Instead of go, go, go, could you try slow, slow, slow? Life will always be busy, but finding a few ways to slow down can bring you better health and happiness.
Many of us feel trapped in this vortex of do, do, do, go, go go, create, succeed, move faster, do more, be more, get more. It's exhausting!
This state of hyper-stress has contributed immensely to the staggering growth of serious health issues we face today. Many turn to medications for stress and anxiety and mindlessly consume large amounts of caffeine, sugar and refined junk just to get through another day.
Mindfully taking the opposite approach, slowing down when we can, becoming unhurried can benefit and enhance our lives physically, spiritually and mentally. And we just might accomplish more.
1. Set the table and chew your food.
Have you ever sat down to a meal with someone and watched them devour their food before you’ve even taken a bite? Or maybe you’ve spent hours cooking a delicious healthy meal and the plate is licked clean within five minutes?
Digestion begins in the mouth and our teeth are there for a reason, to break down food. Our saliva secretes enzymes that signal the digestion process. There are many benefits of chewing your food slowly and deliberately such as: improved digestion, reduced bloating and gas, stronger teeth and gums, weight management, increased digestive enzymes, and a relaxed, calmer and clearer mind.
Take small bites and chew your food until it becomes dissolved. It takes a little practice but will soon become second nature.
2. Get everyone involved in preparing the meal and set the table for a proper dinner.
Mealtime is a sacred experience, a time to reflect, share and show gratitude. Studies show that families who make time to eat together have better communication, a sense of belonging, and are generally healthier and happier.
3. Take a stroll in nature.
Breathing in fresh air filled with light and energy can help ease and even heal many ailments like depression, diabetes, addiction and arthritis. It’s a great way to exercise and meditate if you’re alone, and a nice way to share some focused, uninterrupted conversation if walking with someone. Being outdoors always lifts my spirits, centers me, and fills me with a sense peace and wellbeing. The beauty of nature fills my soul with love and keeps me humble, reminding me I am merely an infinitesimal speck in the universe. Why hurry our precious time here?
4. Have slow down sex.
Even sex can end up on the fast track for many couples. Who has time to fool around? While there’s nothing wrong with a quickie now and then, slowing down your sex life will strengthen your relationship and deepen intimacy, increase oxytocin levels, which make you feel good, boost your immune system, ease aches and pains, promote better sleep and even improve self-esteem. Take some time to cuddle, kiss and play. Good things come to those who wait (or at least slow down).
5. Slow your spending.
Do I really need that? Can I afford it? Will I really use it? Is it the momentary rush, the release of dopamine that I’m after? Slow spending is being mindful of that impulse to slap down your credit card every time you see something you think you want or need. With the holidays quickly approaching, now is a perfect opportunity to practice slow, mindful spending.
Before that next impulse purchase, take a walk out of the store or step away from your computer and ask yourself the above questions. If the answer is no to any of them, don’t buy it. Sometimes the less you spend, the happier you are.
Photo Credit: Sharon Schuur