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Simple Everyday Tips For Slow Living And A Longer Life

Simple Everyday Tips For Slow Living And A Longer Life

Have you noticed that the years seem to pass faster, and seasons change sooner? That days have become shorter, and we live at a quicker pace despite longer years? Have you noticed how slow movies from the ’50s and ’60s are? We now live faster, think faster, and act faster than we used to. We have managed to develop an environment around us that has become faster than the human mind. Now we have to run despite the initial intention to build time-saving robots so we could enjoy more of our lives. It is time to slow down. It is time for slow living.

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    The concept of slow living is a lifestyle approach that suggests slowing down everyday life for a longer and better-quality life. Slow living makes us more healthy, there is less stress, a better quality of relationships and increased well-being. The good news is we can control this 100%. Here are 6 simple tips for slowing down everyday life.

    1. Don’t do things you don’t want to and cannot do.

    We all have habits that are just that—habits. But we really don’t have to do those things. Examples are getting a manicure, going to the solarium, ironing, shopping, watching TV, browsing the internet, smoking, and so forth. We can save time and money by cutting these out, and many of these habits are also bad for our health. Ask yourself some simple questions: Do I really have to do this? How can I skip this task/step/activity if I don’t like it?

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    2. Do one thing at a time.

    Multi-tasking makes us nervous, and the day rushes by when we do it. If we drive then we should just drive: no phone calls, no learning another language, no planning and thinking. Instead, you can enjoy driving: listening to the motor and your heart beat, looking out the window and living in the moment.

    3. Choose less noise.

    We are too used to noise—the TV and radio are on, but nobody listens to or watches them. Phones beep, iPads dong and mail notifications ring. Why not just turn them off?

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    4. Go offline.

    We are connected all the time. We are available 24/7. And we are distracted 24/7! Who said we should answer all phone calls, messages and emails at once? Why can’t they wait until the appropriate time? Turn on the internet and your phone for a certain amount of time a day, connect with others and then simply switch off. We won’t lose business if we don’t answer at once, but we might lose out for sure if we interrupt our work flow on one task to answer somebody else.

    5. Choose lighter and slower ring tones and music around you.

    Have you ever noticed how stressful your ringing phone is? Try to use a different ring tone and life will be more pleasant. Relaxing music and classical music always help between stressful meetings and during short drives from one busy spot to another. We breathe in the rhythm of the music. If we breathe slower, our heart beats slower and peace settles over our body.

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    6. Enjoy details.

    Use waiting time, not for stressful thinking, but for simple observations and enjoying details. Have you noticed how beautifully the car wash water dances down the windscreen? And how reflections change in the mirror during a traffic jam? When was the last time you smelled the roses? Or the last time you just looked into the eyes of your child? Have quality time with the people you love. It is much better to have 10 minutes of full attention with your kids than the whole day running around with them from one spot and activity to the other. When was the last time you were all dining at the table together without screens and distractions?

    “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

    Abraham Lincoln

    Drive slowly. Eat slowly. Listen carefully. Enjoy the moment. Taste and touch, and live life consciously.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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