11 Mar The Power of Slowing Down
Four ways to slow down your body and your mind
Living in a society that emphasizes the importance of productivity, we often don’t recognize just how fast we’re moving, both physically and mentally. This is largely due to the capitalist culture and mindset where time equals money.
Choosing a calmer and more focused pace is, therefore, a revolutionary act. We can intentionally choose how fast or how slow we want to go based on our unique personalities and circumstances instead of letting other people or our culture determine how we should act.
The issue is that as a result of this “go, go, go” mindset, people increasingly find themselves experiencing anxiety, insomnia, depression, and other mental ailments. This kind of pressure on the mind can also manifest in the form of physical afflictions like inflammation, coordination issues, aged-looking skin, forgetfulness, and even disease.
Although numerous systemic issues affect our lives, and there are certain demands and obligations to keep up with to maintain our jobs and lifestyles, we do have the power to change how we exist within this society.
Check out this Ted Talk by journalist Carl Honore on the issue with our fast-paced modern lifestyles.
The Power of Slowing Down
The power of slowing down lies in how it can transform the world around you. Time is relevant to the perceiver. It’s about gaining a new perspective on time.
For example, right now you may feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to meditate, even if it’s just for five minutes. However, someone who meditates every day knows just how much time actually exists within five minutes.
When you harness the power of time, you can find more space in your day to recognize the needs of your body and mind (“Do I need to stretch, am I hungry, am I tired?”), appreciate life (“The sky is a beautiful color of blue today”), and give your mind some rest. Slowing down will help you tap into your inner truth to find where your inner peace lies.
How can you bring a slow mindset into a world that moves so quickly? Here are four tips for harnessing the power of slowing down.
1. Wake Up Slowly
Set the pace for your day by waking up slowly.
You can ensure you wake up slowly by creating a gentle morning routine that involves the following mindfulness practices:
- Set your alarm ten minutes before you have to get out of bed.
- Stretch in your bed.
- Sleep without your phone by your side.
- Check social media only after you’ve eaten breakfast.
Just two minutes of meditation per day can be enough to change your perspective on how you move through life.
And here’s a little secret – meditation doesn’t always have to be practiced in a cross-legged position on the floor. You can meditate while walking to work, waiting for the bus, doing your dishes, and more. The main idea is to bring mindfulness to your day by slowing down your breath and, subsequently, your mind.
Click here if you’re feeling overwhelmed and would like to recognize the value of trusting the message that you’re burnt out.
3. Enjoy Your Days
Slowing down is a practice that takes time to cultivate. To achieve true space, you have to bring mindfulness into every part of your day.
Just looking around a cafe, I can see how most of us eat while checking our phones or talking to a friend. Take a note from yogic practices and eat your food slowly. Chewing your food slowly and with care will not only help you enjoy your meal; it’s also easier on your digestive system.
This is one example of how you can improve your mindfulness practice, but it takes dedication and determination to make a difference in your stress levels, sleeping schedule, and overall energy towards life.
4. Set Boundaries
You have the power to choose your next steps.
Slowing down might mean choosing to return a text or phone call at a later time to create space for your well-being. And you might worry, “What if others are disappointed or hurt?”
That can happen, but the thing to remember is that this is your life, and you get to choose how you spend your time and energy. Setting boundaries with others does not mean you don’t like or support them. It’s just that what others want from you is not right for you to give right now. A refusal now does not mean it’s a refusal forever.
Give yourself permission to slow down. There’s no need to rely on manicures, spa days, or bathtubs. You have the power to slow down right now with simple awareness, intention, self-care, and determination.
Need help slowing down? Click here to find out how I can help you achieve a more balanced lifestyle.