Are your mornings so rushed you're eating breakfast on the go? Does your to-do list never seem to end? Are you too focused on your smart phone that you're forgetting about the people around you?
Then you my friend need to slow waaay down. If you don't, life will pass you by before you can even enjoy it. Our lives have become more fast-paced & hectic than ever before. We're so busy trying to cram as much of our to-do list's into our days that we are stressing ourselves out and completely missing the beauty in life. It's crazy how in our modern lives technology is constantly being invented to save us time but then we use this time to do more instead of using it to do what we wanted it to in the first place; relax & enjoy life.
I have lived the most part of my life as if it were a race. I would speed in my car from place to place, I'd shove food down my throat before even tasting it and I'd rush through things without getting a breath in.
It's hard to believe that person I'm describing was me. I am no longer a competitor in life, the pace of my life has slowed right down and I'm the happiest, healthiest and most productive I've ever been. I have 10 tips that helped slow down the pace of my life and I hope these will work for yours too, here they are.
1. Do less. If you have too much on your plate it will be near impossible to slow down. Make a decision to do less. Each day prioritise 3 of the most important things on your to-do list and focus on these 3 things rather than trying to tackle an endless list. Focus on only what's really important & let go of the rest.
2. The important stuff. Limit your tasks and commitments. Have a look at everything you've got going on in your life; at work, home, kids activities, hobbies, friends, side businesses, other commitments. Think about which really gives you value & drop whatever doesn't. That way you won't end the day feeling burnt out and you'll have more time for the things you do love.
3. Unplug. We have an overload of ways to communicate; emails, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Skype, forums and more. If you're on these too much, you're wasting time and forgetting about the things you really want to do. Don't use these so much, it'll be less time looking at a screen and more time engaging with the world around you.
4. Start using the word 'no'. The friend you helped who you don't really like, the lunch date you squeezed in that you wished you hadn't. You're time is precious, don't waste it on things that don't matter.
5. Do things slowly. Drive slowly, most people speed (I was one of them), not only is this dangerous but it can make you angry and really stressed. Try driving more slowly & notice how relaxed you feel. Whenever I'm driving slowly I always notice new, beautiful things on the side of the road that I would normally speed past. Try eating slowly. This can even help with weight loss and digestion. How many different flavours can you taste?
6. Give your fullest attention to what you're doing. It amazes me how something so simple can be so life changing. It can even bring out the joy in the tasks you don't enjoy. Take driving for example, notice your posture, your breathing, the wind following through the window, the sun warming your skin or when you're washing your hands, notice the feeling of the water, the smell of the soap. Life's beauty won't go unnoticed if you can give your attention to each moment.
7. Enough is enough. In our materialistic world, we are constantly trying to keep up with the Jones's and it's making us unhappy. Know when you have enough, don't get caught up in wanting to buy more and more. Buy the essentials & forget about the rest.
8. Go outside. It really is one of the greatest feelings to be out in nature and it doesn't cost a thing! Theres nothing quite like looking up at the stars, laying down in the grass and watching the clouds, going for a walk, noticing a beautiful flower or being outdoors during the most beautiful times of the day when the sun is rising or setting.
9. Connect with the people around you. Sometimes when we are with family and friends we don't give them our full attention. All too often people will dine out but are so focused on their smart phone that they don't make much of a connection with the people they're with. Or when you're having a conversation with someone but you can tell they're too busy thinking of other things. Put your smart phone away! Whatever it is you need to do can wait a few minutes. Give your attention to the person you're with, look at them, listen to what they are saying, engage with them. If you can do this you will connect with people. Notice how good this feels.
10. Breathe. If you notice yourself rushing, stop, take a few deep breaths. Focus on the air coming in and out of your lungs. Breathe in the fresh air and breathe out the stress. This will remind you to slow down and you will feel relaxed.
Now you'll have time to enjoy life & it won't pass you by anymore. Try each of these tips one at a time and find out what works for you & you'll see that life is best lived slowly.