Why slow down?
“If you’re short on time, don’t speed up. Slow down.”
― Robert Celner
Taking a step back and slowing down in life is fundamental to our existence. As humans have progressed over time the speed of life has also substantially increased. People are getting busier and busier in their daily lives often forgetting the toll it’s taking on them. “Hustling” has become cool and “struggling” and “failing” have become the new sexy.
People nowadays are grossly engaged not realizing that this has no end. This madness of speedy life will go on forever if you’re not able to control it. Our brains are constantly fed with information that we don’t need. To sum it up, the number of distractions in today’s day we have at our hands is boundless. Resulting in the escalated tempo of our lives.
Slowing down and gaining some perspective on life has become essential to every individual these days. We strive when we are young to have a better former life. But we often forget to slow down and try to live an enriching present moment. Think about it! Yes, we are all physically there in the present moment but our mind has covered the entire galaxy.
Try to slow down and see if you can experience the present to its fullest. We all live a speedy life in the pursuit of some goal that is too difficult for us to complete. But we pursue it anyway. The mistake people make is that keeping in mind only the endpoint of their chase. Slowing down will allow you to look at the bigger picture and will help you realize there are other things important in life than just your goals.
Stop stretching yourself till burnout.
Burning out means reaching a point where you’re unable to do any work as either your physical or mental psyche has given up. It means you have done beyond your capacity to work. This must-have happened to you I’m sure, it happens to everyone. There comes a moment when we are burned out. We’re devoid of any motivation, feeling empty and mentally consumed.
Still, we reach the stage of burnout. Why? Why do we still stretch till we burn out? The answer is to have freedom and autonomy. We all want to be free of the problems we are facing, to have independence, to be our boss.
We speed up things so they end up quickly. But our need for speed, the need to be free and independent creates situations that don’t work, that are not sustainable.
Slowing down doesn’t mean that we stop caring about the work we do. It means that there are things that just aren’t worth sacrificing, like your health and sanity. Slowing down will give you time to self-reflect and cross out the things that don’t matter. It will indirectly aid you to organise your life.
Slowing down to avoid “doing disease.”
Doing disease is a type of disease we all are infected with at least once in our lives. Doing disease can be defined as, “the need to keep doing, keep moving, keep achieving.”
It’s the inability to stop to be silent or to be on your own. Blaise Pascal, the famous French mathematician, and inventor quoted that:
Our obligation for fast lives does not end well. It slows us down but not in a good way. It depletes our productivity rates. People aspire to be busy these days. Being busy is termed “cool”, but we should be thinking the opposite of this. Nobody should aspire to be busy, it’s the loop people get addicted to and it’s very arduous to come out of that hole.
Being busy should be last on our priority list. People need to acknowledge that business or urgency rarely equals importance. Living a busy life or life at a fast pace means more stress, less focus, less engagement, and less productivity.
What we should do instead is to replace the ‘B’ word with the ‘F ’word. As we all know words have the power to influence us as well as others (Blog linked below). Replace the word “busy” with the word “focus”.
How to start the process of slowing down your life?
- Start by not rushing to slow down.
- Run a few experiments before starting. Implementing anything directly into your routine will not prove to be effective. Observe if you are consistent.
- Eat slowly. Most of the people I’ve met are fast eaters. “It’s not about the hunger, it’s just a habit, most of them told me” when asked. Slowing down your eating rate will not only help you eat less. But it’ll also loosen up the burden from your body. Often we eat more than what’s required by our physique which necessitates your body to double the energy required for digestion. Eating slow will give your body time to digest your food and provide some mental peace.
- Ease into your day. Lessen your schedule, your everyday checkpoints. Slowing down the start of your day will activate your sympathetic nervous system and reduce stress and pressure.
- Disconnect from technology for some part of your day. Continuous exposure to tech has reduced our attention span and has handicapped our ability to stay silent. A study conducted in 2017 shows that our attention span has reduced to 8 seconds. This one is mandatory.
- Regulate your breath. Repeatedly, take deep and full breaths. Athletes and sportsmen do this very frequently, that’s why they can perform under extreme pressure. Slowing down your breathing rate will keep you calm and more oxygen will flow in your tanks.
- Drive slower. Yes, you heard it right. We rarely follow the speed limit signs, right? Try these, drive slower and be mentally aware of your surroundings. Yes, you’ll face a lot of honks and cuss words for this but that should not be the point of concern for you.
- Rest is your biggest ally. Don’t underestimate this thing. Rest is renewing the depleted physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual reservoirs.
If you let yourself become your own worst boss, then you’re gonna burn out and you’re not gonna be able to maintain the amount of consistency with the work you create. Consider slowing down in life once in a while till you become old. Slowing down will benefit you in the long term if you’re able to see the bigger picture.
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