10 Tips for Slowing Down and Enjoying Life More
Guest Post by Lindsey Hardy
Life moves at such a fast pace that it seems to pass us by before we can really enjoy it. I realize that I am guilty of this and want to do a better job in my own life so I am going to be applying these to my life starting today!
Slowing down is a conscious choice, and not always an easy one, but it leads to a greater appreciate for life and will ultimately improve your health.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Do less. When you are trying to do so many things during the day, It’s hard to slow down. Focus on what’s really important, what really needs to be done, and let go of the rest. Give yourself more time between tasks and appointments, so you aren’t rushing from one thing to another.
2. Be present. It’s not enough to just slow down — you need to actually be mindful of whatever you’re doing at the moment. That means, when you find yourself thinking about something you need to do, or something that’s already happened, or something that might happen … gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Focus on what’s going on right now. This takes practice but is essential.
3. Disconnect. Don’t always be connected. Being connected to your iphone, laptop or blackberry all the time means we’re subject to interruptions, we’re constantly stressed about information coming in, we are at the mercy of the demands of others. It’s hard to slow down when you’re always checking new messages coming in.
Pick up a good book instead of turning on electronics and enjoy it!
4. Focus on people. Too often we spend time with friends and family and we’re not really there with them. We talk to them but are distracted by devices. We are there, but our minds are on things we need to do. We listen, but we’re really thinking about ourselves and what we want to say. It means we really connect with people rather than just meeting with them.
5. Appreciate nature. Many of us are shut in our homes, offices, and cars most of the time, and rarely do we get the chance to go outside. And often even when we do go outside we are talking on our phones. Instead, take the time to go outside and really observe nature. Listen to the sounds of the birds, take a deep breath of fresh air, enjoy the serenity of water and greenery. Exercise outdoors when you can, or find other outdoor activities to enjoy such as walking, hiking, swimming, etc.
6. Eat slower. Instead of cramming food down our throats as quickly as possible — leading to overeating and a lack of enjoyment of our food — learn to eat slowly. Be mindful of each bite. Appreciate the flavors and textures. Eating slowly has the double benefit of making you fuller on less food and making the food taste better.
7. Drive slower. Make it a habit to slow down when you drive. Appreciate your surroundings. Make it a peaceful time to contemplate your life, and the things you’re passing. Driving will be more enjoyable, and much safer. You’ll use less fuel too.
8. Find pleasure in anything. Even the daily tasks we have to do like washing dishes. Choose to be grateful for clean, running water for example or a washer and dryer that clean your clothes for you. Instead of dreading it, find gratitude in it!
9. Single-task. The opposite of multi-tasking. Focus on one thing at a time. Make a list of things that are important each day so you can prioritize and not waste time on things that can wait. When you feel the urge to switch to other tasks, pause, breathe, and pull yourself back.
10. Breathe. When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause, and take a deep breath. Take a couple more. It’s also nice to take a deep breath or two — do it now and see what I mean. 🙂