We live in a world of instant gratification. We want everything yesterday and now.
Along with that comes the tendency to rush through everything. “I don’t have time for that.” “Hurry up, I don’t have all day.” “Time is money.” “Can we get this done any quicker.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m all for efficiency. There’s no point in wasting time on things that you know deep down will get you nowhere but what about slowing down in general?
It’s Thursday afternoon and we’re counting down to Friday night. When Friday night gets here, we giggle that we can’t even remember what we ate for breakfast that morning. We wonder, “Where did the time go?”
We live in a blur, with moments passing us by – every which way – so that we make it through the day and onto the next. The sun rises and sets without us even embracing the fact that another precious day has passed.
People on their death beds often look back and reflect on life and comment that they wish they spent more time doing the things they loved, spent more time with the people who mean the most to them. Do we really need to be on the brink of death to realize that life is fleeting? That a life lived doing the stuff we don’t want to do is just as bad as living for someone else? That the people who mean the most to us fill us up and we need each other to keep moving in the right direction?
When we slow down, we’re more present to the moment. When we’re in the space we’re in – we’re living and not just going through the motions.
When we’re rushing to get through, we’re often also stuck in our heads. It goes something like this: “Oh shit. I have so much to do today. How am I going to get all of this done? This is impossible. There’s no way this is going to happen.” So we cut corners, often the corners of the things that will help us cope with a piling to-do list. Like that breakfast we skipped this morning to make it out the door in time? That led to our sugar crash around 10am and made us pretty useless in the meeting we were rushing to get to. Oops. That backfired, huh?
We get stuck in our heads and pile anxious thought atop anxious thought. We see the world through the eyes of anxiety, pressure and time constraints. And guess what we get in return? Anxiety. Pressure. Time constraints. Like attracts like. It’s basic science.
So what can we do instead? It’s quite simple actually.
Just breeeeathe sloooowly. Try it now. Take a deep breath in. And exhale slowly. Be conscious of the fact that you’re a living being, breathing and alive.
Feel the air fill your lungs and slowly release it. And as you release the air, feel the tension subside in your body.
When those thoughts of your to-do list try to creep in as you concentrate on your breath, instead focus on your belly rise and fall with every breath. Try this whenever you feel the stress begin to creep in because you have too much to do. Try this when you feel like there’s not enough time in the day. Try this in bed before you start your day.
The more often you take the time to just breathe, the more you’ll feel settled, grounded and relaxed. And just slow down. The world won’t fall apart if you take a little time to just chill.
Much love XXX