How To Slow Down In Life
Slowing Down In A Fast Paced World
Slowing down can seem impossible in the state of our fast paced world, but for this reason, we need to learn how to slow down more than ever before. Why has everything become so rushed? You don’t see plants rushing to flower or a deer rushing to its next location; why as humans have we adapted this state of needing to constantly be moving and doing?
In this post, I’ll be sharing my own personal experience as of late regarding this topic as well as providing you with actionable tips on how to slow down in your everyday life.
The first step is recognizing that you need to slow down.
This topic of slowing down has been on my mind lately because I’ve been feeling that pull, the pull to move faster, the pull to keep ‘getting things done’. I share with you my experience and insights in case anyone else feels similar and wants to come back to a slower pace of living.
The thing is, I have absolutely no reason for feeling this way but I am still pulled toward the rush. That feeling of needing to get one thing done to move onto the next thing.
I have the luxury of being able to schedule my own day and run on my own clock and yet, I still feel rushed throughout most of the day. And I don’t think I’m alone in this feeling. Conversations with friends and family all point toward the fact that many people feel this way.
Contemplation of these experiences has made me realize this topic is more important than ever because this has become our society’s norm. I felt rushed when I worked a typical 9-5 and I still feel rushed now.
This has illuminated that the problem is our perception of time and what we think we ‘need’ to do with it.
I could be totally done with my work for the day and my house is relatively in order with nothing pressing to take care of and yet, I’ll still feel that urge of ok, let me get this done so I can move on to the next thing.
I’ve been extra aware of this lately because I’ve been doing self reiki on myself in the evenings and I’ll catch myself with this feeling. This really brought the problem to light for me. If I’m feeling rushed during an activity that should be a calming one when I have nothing that I ‘have’ to do after, that’s something to pay attention to. I literally ask and remind myself by saying, “What the hell are you rushing off to do woman?? Slow down, enjoy, be present in the moment.”
The point here is that if you feel like you’re having difficulty slowing down, just know that you’re not alone. I’m a super spiritual yogi vibe person and I still struggle with this. But just because it’s challenging and a norm in our society doesn’t mean we can’t make a change.
The Perception Of Time
You know how everyone says, “time moves so fast,” well I think that time feels fast because of our mindset.
Time doesn’t move faster as you get older but your attitude toward time probably does change. Time is still moving at the same pace as it always has.
I don’t like the saying, “time moves fast so enjoy it.” That brings you further into feeling that sense of urgency. We should enjoy time because it is a gift to experience it in this human form.
When you yourself learn to slow down, life becomes more filled with joy because you are living in the present moment.
If you get into reading about the science behind time, you’ll learn that time may be different than how we perceive it. I’ll just leave it at that for this post but it’s pretty interesting to read about.
Here’s a real life example of experiencing the difference between time when we’re rushed and time when we learn how to slow down.
This relates to my theory of how time moves ‘fast’ when we are rushed.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve been practicing reiki on myself lately. After recognizing that I needed to slow down, I reminded myself of this before my session and did some of the techniques for slowing down which I’ll share below. After this particular reiki session, I finished feeling like the session had lasted for about a half hour. I then looked at my clock only to realize that it had only been 10 minutes. And it wasn’t one of those times where it felt like a half hour because you were so bored, not at all. It just truly felt like it had been longer but in all the best ways.
Oh how your perception of time can change when you just slow down a little.
The Guilt Of Not Doing
The societal pressure to feel guilty when we aren’t doing something…..
We often can’t slow down because we feel this guilt for not doing anything. Yes, it’s great to be productive and to get things done but at what cost? At the cost of missing the small beautiful moments in life? At the cost of not being able to enjoy moments of rest because of guilt?
It’s just as important to take moments of rest as it is to have moments of productivity.
The thing is, when you offer yourself time to ‘not do’ or to slow down without strings attached, you’ll probably be more productive in your ‘doing time’.
For females, our bodies cycle in a way that literally tells us to rest! For males, just because you don’t have a monthly reminder doesn’t mean that you don’t need rest too!
There Is No Rush!
Lastly, before the list on how to slow down, I want you to remember that this feeling of needing to rush to something is largely societal.
Most things that we think need to be rushed do not. Your dog ate something that may be poisonous and you need to go to the vet? Yeah, there’s a time that would make sense to feel rushed. You just got home from work and need to cook dinner? I bet dinner will be cooked in a similar amount of time whether you choose to rush through or choose to slow down a little.
These are examples of daily things that make us feel rushed, (well, hopefully not daily with the dog example!) But we often feel rushed to complete certain goals or to achieve certain outcomes.
There really is no rush. Things will unfold as they’re meant to be.
Do what feels right for you, not what society tells you that you ‘need to do’.
This mindset shift can help you begin to slow down back to your natural pace.
5 Tips to Help You Learn How To Slow Down
1. Reconnect with your breath.
This is a simple yet effective way to slow yourself down and it’s a technique I’ve been using frequently as of late.
Whenever I catch myself feeling rushed unnecessarily, I’ll take a few slow intentional breaths.
This can really quickly change your state of mind. You can continue with whatever task you were doing after the breaths, but hopefully you’ll realize now that you don’t need to rush to get to the next thing.
2. Simply remind yourself that there is no rush.
This is another technique that I use to help myself come back to a slower pace of living.
Oftentimes you don’t need to do anything extravagant, a simple reminder may be all you need.
When you catch yourself falling back to old patterns, just simply remind yourself to take a moment and slow it down, there is no rush needed.
3. Take moments throughout your day to be 'present without doing.'
So often our days are filled with being on the go.
Taking small moments to consciously slow down can be really impactful. Even if you only take one minute, this will still help you start to slow down.
So remember to take moments for pause throughout your day so that you can be really present with your entire being, mind, body, and soul.
4. Watch nature as a reminder of our natural pace.
We are part of nature so why is it we are the only ones that feel this pull to constantly be ‘doing’.
Nature moves at its own pace without apology.
Observing nature can help to remind you to do the same.
5. Time is time, embrace it without fear.
I think many of us innately have this fear of time which is what makes it so hard to slow down. You think it would be the opposite but with our current societal standards, we are led to believe that we need to constantly be achieving more or doing things by a certain age.
Who came up with these ideas? Do you want to subscribe to them or do you want to live at your own pace? I think living at your own pace sounds a lot more peaceful.
And this isn’t me saying you shouldn’t work hard or have goals, not at all. It’s just me saying that time is time and not to worry about it so much. Everything will unfold how it is meant to.
As we find ourselves in the high-speed pace of modern life, the art of slowing down becomes more important than ever before.
I hope this post and these 5 tips on how to slow down have offered you a new perspective and that you’re ready to start to live a little more slowly.
Life is extra beautiful when you simply just slow down.
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