How many moments pass us by, just waiting to be caught? We’re rushing so fast—always living for what’s next— that sometimes we miss what’s actually important.
You’re stressed about the traffic, so you miss the way your son smiles at you when you pick him up from school, preoccupied with just getting him in the car.
You answer an email when you are taking a walk and miss the way the light reflects off the yellow autumn leaves.
You gulp down your coffee to leave on time for work without taking a moment to actually taste it. You inhale it instead of sitting quietly with it, feeling the mug warm your hands and smell permeate your senses.
Moments slip us by, and we don’t even realize it. But, don’t you want to? Don’t you want to catch those moments and hold them tight?
The things that we so often deem important are actually some of the least important parts to living: attending that PTA meeting you don’t want to, responding to emails at midnight instead of sleeping, hyper-focusing on how the milk in your latte may not be soy.
So, the question is: how do we slow it down?
Read below for the top 10 tips on slowing down! Following just one can make all the difference!
- 1 TAKE THE TIME TO PRIORITIZE DAILY OBJECTIVES. By focusing on the most important tasks to get done, we eliminate the stress of trying to accomplish everything at once.
- 2 CUT PERSONAL INTERNET USE IN HALF. Technology has become a major element in most of our lives. Social networking, email, and web surfing hinder our ability to focus by throwing hundreds of ideas at us. Reduce your Internet use by 50% and use that time to explore new hobbies, exercise, or meditate.
- 3 ENJOY NATURE. Take a 5-10 minute break to step outside and breathe fresh air. Disconnect from the rest of the world and admire the beauty of nature.
- 4 EAT SLOWER. A lot of us speed through meals, missing the chance to appreciate our food’s textures and flavors. Start to chew slower and fully experience the smell, taste, and texture of your food.
- 5 CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. We all want to spend quality time with close friends and family, but how often do we get to truly listen and connect? Put away the cell phones and steer clear of noisy environments. Connect on a deeper level.
- 6 MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF. When did you last spend valuable time with yourself? Take a night to find a new book, watch a favorite movie, try yoga, meditate, or cook a new recipe.
- 7 GIVE YOURSELF MORE TIME. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks in your planner, factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks.
- 8 TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE. Next time you’re driving somewhere, take the scenic route. Driving through open fields, mountains, or in view of a city skyline can be very relaxing.
- 9 SIT FOR A MOMENT WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED WHEN YOU START YOUR COMPUTER. Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your tasks.
- 10 REMEMBER YOUR GOALS AND ASPIRATIONS. Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Recall the milestones you’ve already reached in your life and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day.
Jordan Nicholson graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she studied innovative coaching methods, over 100 dietary theories, and practical lifestyle management techniques, including the above Top 10 Tips to Slow Down. She also is a certified yoga instructor (200 hr RYT).