Slowing Down: A Practice in Mindfulness
With where we are in the world today, it is even more important to take care of our health. Not just our physical health but also our mental and emotional health. There are hundreds if not thousands of advice out there telling us all how to take care of ourselves, our minds and our bodies that it can be a little overwhelming. Don’t you agree?
What do we do? Where do we start?
The answer is simple. Always start with yourself. Start with your body. Start with your mind. Both interconnects. If I had to recommend just one action that could bring more pleasure into your life, it would be to just SLOW DOWN.
Slowing down means creating spaciousness in your day and being present with yourself and your environment - an idea based on mindfulness. It means taking the time to notice the sky or the butterflies in your garden or in your stomach.
Notice the state of your body, the state of your mind, and your energy levels, take frequent breaks throughout the day and slow down. You might find that just by stopping to observe and breathe deeply for a few minutes, you’ll be able to refill your cup of energy with aliveness, and pleasure. As a first step to bringing in more pleasure, slow down all your activities and start observing/being more present in your life. Notice, how it feels to become slower. Are you noticing more? Are you feeling more spacious? Are there areas of your life where you need to slow down even more? Every time you feel like you’re rushing, stop and wonder what you can do to create more spaciousness in your life.
It is normal that when you’re so busy and have no time for yourself and/or your close relationships, you will feel overwhelmed with all that you have to do. This is not a good feeling because by feeling busy and overwhelmed all the time, you’re not able to slow down and enjoy life.
So, whether you breathe slowly or quickly, be sure to observe your breath, take the time to savor the moment. Slowing down means making more time in the day to do nothing so you can experience pleasure. Try doing different activities at a slower pace: walking, talking, chopping food. Slow down wherever and whenever you can.
Take a deep breath and notice how it feels. That’s what mindfulness teaches us—to notice and savor every moment.
Nowadays, I walk slowly, eat slowly, dance slowly, breathe slowly, and drive slowly. I’ve also found that slowing down doesn’t take away from my time in the day, as I’m also less stressed. It’s a conscious decision and a choice to not be under pressure and to slow down. A mindfulness practice that is easy to incorporate into life is to set an alarm on your phone three times in a day, to remind you to take 5 minutes off whatever you’re doing and do a breathing practice.
I invite you to create your own fun alarms using your music that remind you throughout the day to breathe consciously, move your body or to celebrate the moment in any way that feels good to you.
Tell me in the comments below what you’ve been doing to create more spaciousness in your life and how it has affected your mind body and soul. I always love to hear from you!