22 Feb The Absolute Necessity of ‘Slowing Down’
“Slowing down is sometimes the best way to speed up.” – Mike Vance
We’re all busier than ever before today. Our days are packed from the moment we wake up, checking our phones, calls, e-mails, and texts, before we even get a chance to take a shower and make breakfast. If we have families, we have to make sure our kids are taken care of before we get to work, helping them with extracurricular activities while we manage overtime work, year-end projects, relationships, our health, and our sleep. It can seem impossible.
As we live in a society where we are expected to work all the time, slowing down is considered as a weakness, rest is indulgent and most of us feel guilty at taking care of ourselves.
Slowing down doesn’t mean stopping entirely. It just means creating time to pause, rest and reflect. In fact slowing down is our strength, a valuable practice and nowadays we need it more than ever.
I remember the days I was manically rushing from one task to another when I worked in the fast-paced corporate world. Multitasking and never stopping. I was so used to this during the working hours I continued that way at the weekends. Even when I went on holiday I had always a big to-do lists. I was addicted to doing a lot!!
Then I started to practice yoga. To be honest, I found it very slow in the beginning. Especially when we laid down to rest and relax at the end of each class -a final pose called shavasana in yoga, I didn’t know what to do! That 10 minutes was so long for doing nothing! But even with this frustration I kept joining the classes. Then something happened. I started to enjoy slowing down and shavasana became my favorite pose.
Moving slowly and breathing slowly helped me to relax my overactive nervous system. Eating slowly followed this, then walking slowly… talking slowly… doing one thing at a time with a no-rush attitude… As a summary, slowing down helped me to enjoy life fully.
Here’s why it’s important to take a step back to rest and press pause:
It Provides You with More Energy:
We only have so much energy in our bodies every day, which is why we need to wisely preserve and use this precious commodity. Slowing down will help you preserve your energy and help you not to run empty.
It Improves the Quality of Your Work:
Focusing on one task and giving it your full attention will improve the quality of work and make you more productive, because you’re not rushing what you are doing as much.
It Reduces Stress and the Feeling of Being Overwhelmed:
When you try to do a lot in a short period of time your breathing becomes shallow and your heart beats faster causing anxiety. Slowing down will help calm the body and mind and release stress.
It Improves Relationships:
Slowing down gives you an opportunity to create space in your life for other people. It allows you to be more present for loved ones and helps you to develop deeper connections. By doing this you’re much more likely to build strong, lasting relationships.
It Restores Your Health:
Our bodies are delicate machines that need to be taken care of. If you want to be able to sustain your pace for years to come, you need to slow down and maintain the health you have today. Slowing down allows your body and brain to power down and rejuvenate as necessary.
It Restores Your Happiness:
Sure, many of us like to keep busy. But there’s a point where the busyness has swallowed up your sanity and happiness. Slowing down will help you reacquaint yourself with what makes you smile the most and bring you joy. It’s important not to lose sight of that.
Do you go too fast? I know I still do sometimes.
Join me and try slowing down this week. Eat slower, breathe deeper, walk mindfully. Take a step back and embrace a moment of silence. Do a little digital detox. Phone calls, text messages and e-mails can wait. Remove something from your to-do list that isn’t urgent and provide yourself with self-care and support you deserve.