How to Slow Down and Enjoy Life – Tips to Calm Down Your Hectic Life!
Fair too often we are caught up in the busy schedule of life and wonder “where did the day go?”, or “hasn’t that week flown by”, or “the summer will be soon over”. This happens because you’re so busy in life just doing that you forget how to be.
At some point or the other, all of us have inevitably found ourselves wanting to just leave it all and go far away from all the rush, from all the noise and just be in peace with our own self.
There is too much rushing, too much achieving in this overly fast paced world. If you find yourself in such a position then it is actually reminding you that you need to slow things down and go slow with life. Step outside the rush.
Learning how to slow down in life is a challenge by itself, especially for those who seem to work non-stop, or those who feel guilty for taking a break as they think “I could be doing this, or doing that”.
But living in the fast lane comes at a price, that price is you’re missing out on your life. The time you spending planning, working, doing, rushing and all the other things that lead to hectic life, takes away living in the moment and experiencing what it truly feels like to be alive.
This is so profound, yet what is it to be alive? Although I cannot concretely answer that question for you, through my personal experience I have found that people feel the most alive when they are truly experiencing the present moment. Those times when you are able to slow down and pay attention.
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Is your mindset keeping you from living life in the present moment?
Your mindset may hold certain beliefs that keep you stuck in the fast lane. These could come from personal experience, habits, things you’ve learned growing up or the pressure of society.
Take a step back and a moment to reflect on your mindset and your beliefs on why you shouldn’t be slowing down from a fast-paced life.
What do these beliefs mean to you?
Here are some examples of beliefs you may have about slowing down:
- If I take a break or slow down, I’m lazy
- Things won’t get done.
- I could be doing something else in the time I’m taking a break
- I need to be doing more to be more successful than Joe Bloggs next door, and the only way I can do that is by working harder- even if it stresses me out.
The ironic thing is that you will actually be more productive and efficient if you take breaks and pay attention to what you are doing in the moment. This is because living in the present moment increases your focus.
When you work yourself into the ground without no break, and constantly move from task to task, you are not fully living in the present moment and therefore are not fully engaged. As a result, you are living your life in auto-pilot mode.
This can result in two things happening:
- You are not fully focused; therefore, you’re not putting the best work into things. This is because you are just thinking about moving onto the next task.
- You are burning yourself out by never taking breaks or slowing down.
How can you live in the present moment?
While you’re rushing about from task to task, somebody else is living in the present moment and time is moving much slower for them. It is the same number of seconds ticking by, the same minutes and hours pass by, but it is your perception of those moments that is different.
Your perception is your reality, therefore if you find that you seem to be rushing through life then the answer lies in changing your perception. Some of that may originate in identifying and changing your anxious thoughts.
Additionally, you can practice Mindfulness by being aware of your senses (touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell) in the present moment. This is one of the most effective ways to truly bring you into experiencing this moment fully.
Try it now and pay attention to what is around you. Notice how you feel.
Read my post on how Mindfulness changed my life around!
Tips to help you slow down in life:
Mindfulness meditation or practicing mindful awareness regularly can make it easier to slow down life. By observing your thoughts non-judgmentally, you can increase your awareness when you are rushing around for no particular reason. This can help you to approach your life and certain situations with presence and focus, instead of just rushing through them to get to the next thing.
Distractions such as a smartphone or television can make it harder for you to focus on the present moment and take you down a black hole in your mind without you even realising it. Leave your phone in your car or put it on “do not disturb” to prevent distractions so you can be fully present and appreciate the things and people in front of you.
Give Yourself Reminders
Little reminders can be helpful so that you remember to slow down and pay attention. Whether it is a phone wallpaper, a sign on your desk, or a decal on your mirror… visual reminders to slow down can get you out of your head and into the present.
Go for a walk and look around at nature.
Head out for a walk and make yourself take notice at everything around you – the sounds; trees; flowers; etc. Connect again with the world around you and allow yourself to walk gently – not racing around.
Taking breaks at home, work, or school can help you stop anxious thinking or stop feeling stressed. Taking a break can help you to refocus and reflect.
Some helpful things to do on a break are taking a walk, taking deep breaths, or eating mindfully. These are examples of breaks that bring you fully into your present moment experience, and out of the stress of overthinking and rushing.
Enjoy the little things:
Getting to enjoy life more is one of the perks of living a slow life.
First, you need to learn to notice what is happening around you. Notice the breeze, the flowers, the clouds. Notice the smell of things.
How to slow down and enjoy life – Final thought
If you can cultivate present moment awareness, then you can learn how to slow down and appreciate life. Appreciation comes from actually paying attention to yourself, your body, your environment, and the people around you- not rushing from one thing to the next.
So, the next time you find yourself caught in a frenzy of stress, overwhelm, and frustration, ask yourself:
“How can I choose to slow down today?”
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