What? You are advising us to learn to slow down things in life? With so much competition in every walk of life?
Yes! And I don’t want you to get it wrong. When everyone in every conceivable medium is exhorting you with catchy slogans like act fast, hurry, do not lose time thinking, move swiftly, how sane is my advise to learn to slow things down, you might wonder. Believe me (and start putting this into practice from the moment you finish reading this article), you will get the best out of life only when you can slow things down.
How Does Slowing Down Help Me?
- Slowing down ensures you do not under perform because you acted in haste & hurry
- It gives you enough time to space out your thoughts and sharpens your decision making ability
- You avoid loss of time and valuable resources which may occur due to repetition or re-working needed because of below par product, service or outcome
- The process of experiencing doing a certain act or ritual is as satisfying and important as the outcome itself. There is a feel-good factor resulting from these
- You will reduce adverse emotional impacts and ensure stress free health & wellness when you give it the required time
- It will give you a sense of fulfillment
Image attributed to AlicePopkorn
What Are Things That Slowing Down Should Apply to?
Slowing down is as important in personal, home situations as much as it is for professional work. It applies to such basic chores as eating food, driving your car, doing very mundane things at home as does it to managing your work-at the counter, at the back office, in a plant or for that matter, in any vocation.
Why Do We Do Things in Hurry & How to Practice Slowing Down?
We do things in a hurry because we are not focused on the task at hand. We tend not to be with the job we are currently engaged in, because of stress we create ourselves with trying achieve too many things in too little time. Stress is also caused by external circumstances like pressure from demands at work, fast paced life, family & finance issues etc.
We tend to get distracted, one reason for which is lack of focusing within and trying to achieve healthy breathing. Our breathing is, for the most part, quite shallow. If you connect with breathing by controlling your mind for a while, there is a coordination established between mind & breathing. This is a practice of breathing development. Correct breathing has an effect of calming you down (physically & mentally) and improving your ability to concentrate better. You will then be able to achieve minute-to-minute awareness and of living in the present moment. In such a state of mind (and body), you will be in a much better position to slow things down.
Is Slowing Down a Realistic Option? Does It Always Help?
Slowing down is not procrastinating. Slowing down is also not putting things off out of laziness or indifference. It just means that you give every act the time it needs to do it fully, proficiently and making sure you live that experience.
Living that experience is key to derive full benefit both physically and emotionally. In a foundation course on art of living we attended, the instructor handed every one of us a single grape fruit each and told us to just hold in hand for a while, until every one received a piece each. We would, in any other situation, popped it quickly in our mouths and before we had even known, chewed and swallowed it as if it was a non event. We waited for her next instructions. She asked us to place it in our mouth without biting into it. We were then asked to roll it into the mouth a few times and feel its presence, aroma and texture. We then had to bite it slowly and savor the juice slowly, without rushing to suck it all down. We were then to experience its lasting taste lingering in our mouth for some time.
I can cite another very relevant example. I have been building a niche website, an online business of my own with the help of a highly popular and efficient system that teaches us, not just with a suite of tools but with a sustained counseling to do it slow, like the tortoise. In fact, the tortoise is their mascot, to emphasize the cardinal approach to success. Most people (me included, initially) are only to eager and impulsive to rush but they remind us all the time to be the tortoise! All the online successful business owners they feature have taken the time to build their business.
The difference between doing things routinely, mechanically and without conscious enjoyment and the one we experienced as I narrated above is quite discernible.
Always remember to step back and take time to experience and enjoy when you do anything. Give it the space and time it needs to accomplish it in a way that you cherish doing it. This will also help you in building your health & happiness.
These sayings, about the conscious slow approach, though some of them old, are still as relevant today. Here are those:
- Slow and steady wins the race
- Do not marry in haste, to repent at leisure
- Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going to fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
- It gets to the point where you’re hot, you’re hot, and when you’re not, you’re not. It’s so true. I have to slow down soon.
Even More About Slowing Down?
For even more in depth ideas about slowing things down and its benefits, read How to Slow Down Time With Your Mind.
To help you achieve the goal of slowing things down and enjoying life, here’s my recommendation:
For everyone who is overwhelmed by the increasing demands in their lives, here is the ideal guide for slowing down and finding peace of mind. In separate chapters covering career, household, health, social, finance, and personal affairs, this thought-provoking book offers one hundred proven, practical steps for creating a simple but elegant lifestyle.
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