Is it time you took a minute to slow down in this fast world?
It seems that we’re all moving at lightning speed. We take on too much, stress out because we have so much on our plates, and rinse and repeat. Does this sound healthy to you? Hopefully, you answered “no,” because this cycle can lead to many health problems down the road. Being busy and productive are often two different things, and staying busy just for the sake of it will not bring long-term satisfaction. Trying to keep busy all the time is often an escape from something we’re trying to bury.
People are more stressed-out than ever before, for several reasons. Rising costs of everything, increasing stresses at work, strain on relationships, no time for self-care, lack of sleep, and just the fast pace of life, in general, are huge contributors to our stress. Also, political unrest, climate anxiety, and other global issues are causing upticks in anxiety. In this annual poll by Gallup, they reported that Americans were among the most stressed-out people in the world, likely because we have no idea how to slow down. So, how do we combat this monster of a problem?
Here are five ways to slow down in our fast-paced world:
Take one thing at a time.
We’ve become a society of multitaskers, but switching between tasks makes us less efficient and effective. In, a study by Bryan College found that multitasking costs employers around $450 million per year. It hinders performance because it taxes the brain to have to focus on several things at once. We’re meant to put all our attention on one task at a time to perform it the most efficiently.
If we lived out in nature, for instance, we wouldn’t try to run after a buffalo to catch our dinner while also trying to collect berries. It would be physically and mentally impossible. This same idea can be compared to the workplace, where employees often try to read emails, message their coworkers, and type out a newsletter all at once.
It doesn’t work and causes our brains to tire much faster than if we focused intently on the task at hand. So, if you want to slow down, try only to take on one responsibility at a time. You will finish more quickly, and your brain won’t become fatigued as fast. Remember: slow and steady wins the race. It’s okay to have a lot of tasks to complete. But have a checklist and go down it one at a time rather than attempting to tackle it all at once.
Don’t take on more than you can handle.
Building on our last point, it’s vital to gauge how much you can hold on your plate accurately. If you have kids, a husband, a demanding job, after school activities for the kids, chores, a special work project, and a social life, you probably will get burnt out pretty quickly. Learning how to say “no” will save you a lot of headache and stress in the future, because you have to make time for yourself. If you never set boundaries, people will continuously push them until you have nothing left to give.
Don’t let this happen. Instead, look within and figure out if you’ve been neglecting yourself in some way. Do you have time for self-care, such as meditation or yoga? Or, is your entire day devoted to taking care of others, including your work responsibilities? You’ll have much more energy if you eliminate activities that drain your energy, and that doesn’t serve you in the long run.
Build a life that works for you.
It’s easier than ever before to build an online business, and many people can quit their jobs once they’ve built up enough of a following or gotten enough sales. You have to ask yourself, what do you want to spend your life doing? Giving all your time to a boss who puts a ceiling on your income will only get you so far. If you want to lead a life of freedom and control the work you do, assess the skills you have, and see how you can market them to people.
Of course, this is just one idea of how to build a life that works for you. What makes one person happy won’t apply to the next person, but in general, people get more satisfaction out of building a life centered around their interests and passions.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t follow your dreams, because people do it every single day. Follow your intuition, work hard, and don’t give up even if you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. All the effort which you put into building the life of your dreams will pay off in the end when you can control your schedule and do work that fills your soul.
Incorporate self-care into every single day.
One of the simplest ways to slow down and tune into your highest self is to engage in some good old-fashioned self-care. Here are some thoughts on ways you can pamper yourself:
Set your phone to airplane mode and go outside for a while. Staring into screens all day can cause many health problems, from anxiety to worsening vision to fatigue. Many of us live our lives vicariously through others instead of living our own, and this can lead to depression, social isolation, and loneliness. See what’s happening in your community, away from technology.
Cooking a different meal, changing up your route to work, or just going somewhere new for a weekend can refresh your mind and give you a new outlook. Doing the same thing every day for years can take a toll on a person’s mental health, so changing things up is vital to happiness. Perhaps you may even need a whole new start in a new town or country, and that’s okay too. Just follow your heart and let the universe take care of the rest.
Practice deep breathing for 10 to 15 minutes each day. You don’t have to be solo in your room to do this; it can be done in the car on the way to work or even at your desk. However, you might find it more relaxing if you can find a quiet place at home. Breathe in for six seconds, then hold it for six seconds, and exhale for the same amount of time. This practice will instantly lower your blood pressure, stress, and anxiety.
Exercising a few times a week is essential for physical, mental, and emotional health. Exercise comes with a slew of healthful benefits, from lowering the risk of heart disease to easing anxiety and depression symptoms to improving brain function. However, it’s crucial to find an exercise that you can enjoy and stick to regularly. If you hate running, don’t force yourself to do it. You can easily get cardio doing dance routines, hiking, swimming, or other activities that get your blood pumping.
If the majority of your nutrition consists of fast food or restaurant foods, you probably aren’t getting your nutritional needs met. Make sure to eat a nutritious breakfast like oatmeal and fruit or grass-fed eggs and avocado toast. Bring healthy snacks to work like cut-up fruit or nuts, and avoid vending machine snacks. After work, eat a balanced dinner with a protein source, veggies, and carbs to keep your blood sugar balanced and your appetite satisfied.
Instead of criticizing yourself, talk to yourself in a loving, kind manner. If you wouldn’t say it to a friend or family member, don’t say it to yourself. Build yourself up rather than tearing yourself apart and watch your world change. Remember, our reality is simply a product of our thoughts, so if you want your outer life to change, you must alter what thoughts you allow into your energy field.
5. Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses
One of the wisest ways to slow down is to stop trying to keep up with some arbitrary idea of success. The most excellent success story is your happiness, and frequently, that doesn’t include buying everything your neighbor does to keep up. Material things can come and go, so don’t place your value in something that you buy. Instead, look within for happiness, and you’ll find much more contentment. It only adds unnecessary stress to keep buying things you can’t afford to impress people you hardly know.
Final thoughts on how to slow down in a fast-paced world
People today seem obsessed with living life at breakneck speed. If you’ve grown tired of the rat race, take time to go within and figure out how you can build a life you don’t need an escape from. Remember to engage in self-care, don’t compare yourself to others, and don’t bite off more than you can chew.