The pace of life is so rapid that it often feels as if we haven’t had a chance to appreciate it fully.
While new technology is always being developed that saves us time, we’re using that time to do more and more things, and our lives are becoming even more busy and fast-paced.
However, this need not be the case. Let us stand against a fast-paced way of life and take our time to appreciate it.
How do you slow down life?
A slower-paced life entails taking the time to enjoy your mornings rather than rushing off to work. It means taking time to enjoy whatever you’re doing, appreciate the outdoors, and focus on whoever you’re talking to or spending time with — rather than constantly being connected to a Blackberry, iPhone, or laptop and constantly thinking about work tasks and emails. It entails focusing on one task at a time rather than switching between a slew of them.
Slowing down is a deliberate and not always easy choice, but it results in a greater appreciation for life and a higher level of happiness.
How to slow down and enjoy life?
It isn’t easy to slow down when trying to do a million things simultaneously. Instead, make the deliberate decision to do less. Concentrate on what is truly important and necessary, and let the rest go. Make time between tasks and appointments so you can move through your days at a slower pace.
Concentrate on people
Too often, we spend time with friends and family or meet with colleagues without truly being present with them. We communicate with them but are distracted by our devices. We are present, but our thoughts are elsewhere. We listen, but our minds are on ourselves and what we want to say. Nobody is immune to this, but with conscious effort, you can turn off the outside world and focus solely on the person you’re with.
It is not enough to slow down; you must also be mindful of what you are doing at the time. That is, whenever you think about something you need to do, something that has already occurred, or something that may occur… Bring yourself back to the present moment slowly, and concentrate on what is happening now.
Find joy in everything
This is similar to being present, but it goes a step further. Be fully present in whatever you’re doing, appreciate all aspects of it, and find the enjoyable aspects. For example, instead of rushing through dishwashing as a boring chore to be completed quickly, feel the sensations of the water, the suds, and the dishes. If you learn to look at it that way, it can be a very enjoyable task.
The inverse of multitasking. Concentrate on one thing at a time. Pause, breathe, and pull yourself back when you feel the urge to switch to another task.
When you notice yourself speeding up and becoming stressed, pause and take a deep breath; take a few more. Feel the air entering your body and the stress leaving your body.
Books on how to enjoy life and slow down
Essentialism, by Greg McKeown
The author’s own life experiences influenced this book. Essentialism is essentially a guide for becoming more productive and effective at work and is filled with business anecdotes.
It makes a compelling case for avoiding busy work and ignoring social pressure to focus on impactful work. You will make more significant progress if you focus your time and energy on fewer things.
Destination Simple, by Brooke McAlary
Destination Simple is a brief and introductory look at the elements of slow living.
It’s a no-nonsense guide that focuses on habits like single-tasking, unplugging from social media, and practicing gratitude to reduce busyness.
There are practical suggestions for slowing down and establishing calming morning and evening rhythms to anchor your day. The chapters are easy to read, with checklists, step-by-step guides, and bullet points that show how to put the ideas into practice.
The Slow Fix, by Carl Honore
The Slow Fix is a journalistic examination of our reliance on shortcuts. It’s full of stories about how a more holistic, slower approach is preferable.
The Slow Fix explains why we are addicted to quick fixes and the dopamine rush of a simple solution. Honore says a slower approach requires more time and effort with uncertain rewards. Because our brains prefer familiar solutions, we are less likely to think outside the box. And we’re more likely to make the same mistakes again.
Mistakes are frequently viewed as a sign of weakness in society. However, the only way to solve problems in an ever-changing world is to keep an open mind and accept your fallibility.