If you’re anything like me, you may feel like the best way to get things done is to do it as quickly as possible. It can be hard to remember that time is an illusion. While some things in life are time sensitive, most things aren’t. While sticking to a schedule can be very useful for production, there are a lot of times when we tend to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to get through our day. Not often do we stop to ask the question, what are we rushing towards? Can we get there while honoring our selves and our personal pace in the process? This could be beneficial when it comes to work, taking care of things around the house, self-care and even relationships.
So how do we do it? If our typical pace is set on high at all times, how do we re-train ourselves?Below, I have put together a list of 5 ways to slow down.
1.Take deep breaths.
Focus on your breath. Go ahead, do it right now. What is is like? Is it shallow or is it quick? You may have heard this many times, but the quality of the breath often reflects the quality of the mind. If you are breathing quickly, skipping breaths, or your breath is shallow, then this could contribute to the stress and anxiety you may be feeling caused by the sense of being rushed. Now take a moment to deepen your breath. Imagine that as you breathe in you are expanding your breath all the way down to the pit of your stomach, then as long as it took you to breath in, take just as much time letting the air out. Do 5 of these deep breaths so that you can get a good idea of how it feels to be connected to the breath, then move forward with your day but do so while keeping the breath in mind.
2.Have a cup of tea.
Tea can be soothing and when it comes to Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, it is great for balancing the vata dosha which can be frantic, anxious and speratic when out of balance. The heat of a warm cup of tea is just what one needs to bring this airy aspect that resides in all of us back down to earth. When we can pacify the mobility of this energy, we will find that we feel much less rushed. Also, it takes time to drink a cup of tea. Unless you want to burn your mouth, you have to allow the tea to cool to a comfortable drinking temperature. Plan for 5 minutes of tea and silence in your day and see if it makes a difference in how you approach the to-do list that follows.
3.Do some yoga.
Yoga is a great way to find presence and cultivate a connection to the breath and the body. When you are in practice, there is no rush and no expectation. You get to tune into an intimate dialog with your body and it can be a great time to set the intention to slow things down for the rest of your day. Even 15 minutes of yoga can make a huge difference.
Try this exercise. Close your eyes and focus your awareness on your feet and your toes. Notice what it feels like to feel the ground beneath them. Now, move your awareness towards your ankles. Then, your shins and calves. Next, move your awareness towards your knees. Now, your thighs, hips and pelvis. Then, to the belly and the chest. Feel into your shoulders and your neck. Feel the muscles in your face and feel your head. Now, slowly open your eyes and take a good look around you, observing where you are without mental commentary or judgment. You have just practiced the act of full presence in your body and your surroundings and it only took a moment. The beauty of this practice is that it can be done anywhere at anytime. Use presence as a way to slow yourself down and seep into the moment.
5.Be easy on yourself.
Sometimes, we rush ourselves to get through things because of expectations we have set for ourselves or expectations from others. There are times where we feel like rushing is the only option because if we slow down we are forced to take on a sense of confidence that we may not feel we have. There are times when we rush through things because we feel like if we don’t then things will never get done. What we often fail to realize is that we do not have to take these judgements on. Sometimes taking our time even results in less mistakes which is highly beneficial. At times, when we move too quickly and we do mess up, we take it pretty hard. Instead of taking on this energy, we can choose to love ourselves and honor ourselves through every situation. Set your own personal pace with self-care in mind. Choose to be more like the turtle instead of the hare and just take it slow!
Love and moonlight!
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