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  • Susan Green

Slowing Down in a Fast-Paced World!



Life is pretty fast-paced...Yes? We hurry from one responsibility to the next, filling our minds with an overabundance of particulars about this and that (appointments, to dos, to don'ts, reliving the past, predicting and processing the future, self-talk-both positive and negative, etc.). We still have the same 24 hours per day as we did hundreds of years ago, yet the amount we cram into each day is increasing at a rapid and really, unprecedented rate. We surround ourselves with technology to help us do more, we process more information on a daily basis than ever before in history, and, we carry the social pressures that arrived with email, and social networking. It seems to never stop coming at us, and yet we still need to get up, brush teeth, eat, work, shop, exercise, and hopefully play. It's a lot!

Unlike any other species on this planet we've woven our collective lives into complicated webs of responsibilities and social commitments. I, personally, have found that if I don't make a resolute effort to lace doses of slowness into my web, my adrenaline gets a bit out of control and I suddenly realize I'm spending too much time in "fight or flight" mode. It doesn't feel good! In fact, it doesn't feel like living, it feels like enduring! How about you?

Can you resolve to weave one or two of these into your daily existence for a week or two and notice the shift in your state of being? Which ones resonate with you?

Take the time to prioritize daily objectives...By focusing on the most important tasks to get done, we eliminate the hustle and stress of trying to accomplish everything at once. Make a list and stick to it!

Cut personal internet use by half...Technology has become a major element in most of our lives. Social networking, email, and web surfing can occasionally cause our minds to lose focus and wander through hundreds of topics, thoughts, and ideas. If this resonates with you and cutting in half seems unreasonable, consider cutting back 25%.

Enjoy Nature! It's underused, powerful and free...When time permits, take a 5 to 10-minute break to step outside and breathe in some fresh air. Disconnect from the rest of the world and concentrate on the beauty of nature. A little goes a long way.

Eat More Slowly! A lot of us tend to speed through meals-missing the chance to appreciate different textures and flavors. Start to chew food more slowly and distinguish new tastes, aromas, and consistencies. Try putting your fork down between bites and appreciate your food!

Connect with family and friends - in person...We all try to make considerable amount of time to spend with close friends and family. We discuss life events and exchange stories-but how often do we catch up while truly listening and connecting? Put away the cell phones and steer clear of noisy environments so you can connect on a deeper level.

Make time for yourself...When did you last spend valuable time with yourself? Take a night to find a new book, watch a favorite movie, try yoga, meditation, or cook a new recipe.

Give yourself more time...Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you're jotting down new tasks in your planner, factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks and leave a little more "breathing" time.

Take the scenic route-stop...Next time you're driving a somewhat long distance-take the scenic route. Driving through open fields, mountain, or viewing a city skyline can be very relaxing.

Drink Tea (my favorite) ...Choose a calming herbal tea like Chamomile or Lemon Balm. Make it just about the tea (i.e; don't do anything else). Sip slowly being mindful of the taste, the aroma filled steam, and the shift in your energy.

Breathe deeply for 1 minute...We all know it, we should breathe more deeply more often, but reminders are helpful. Anytime you like, close your eyes if you can and take 3-5 slow deep breaths. Breathe in for 6 seconds, breathe out for 8. That should take about 1 minute!

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