Remember the last time you did not need to hurry and could focus on the single task at hand? One single task rather than a bunch of them simultaneously. These days a metropolitan dweller spends every day under enormous time pressure therefore living in a state of constant stress. We are all so afraid of being late and missing something important that we barely seem to acknowledge our life is passing by without waiting for us to pay attention. And is there any other way to live? There surely is! Let’s talk about ways of slowing ourselves down.
It’s time to say “Stop”
Maybe you never gave a second thought to what exactly you are running towards – just because you may not have had a moment for it. Try stopping and pondering on it just a bit. The truth is, all that haste and incessant running are imposed on us from externally. Every day we hear from our TVs that yet another 25-year old businessperson made a fortune and became a millionaire working 25 hours a day. And our newsletter tells us all about building a breathtaking career, reaching our long-desired goal, learning to speed read and so on and so forth. But do we ever get a chance to think about what it is we truly desire and what our life values are?
We simply have no time to think about all that properly. As a result, we voluntarily give up on our own life and end up watching it as if from the windows of a train huffing on and on. What is our destination and isn’t it time to slow down now? Or maybe get off on the next station to get a breath of fresh air?
Living it slow
Wise people live without any hurry, enjoying life to the fullest, contemplating it and being fully aware of every moment that goes by. We are all familiar with words like fast-food, fast reading, express techniques and so on. But have you ever heard about slow-living? Slow-living is a movement whose followers advocate for slow and contemplative lifestyle – unlike the sprinters trying to do it all at the same time. Slow lifers also manage to do it all only without any haste. We already talked about the negative impact multitasking can have on our body. Living it slow takes the haste out of our life, doing away with multi tasking and helping us taste the life itself instead of getting stuck in the draining hamster wheel race.
The main principles of slow living
They are very easy to remember but incredibly difficult to follow. At first you will need to remind yourself every second that you are not in any hurry.
- Acknowledge and accept that you cannot possibly be responsible for everything and everyone.If you are being pushed forward, just step away giving way to the one in so much hurry.
- Eat mindfully, savoring every dish and focusing only on your meal as you eat.
- Look at the sky more often, contemplate the stars, enjoy sunrises and sunsets, listen to the music of the rain and marvel at the gorgeous nature.
- Don’t speak too soon, do not say empty phrases and do not waste your time on senseless conversations. The less you speak, the better. For everyone.
- Do not be worried about being inefficient if you are focused on a specific task at hand.
- Do not set super tasks and do not make mega plans. Break up large tasks into smaller steps you can handle easily and plan only the most important tasks.
- Spend more time with children – time spent that way is most precious for both parties.
- When taking a walk, just walk and enjoy the nature, the fresh air, the company of someone you love, the weather. Any other “important” goal reduces the usefulness of your walk to a minimum.
- Read slowly. And just the books that are good for your soul. Do not poison your soul with trashy books just because everyone else is reading those.
- Do not be afraid to stay in the privacy of your own mind. Loneliness helps you focus on what truly matters in your life.
- Stop yourself if you feel you are starting to hurry and become anxious.
- Savor life here and now, do not delay it for later.
- Be fully present in every moment of your life: with your hearing, smell, touch and sight.
Every slow lifer’s best aide
Yoga and meditation are among the best aides a slow lifer could find. The efficiency of these tools is difficult to overestimate. Yoga and meditation help you calm down in case there is a sudden and unwelcome onset of worry and anxiety, live in harmony with your own body and mind; the practices teach us to enjoy ordered living and mindful contemplation of the world around.
Having tried living their life slow many people give up prestigious and lucrative careers to do something more ordered. Why? Probably because it’s impossible (and totally unnecessary) to measure everything by money. Luckily, there are many more interesting things to our life than just work.ow to live your live slow?
We already wrote about the basic principles slow lifers follow. Next time we will discuss specific actions to start living without any haste. And for now try taking a break from your race through life and think about the beauty and variety of the world around over a cup of fragrant tea. You must agree, it’s a shame to be missing life’s most magical moments for the evanescent goals and questionable achievements.