Slow Down for Peace of Mind AND Success

In A Rush?

Do you ever feel like your life is a constant rush from one activity to the next? Want to get rid of that stressed out feeling? Well, you can! You just have to make a commitment to slowing down.

Will this mean less success? No. But you’ll probably begin to redefine what success really is. We need to stop being busy long enough to realize what success means to us. For me it has meant posting fewer times per week on my blog so that I can enjoy some family time. I was really burning the candle on both ends, so this summer I have been writing about 3-5 blog posts per week as opposed the 7 per week I was writing last spring.

Just like our homes, our calendars can become cluttered too. We schedule every minute of our time leaving no time for transitions or relaxation. Slowing Down doesn’t mean stopping. It doesn’t mean lazy. It means a pace that is healthy for our body and soul, as well as for our need to achieve.

How to Slow Down

1. Adopt a “Slow Down Mindset.” Decide that you will not be rushed by life and that you will take steps to consciously go slower.

2. Daily Planinng. Leave open ample time between activities and appointments. Schedule in “slow time” for thinking, reading, walking, conversation, playing, etc.

3. Arrive Early. When you’re late, stress hormones course through your body and for many people it’s effect can be felt well after your late arrival as you internally berate yourself, fume about living in a rushed world, and/or worry about what others think of your tardiness. So do yourself a HUGE favor and plan to arrive early from now on. Here’s how:

  • Leave 20-30 minutes earlier than you think you need to leave.
  • Have everything you will need ready 1 hour before you need to leave.
  • Bring reading or writing materials with you.
  • When you arrive early, use that early time to relax, close your eyes, rest, think, write, draw, or even make a phone call if the place is appropriate.
  • Bask the relaxing feeling of being early!

4. Don’t Be in a Rush. In general, try not to always be rushing. Pay attention and be aware of your pace. If you are already late, here’s how to handle it:

  • Call ahead if needed and give a realistic ETA.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Accept that you’re late and that you can’t change it.
  • Don’t get mad at traffic or other people. It’s not their fault, and it will only drain your energy.
  • Go Slow.
  • When you arrive, apologize and then move forward.

5. Eat Slow. We eat like we live: fast. And look what it does to us. Many of us are overweight. One great way to combat this is to slow down your eating. Here’s how:

  • Before you begin to eat, close your eyes and say to yourself: “I will eat slowly and enjoy this food.”
  • Take a nice deep slow breath to slow down your pace.
  • Leave work and worries behind while you eat.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Really taste your food.
  • Enjoy.

6. Audit Your Schedule. How are you spending your time? What does your average day, week, month look like for you? Write down a rough outline of it. Now, what can you cut out? Appointments, mindless TV time, what else? Keep the things that line up with your values, that you really enjoy. We can’t do it all, so why not just do those things that you really love? Less is more. Be at peace with this, knowing that you’re spending your time thoughtfully instead of frantically.

7. Caffeine? Does caffeine serve you well? For some, it does. For me, it doesn’t, and it took me a while to accept that. So now, I only have caffeine as a special treat occasionally. How does it affect you? Does it increase your tendency to rush? Does it make you agitated? If so, you might want to consider cutting back or eliminating it. Try cutting back for a day and see how it feels. I just drink decaf now if I want coffee or tea, both of which I love.

8. Here & Now. Learning from the past is important, and so is planning for the future. The problem is we don’t spend much conscious time in the present. The present is the place where we find the true joy of life. Children and pets live in the present moment. They notice little things, they wonder about their world, and they delight in whatever they are currently experiencing. If they get hurt, they move on pretty quickly whether it is a wounded knee or a wounded pride. Let’s take a lesson from them and aspire to discover this magic daily.

SlowDownNow Blog – I was recently inspired by this blog which has many great stories that will inspire you to slow down.

Please Share!

Please share your “Slow Down” story with us. All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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