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