Slowing down and pausing for a few moments is easier said than done. We’re so busy meeting deadlines, watching the clock and ticking off our to-do lists.
In terms of managing stress, fine-tuning the art of pausing regularly can make all the difference to your heath and wellbeing.
Here are 5 advantages to slowing down:
A quiet mind
Reducing the ‘busyness’ of your day can reduce the ‘noise’ in your mind. Slowing down and quietening your mind will combat stress.
You know that adage of stop and think? Giving yourself space and time more frequently before you act will allow your decisions to be made with more clarity and purpose.
Think for a moment before you speak may defuse any negative reactions that often spark high levels of conflict particularly in close relationships and work environments.
Enjoying your food
If you slow down your eating and focus your attention on the colours, aromas, flavours and texture of your food it will increase your enjoyment and appreciation of what you’re eating. It’s also better for your digestive system.
Resisting the temptation to getting too caught up in thoughts around constant tasks will lower your levels of stress. Slowing down your mind will allow you to notice what particular thoughts and expectations are adding too much stress .
The Art of Pausing
Building in a regular pause takes determination, discipline and practice.
Pausing for a short time in your day is a great way to slow down.
Here are some daily routines in which to factor in a pause.
Do you spring out of bed in the morning? Or do you reluctantly crawl out of bed?
Either way, take a pause before you get out of bed. Take three long, deep breaths and gently stretch your body. Slowly get out of bed and take time to enjoy each moment of your morning routine.
Is breakfast a little frantic, fast paced and time limited?
Create at least one or two breakfasts in your week where you can slow your eating, appreciating the flavours and textures of your food.
This daily practice does not work when driving a car!
There are millions of people travelling on planes, buses, trains, trams and ferries every day.
Are you one of them?
Most people have their head buried in a newspaper, or more likely in a screen of some kind. Many have their ears glued to headphones. A few are actually talking to somebody!
On your commute I encourage you to sit for a moment, (or stand if you have to).
Take the time to focus all your attention on slowing your breathing and become aware of all your senses. See if you can put all your thoughts about the day ahead to one side.
If you are lucky enough to sit by a window, appreciate the view, watch traffic, people, clouds, the sky…
Are you getting enough breaks in the day?
When you get a break have a slow cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy the taste and smell. If you close your eyes for a moment focus only on the experience of all your senses and enjoy your cuppa.
Does your mind work overtime at night?
Lots of people have busy minds as they hit the pillow at night. Build a long pause at this time with some long, deep breaths and focus on the rhythm of your breathing. Put on a meditation or relaxation disc.
Choose one of these common daily routines as a starting point to slowing down.
Read my ‘how to create a daily pause’ blog where I give you an exercise which will help you in your quest to slow down.
In the comment section let me know what stops you from slowing down?