I’ve learned that one of the keys to happiness, contentment, satisfaction, improved health, and peace in your life — is to slow down.
How you ask? Is slowing down even possible in modern society? Well, here is a simple cheat sheet:
Slow down when you eat: Actually taste and enjoy the food. Stop shoveling it in.
Slow down when you prepare food: This is how my wife meditates. Preparing a meal should be a slow, creative, artistic endeavor.
Slow down on accomplishing tasks: Do one thing at a time. Focus on it. Do it well. This actually enables you to even enjoy mundane tasks like washing dishes.
Eliminate multi-tasking completely from your life. If you do nothing else on this list…
Slow down when you shower or bathe: Enjoy the warm water. Smell and savor the scents of the shampoo and body wash. Let the water run over your face.
Slow down when you wash dishes: Enjoy the warm water over your hands, strive for the squeak of a clean bowl.
Slow down when in conversation: Don’t rush to get something said, just because you can.
Slow down when in conversation: Actually listen to what is being said. And give a damn about what is being said.
Slow down when consuming media: Read the words, listen to the music, get lost in the imagery. If you are reading an honest-to-goodness real paper book, stop every now and then and smell the pages.
Slow down when driving: Driving recklessly and thoughtlessly won’t save you much time. Enjoy the silence and solitude when inside the vehicle.
Slow down when walking: Don’t walk with head down, buried in your phone. Look around you. Breath the air. Observe what’s around you. You’ll see (new) things.
Slow down when shaving: If done mindfully, it can be a very soothing process.
Slow down when writing: Be intentional. You’ll remember what you write. And be able to actually decipher it later. Don’t rush to publish.
Slow down when getting ready for work: If you are putting on make-up in the car, you are doing it wrong.
Make time to meditate: If you can’t carve out at least ten minutes, you need to rethink things. Once you see the beauty of meditating, you’ll find more time.
Slow down when thinking: Why are you in a rush? Take your time. Enjoy the creative process. Get lost in your thoughts.
Slow down when folding laundry: Why are you trying to complete this task in four seconds? Take care of your wardrobe investment. It’s how you look.
Slow down when texting. Those typos are no longer cute and endearing.
Slow down when you drink coffee: Relish the racket the baristas are making. Listen to your coffee maker percolating. Take in the scent of roasted coffee when it’s brewing. You might as well enjoy this important ritual each and every day.
Slow down when you are walking in the city: Really notice the little details of the architecture as you walk by.
Slow down when shopping: Why are you rushing this? Why are you not taking the time to carefully review and purchase the healthiest and/or the best products?
Ok, so you get the idea. At the end of the day, just slow down. There is no need to always be in a hurry. Learn to embrace a more relaxing pace. Remember the tortoise! And if the day flops, remember the sun will come up again tomorrow.
Key to success: Ignore the mob. Ignore the social media chatter about the hustle. Ignore the business pressure to multi-task and get one hundred things done in one hour.
Keep in mind the following: slowing down reduces stress. Slowing down allows you to live life in the moment. Slowing down allows you to enjoy (and actually notice) the little things. Slowing down allows you to breathe a little easier. Slowing down is better for your health.
This year, you need to slow down. It will change EVERYTHING.