“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Go, go, go. Whatever you’re doing, you’re probably already behind. There’s so much to do in life, so much to accomplish. We have to climb the corporate ladder, make our relationships work, build families, see friends, fulfill obligations, and still function as a human being.
With modern demands, life is exhausting. It seems like when one area of your life gets squared away, the other shoe drops on the see-saw, and we’re thrown back out of balance.Advertising
So how do you take Bueller’s infamous advice and slow down enough to smell the proverbial roses? Try these 10 techniques.
1. Take responsibility.
Despite our laundry list of have-to’s, there’s actually nothing we have to do, only things we choose to do. So take responsibility and recognize that you’re choosing to job to work, see your friends or finish this project. Maybe the consequences of skipping out are less appealing than just getting it done, but recognize that the speed of your life is your choice.
2. Power down and unplug.
Anyone who’s ever responded to e-mails while watching a movie or checked Facebook while in bed with a significant other knows that technology is the fastest way to pull yourself out of the present moment. Set aside a mandatory power-down time. Maybe it’s after 8pm or for a few hours on Sunday. Whatever you choose, take some time to remember what it’s like to be in the moment without technology pulling you back to fast-paced cyber addiction.Advertising
3. Refuel your energy.
When you’re on the go all the time, you’re bound to get burnt out. So take some time to refuel your tank with some restorative exercise. Yoga, Tai Chi and Qigong are all wonderful, gentle ways to recharge those batteries. But even a 20-minute jog or bike ride will boost your energy just enough to get you through the day. Find an exercise that takes you out of the fast lane and brings you back in balance.
4. Spend some time alone.
Amidst the constant chatter of distractions and stress, you can hardly hear yourself think. Schedule in a few hours a day to be alone. Maybe some meditation or journal writing. Maybe a night in with take-out and cheesy movies. Whatever your luxury, choose something that will help you reconnect with yourself and reset your priorities.
5. Get more selective.
Let’s face it: we’re overcommitters. All of us. Instead of saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way, take a moment to imagine yourself coming home for a long, tiring day of work. If this is still something you want to do, then sign up. But, if not, learn how to say no. Part of the reason our lives move so fast is that we try to pack a week’s worth of activities into a single day. Saying “no” is the fastest way to slow it back down.Advertising
6. Catch some Z’s.
People who slow down tend to be more productive and accomplished–because they’re able to be fully present when they take on a task. Give yourself the eight hours of sleep you need a night to make sure your in prime productivity mode during your waking hours. If you spend a few extra hours in bed, time will seem to double during waking hours because you can get so much more done.
7. Be grateful.
Start a gratitude journal and write down everything you’re grateful for. It will force you to immediately slow down, reflect and shift from focusing on what’s wrong to focusing on what’s right. Finding balance isn’t about changing the chaos; it’s about finding balance in the chaos.
8. Catch your breath.
Breathing deeply activates the parasympathetic nervous system and switches you from the fight-or-flight panic into the rest-and-digest relaxation. Any time you want to slow down, take a few slow, deep breaths. It will calm your body down and bring you back to the present moment.Advertising
9. Make time for fun.
If you want to slow down, stop trying so hard to move forward. Life isn’t meant to be a road race. Try doing things that don’t necessary move you forward, but make you have a little more fun. Play hooky and go to the movies, play a round of golf, laugh with old friends, watch silly movies. Remind yourself that it’s not about who finishes first; it’s about how much fun you had along the way.
10. Be in the moment.
Be 100% present. Listen intently when anyone is speaking. Forget about the obligations you have in 20 minutes or all of the tasks on your to-do list. Just focus yourself completely in the present moment. Life isn’t about finding balance throughout; it’s about slowing down enough to find balance in individual moments. So take life one moment at a time. 100% present.
Featured photo credit: Wichid via flickr.com
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life
When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.
So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life
It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.
2. Drink in Moderation
I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity. Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.
3. Reduce Stress in Your Life
Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
4. Watch Less Television
A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t. It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.
Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.
5. Eat Less Red Meat
Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.
If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.
6. Don’t Smoke
This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.
Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity. Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.
8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
9. Be Optimistic
Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists. Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.
10. Own a Pet
Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease. Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.
11. Drink Coffee
Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life. Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.
12. Eat Less
Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.
Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure. Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.
Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.
How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners
14. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease. It may also increase the risk of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.
15. Laugh Often
Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.
16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun
Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.
17. Cook Your Own Food
When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.
Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.
18. Eat Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.
Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.
20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.
Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health
21. Have Sex
Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease. It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!
More Health Tips
- Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You
- Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness
- How to Work Towards a Healthy Life Balance
Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com