Slow Down…No Matter How Busy You Are
Your alarm goes off. You hit the snooze button several times before pulling yourself out of bed. This is the only moment in the day in which you will be slow. From here on out you are on the clock – eating in a hurry, speeding off to work or somewhere with the kids, rushing here, scurrying there. Until you finally crash at night in your bed…and for some reason, you can‟t get to sleep! Does this sound familiar?
The speed of our life has affected us in more ways than we notice. Faster food, faster cars, and faster computers. I used to think that faster machines meant that we would have less work to do as technology would ease our burden. But the faster the world goes, the faster we run.
Try this exercise to help you begin to slow down: Take a deep breath in. Exhale slowly. Repeat this five times. What did you notice? Did your sigh come out long and peaceful, or heavy and stressed? That little test can tell you more about where you are right now in your life than blood work! If your sigh is heavy, stressed and near painful, you may want to consider slowing down. Your health is at risk! The speed of your life plays a role with the stress, anger, depression, and anxiety you may be experiencing. These symptoms can create a disconnection between our mind and our body. This disconnection leads to imbalance and can lead to dis-ease in the body. By slowing down, we actually gain more energy to do all the things that keep us busy. And it feels a lot better to go throughout your day in a calm state instead of a crazed frenzy. You might even meet someone new or notice something different! How can we begin to incorporate slowing down in this fast-paced world? Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Light a candle in the kitchen when cooking
Set aside one night a week just for you
Say „no‟ to unnecessary obligations that are causing you stress
Pick one day a week to escape to a park, hiking trail or body of water
Promise yourself to only eat when you are sitting down at the table
Hold your fork with your opposite hand
Close your eyes for a few minutes in the middle of the day Slow Down Exercise
– Practice slowing down when it comes to eating. Begin with a few deep breaths before beginning to eat. Chew each bite thirty times. Practice this for one whole week. What do you notice? Consider how else you can continue to slow down each day, even if for only 5 minutes. Add one new “slow down” activity per day and keep breathing.
– International Association of Wellness Professionals