Slowing Down

10 Simple Rules for Slowing Down and Enjoying Life

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My parents always told me to slow down and take my time.  But I always feel like I am in such a rush.  It’s just my nature to get there early, to get it done and to things yesterday.

But, life seems to be moving at such a fast pace lately and I’m really trying to hold on and enjoy the moments.  I know it will be gone before I know it, in the blink of an eye. This seems to be something that I am so afraid of, as I feel like it’s happening to me already as I have lost 2 very dear people to me way to early…….my mom and dad.

However, I know it doesn’t have to be this way. And I am trying to gain control of hectic lifestyle and slow down to enjoy my life as best I can.

A slower-paced life means making time to enjoy my mornings, instead of rushing the kids off to school in a frenzy and forgetting things on the counter. It means taking time to enjoy whatever I’m doing at every moment, to appreciate the sunrise, to actually focus on who I’m talking to or spending time with — instead of always being connected to my iPhone or laptop, instead of always thinking about what else I could be doing to make the most of every moment. It means doing one thing at a time really well instead of doing several things with partial effort.

I know that slowing down is my choice, and not always an easy one, but I know it can lead to a greater appreciation for life which will lead to a greater level of all around happiness.

Here are some tips that I invite you to join me with:

1. Do less. It’s hard to slow down when you are trying to do a million things. Instead, make the conscious choice to do less. Focus on what’s really important, what really needs to be done, and let go of the rest. Put space between tasks and appointments, so you can move through your days at a more leisurely pace.

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. On your actions, on your environment, on others around you. This takes practice but is essential.

3. Disconnect. Don’t always be connected. If you carry around an iPhone or Blackberry or other mobile device, shut it off. Better yet, learn to leave it behind when possible. If you work on a computer most of the day, have times when you disconnect so you can focus on other things. Being connected 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.

4. Focus on people. Too often we spend time with friends and family, or meet with colleagues, 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. None of us are immune to this, but with conscious effort you can shut off the outside world and just be present with the person you’re with. This means that just a little time spent with your family and friends can go a long way — a much more effective use of your time, by the way. It means we really connect with people rather than just meeting with them.

5. Feed your mind.  Personal development is something that we ALL need.  We fuel our bodies with the right food, we need to fuel our minds too.  Whether it’s a podcast, a youTUBE video or a good old-fashioned book, read something that allows you to grow personally! You will thank me later.

6. Eat slower and plan meals ahead. 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. I suggest learning to eat more real food as well, with some great spices (instead of fat and salt and sugar and frying for flavor). And planning meals ahead just makes for smarter choices.

7. Drive slower. Speedy driving is a pretty prevalent habit in our fast-paced world, but it’s also responsible for a lot of traffic accidents, stress, and wasted fuel. Instead, 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. This is related to being present, but taking it a step farther. Whatever you’re doing, be fully present … and also appreciate every aspect of it, and find the enjoyable aspects. For example, when washing dishes, instead of rushing through it as a boring chore to be finished quickly, us this time to think.  Allow your mind to wander or better yet, allow it to be THOUGHTLESS.  It can really be an enjoyable task if you learn to see it that way. The same applies to other chores — washing the car, sweeping, dusting, laundry — and anything you do, actually. Life can be so much more enjoyable if you learn this simple habit.

9. Single-task. The opposite of multi-tasking. Focus on one thing at a time. When you feel the urge to switch to other tasks, pause, breathe, and pull yourself back.  Do one thing with your complete effort and attention, rather than several things with partial effort.

10. Breathe. When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause, and take a deep breath. Take a couple more. Really feel the air coming into your body, and feel the stress going out. By fully focusing on each breath, you bring yourself back to the present, and slow yourself down. It’s also nice to take a deep breath or two — do it now and see what I mean. 🙂

 

I will work hard to SLOW DOWN, will you?

 

And here is a list of Personal Development books to help get you started on LIVING a STRESS FREE life by starting off small, and making just a few changes each day:

1.  The COMPOUND EFFECT

2.  THE SLIGHT EDGE

3.  The Energy Bus

4.  You are a Badass

 

I highly recommend all 4 of them!  I will go back and read them time and again!

Pick the one you will start with and let me know!

Would love to hear it!

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