We live in a world of fast cars, fast food, fast dating, and fast lives. This really isn’t healthy for us in the long run. We can’t just go through our lives on high speed and expect that everything will be great. I think that it is time to get back to slow down or else we are going to burn out from our addition.
What is the Slow Movement
The slow movement is abut taking life slower. This movement is wonderful, because it is easier to slow down if everyone around you is trying to slow down also. I recommend trying to find people that share your beliefs if you attempt this.
The movement advocates trying to slow down every part of life. This includes money, food, school, and even your city if you desire. The point isn’t merely to physically slow down, but to extend it to all areas of your life. But let me make it clear that this isn’t suggesting that you should slow down everything. There are some times that fast is good, such as jet planes, cars. I am merely suggesting that some things are more enjoyable slower such as life.
Ideas on how to slow down your life
The easiest way to start is with the physical aspect since you have full control over your body.
- Start to take a walk without distracts such as your MP3 player or cell phone.
- Take your bike or walk instead of taking the car
- Relax. I bet you are not fully relaxed even while reading this. Note your posture and if you are holding stress somewhere such as the shoulders.
- Read a book instead of watching television
- Do one thing at a time, this could improve your productivity as well as allows you to slow down
Once you become comfortable with a few physical ways to slow down then you can tackle your mind. I find this the hardest part because my mind never wants to slow down. Take meditation for example, I find it quite hard to quiet my mind. This is the most influence step though, because it can make the biggest improvement on your health. Here are a few ways to mentally slow down:
- Meditation, even if you can’t fully quiet your mind
- Do one thing at a time.
- Stare out the window. Trust me
These are just of the few things you can do. Try many different things and see what works for you. Meditation would be the best place to start.
Why slow down?
Speed kills us, quickly. Imagine that you are running a marathon at the fastest speed possible. Soon your body isn’t going to be able to handle the quick pace and you will just burn out. I guess the cliché is right, slow and steady wins the race. Life isn’t meant to be a race.
Here is an example from my life. I went to London a couple of years ago. I was only able to stay a week, so I wanted to fill the time with things to see as possible. The common tourist mistake. So, I rushed around. I saw the Tower of London, changing of the guards, Buckingham Palace, British Museum, Big Ben (Which I stumbled upon. I didn’t mean to find it, I came off the Tube and noticed it.) and may other things. I barely remember these sights. The part I remember best is sitting in a little pub near Kew Gardens ordering some food and getting to enjoy a suburb of London. I can recall the feel and the enjoyment. I didn’t get a similar experience with the tourist traps.
You don’t experience life if you are rushing through it. The best memories are often the ones that we stopped and enjoyed something. We didn’t rush through it. Life shouldn’t be a rush, because in the end you don’t want to remember life as a long marathon that you can barely remember the highlights vividly.
We should all slow down for our health. Stress has become quite a big problem. I know many people that suffer from insomnia, headaches, heart attacks, and other stress related illnesses. Speed is literally killing us. The fastest way to reduce stress would be to go slow. Meditation, Yoga, Noticing your breathing, Taking a walk, gardening and many other slow activities. Notice that driving quickly, trying to do many things at once, or eat fast food. Don’t fall into the trap of causing yourself tons of stress. Reduce it slowly.
There is no reason to quit your job, throw away all your money and move to the middle of nowhere to slow down. Do what feels comfortable. I think that you will begin to see the benefits and it will spread to all the areas of your life. Start with simply eating a meal chewing all 50 bites, reading a book, taking a walk. I find that it is hard in the beginning since a voice in my head continues to nag me that I am wasting precious time. It isn’t wasted if you are enjoying the time. Cut out the things that you don’t have to do in order to do the things that you want to. You don’t need to check your email fifty times a day, use that time meditate. Accept that you can only get so many things done without sacrificing your life.
If you want, make big changes. Take less classes, work less hours for a pay cut, get rid of the car. Find out how slowing down can effect your life.
Photo by lepiaf.geo