How Slowing Down Can Help You Do More
It might seem like a silly concept—slowing down to do more. But there is a lot of truth to it.
We are all SO BUSY!
We are constantly preoccupied with what’s coming next, planning for the next event, the next big life goal, always rushing to the next thing. We are moving so fast that we are exhausting ourselves, feeling overwhelmed with all we have to get done, facing the dreaded burnout. For some of us we are addicted to being busy or wear busyness as a badge of honor. "I'm busy therefore I'm important and valuable, therefore I'm worthy."
We are so busy worrying about what we should be doing, that we are missing the moments we are part of currently. Slowing down can be challenging but with a little practice, we can shift our focus and enjoy more of all the wonderful things we already have.
You might be asking, how am I supposed to slow down?
Start by asking yourself the question — does it really matter? So what if you miss a phone call, are late to answering an email, or forget to move the laundry the night before? Is it really that horrible? How bad would it be if you had to put it off until tomorrow? In most cases, the answer would be: not too bad at all. So, instead of rushing to get dishes done and laundry started after dinner, stop and play a game with your children. That is the stuff that is really important.
Try being more mindful—the practice of turning off our brains so we can be present. The more present we are, the more of those special moments we can soak up. Mindfulness helps us to be more grateful for what we have because we are taking the moment to truly appreciate things as they happen.
You don’t have to over-commit yourself. You don’t have to be in a constant state of living up to who you think you should be. Decide what is really important and focus on that, let the rest go. It is hard but over time you will find that you are more productive if you spend less time trying to multitask and more time on what matters most to you.
Take a moment to disconnect throughout the day. Put your phone in a drawer for an hour a day. Make a rule to have no phones at the dinner table or no technology from the hours of 7 pm to 9pm every day. Whatever works for you and your family.
Every once in a while, stop what you are doing and look around. Use your senses. Take in what is around you—the smell, the colors, the sound. Make eye contact with people, have conversations. Turn the TV off and engage your family, talk to your spouse, cook a meal with no distractions. Eat slow. Enjoy the taste, the smell, be thankful you have this delicious food to eat when others do not.
Remind yourself to breathe and breathe deeply. Breathing can do wonders at bringing yourself back to earth. If you find yourself getting distracted, leave the room, go to the bathroom, focus on your breathing. It’s simple — count 1,2,3 breathe in and 1,2,3 breathe out.
Take a look in the mirror - be honest with yourself, what might you be hiding behind your "busyness"? Examine your relationship with busyness. Unpack if you are part of the culture in which you use one of the most universal numbing strategy of being crazy-busy in order to avoid the stillness that has you reflecting upon your life. Brene Brown invites you to ask the following questions: Are my choices comforting and nourishing my spirit, or are they temporary reprieves from vulnerability and difficult emotions ultimately diminishing my spirit? Are my choices leading my Wholeheartedness or do they leave me feeling empty and searching?
Slowing down and taking a different pace in your day to day may be more doable then you think. It's definitely a habit that has to be cultivated and prioritized over time. In that it's not an overnight process. It will take you trusting in the process that slowing down is in fact good for you for numerous reasons.
It makes you more likable.
It helps you focus on what really matters.
You can connect with the present moment and enjoy the blessings that surround you.
Breaking the habit of busyness can be difficult. Our mind may go a thousand different directions fearing that something bad will happen if things don't get done. Step back. Take an honest assessment. Let go. Choose intentionally. Embrace slowing down.
If you find that you are constantly struggling with mindfulness and could use some help in
directing your thoughts, contact a licensed mental health professional.
The therapists at Traveling Light Counseling specialize in helping clients achieve personal happiness.
We welcome the chance to discuss an individualized plan to meet your needs. Contact us at
772-834-8596 to learn more.