Haven’t we all become those souls who wake up more tired than what we had gone to bed with? We’ve gotten used to taking up more than we can handle in order to be the “over-achiever. We keep pushing ourselves to the limits until we see shutdown…yes! that nausea and headaches are subtle hints. Slow living is an answer to modern life.
It’s like we are trying to outrun time or the course of life by living it in fast forward mode…we seriously need to question our lifestyle and what are we truly achieving by living life as a race against time? In order to do so, we need to look to the other side, and understand the science of slow living (and no, it isn’t doing things in slo-mo).
Slow living is a concept which emphasizes on disconnecting from the buzzing schedule and creating time pockets where you do things at their own pace and are present while things take shape without rushing. It focuses on de-glamourizing the stereotype of “I am passionate” and that’s why “I am busy”.
We could bring in small changes in the way we work so that we feel more alive each moment, which in turn, is achieved by taking out time for things that matter, and are part of a bigger picture; our wellbeing or mental stability.
Some ways to inculcate slow living are:
- Planning ahead to avoid stressful reactions later. This means that we make a list of things that are important to keep the work-life balance and filter out things that are trivial and often can be exhausting. For example, making plans after plans to make the weekend awesome can be tiring, whereas making fewer plans, taking some time out for yourself, indulging in self-pampering or even cooking a nice meal and enjoying it without any distractions can be enriching.
- Focusing on People and relations. Try to re-evaluate your relations and make time for people who help you be a better being and bring out a positive outlook. This helps us to avoid those insignificant and over exhausting connections that take more from you than what they provide.
- The art of letting go. Let’s be honest, we can’t be everywhere and can’t possibly do everything. When we let go of things which don’t contribute much or make you compromise on things that matter…it’s time to let them go. The FOMO (fear of missing out) is not so cool as it sounds but seems like an added baggage of keeping people or things happier at the cost of us burning out. You can start really small, for example, when you eat – just focus on eating, and not on scrolling your insta feed.
- Disconnect to connect. We are glued to notifications, updates, follow-ups and feeds all throughout the day without thinking – “is it needed?”. The concept of slow-living illustrates the “need” to disconnect and connect with activities or people who help you stay off the grid and yet grow and improve.
- Quality over Quantity. This has always been a subtle debate in our heads…do we engage in “more the merrier” or indulge in fewer experiences that make us feel merrier. It’s critical to make a conscious decision of “not doing everything”, saying “no” to irrelevant engagement and maximizing the “in-the moment” factor while we do fewer things.
Lastly, try to make yourself the priority in your life by doing things that matter to you. Learn or engage with people who upgrade your well-being with a subtle pinch of occasional “No’s”. Learn to enjoy the ride…pause to make memories and not worry about what, when and how you arrive to the destination. Ultimately it’s not a race to outrun life but a journey to harbour pleasant experiences.
Check out: 3-minute mindful breathing practice
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