Applying the Seven Essential Ways to Slow Down Your Fast-Paced Lifestyle
In a world of high-tech and fast-paced convenience, people often take the world for granted and tend to dismiss the simple pleasures in life. Moreover, many working professionals are so obsessed with their careers that they suffer greatly from stressful situations. Not even the best gadgets or advancements in health technology are able to alleviate stress-related problems so easily.
When you really think about it, it’s actually ironic how the modern conveniences that are supposed to make our lives easier are often the ones that end up giving us unnecessary stress. So how do we address this rather perplexing conundrum?
Perhaps the best solution to counteract the persistent onslaught of a chaotic and hectic lifestyle is to consciously slow your life down to a pace that is more manageable and meaningful. The art of slow living is fast becoming a widely accepted movement amongst career-oriented individuals because it helps them achieve the right balance between their personal and professional lives.
Accepting any form of change is admittedly difficult, but this particular change of pace might just be what you need to really get back on track. Consider the helpful pieces of advice below to find out how you can apply the fundamentals of slow living into your own life.
Do less to gain more
When you’re juggling so many things at once, you’re more likely to experience the risk of failure much greater than those who don’t have a lot piled on their plates. Most people have been taught to multitask everything in order to increase their efficiency that they don’t realize frequent multitasking isn’t really conducive to one’s holistic wellbeing in the long-term. If you’ve ever felt burdened by managing a lot of things on your to-do list, then make a conscious decision of doing less.
When you go through a typical day doing just one thing at a time, you’re focusing more on improving the quality of your work as opposed to rushing things and ending up with lackluster results. Another helpful reason why doing less will do wonders for your life is that you’re essentially freed from doing things that aren’t exactly considered as priorities. Letting go of the superfluous things and keeping only the essential tasks will help you take it easy.
Be mentally present
People have a tendency to run on autopilot as a response to living life in the fast lane, and this isn’t exactly helpful to their mental health. When your brain isn’t a hundred percent focused on a given task at hand, it’s very unlikely that you’ll complete the job with the expected results. That’s why it’s imperative for you to always be mentally present as part of your slow living regimen, since this prompts your brain to stay calm yet alert despite the external chaos surrounding you most of the time.
Being more conscious with your thinking allows you to have a greater degree of control with your decision-making process. It actually takes considerable practice to think very clearly on a daily basis, so make it a point to not think about the past nor what will happen in the future. Allow yourself to think and act in the present because you’ll heighten your level of awareness. And when you’re more aware of your surroundings, you’ll be less inclined to act on impulse.
Take a break from technology
Probably the hardest thing you’ll ever do when trying to adopt a slow lifestyle is to have lesser reliance on technology. Disconnecting from your mobile devices and staying away from social media—even for just a few hours each day—can do wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing. The less you’re exposed to things that give you stress or frequently interrupt your work productivity, the more you’ll be able to do things with greater clarity and accuracy.
If you’re having difficulties staying away from your laptop or smartphone during a typical work day, then use your weekends as an opportunity to create distance from your devices. Think about reconnecting with yourself and with others on a personal level because one of the core philosophies of slow living is that it emphasizes the value of establishing worthwhile connections with important people in your life. So instead of abusing the FaceTime function on your iPhone, why not connect with your friends and family members face to face to make your quality time even better?
Reestablish human connections
In relation to the previous section, you’re not fully living the slow life if you’re not making an effort to engage with the people who matter most in your life. People often get frustrated when they can’t spend quality time with their loved ones because they’re frequently swamped with an excess amount of work obligations. You certainly don’t want to have other people feel resentment towards you, so you have to make a genuine effort to become less involved with your hectic life and be more attentive to slowing down.
More time spent with your close friends or family members can go a really long way to making sure you’re not hard-wired too much on your stressful career obligations. Engaging in heartfelt conversations or sharing leisurely activities with your loved ones boosts your endorphin levels which affects your happiness. And if you’re able to feel a high degree of happiness in your life, it’ll be so much easier for you to transition into the slow lifestyle.
Immerse yourself in nature
When you need to really escape from the hustle and bustle of your fast-paced urban life, you really can’t go wrong with taking a trip somewhere that’s quiet and surrounded by nature. You cannot allow yourself to be cooped up in sterile office spaces for most of your waking life, so it’s best for you to have some change of scenery as a way to cleanse your mind, body, and soul. Stepping out of the city and into natural landscapes is the quickest and easiest way to really embody the slow lifestyle.
Use your weekends to take a day trip to a nearby beach, forest, or park to give you a sense of solitude and comfort. Take this opportunity to bask in the wonders of nature and let go of any and all stressful thoughts plaguing your brain. And because you’re outdoors, this is also a great venue for you to indulge in exercises that aren’t too rigorous such as yoga, pilates, and hiking. With these activities, you’re hitting several birds with one stone: appreciating nature, staying in shape, and sticking to your slow living ethos.
Rediscover the pleasures of food
Hard as it may be to believe, but it’s not just the presence of fast food that threatens our wellbeing, but the fact that we tend to eat fast as well because we are always racing against the clock. Bear in mind that slow living encompasses a full range of human activities, including the way we eat and what we nourish our bodies with. Ideally, you’re encouraged to rediscover the pleasures of food by cooking and eating more home-cooked meals and less on food prepared from fast food establishments.
People should really focus on a diet that features plenty of fresh and organic ingredients as opposed to products that are heavily processed with preservatives and other chemicals. The adoption of slow food is one of the fundamental cornerstones of slow living because it teaches people to be more conscious about their health in a positive way. When you are able to make a habit of buying healthier grocery items every month and cooking homemade recipes, your body will surely thank you for this significant change in your dietary lifestyle.
Meditate on positive things
When you feel that everything around you is just getting a bit too much for your heart and mind to bear, always remember that your first line of defense is to take a step back so you can have a quick breather. Breathing and meditation exercises are the simplest way for you to eradicate the chaotic thoughts and emotions and slowing down what is otherwise a really fast and bad day. All you need to do is to find a place nearby that’s quiet so you can have a personal space all to yourself where you can close your eyes and just focus on the air coming in and out of your lungs.
Meditation is highly important for your emotional and mental health since this activity allows you to focus solely on the positive elements that you want to achieve in life. For instance, you can meditate about all of the good blessings that you’ve received from others or all of the good deeds you’ve done to make other peoples’ lives so much better. And because your mind is solely focused on performing this particular task, it’ll be easier for you to facilitate a slower pace to your daily habits.
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