situation not any outside source. It was then that I began to look at the Italians and really analyze some of the ways they approach life and the slower Italian lifestyle.