Slowing down shouldn’t be a chore, it should be simple, easy, fun and rewarding. If it is a hassle, you are doing it wrong.
If it is a hassle, you won’t stick to it.
So here are a few simple ways that you can slow down in a day. You don’t need to do all of them at once (if you do, there is a good chance you will be overwhelmed and that is not the result we are after here).
When you very first wake up, take a few moments to become aware of your breathing, and aware of your body, run a check to see any areas of tension and consciously relax them.
Then spend a few moment thinking of things you are grateful for, that you already have in your life.
Then think of what you want to achieve today and how you would like the day to go and how you would like to be.
(I would like to state, for the record, that I am certainly not a morning person and although I tend to wake early, I am usually grumpy and disorientated for some time, by doing the above 3 processes I find I get out of that fug much more quickly).
When washing and showering, be mindful of the water, of the sensations, the smells, etc, of the process you are doing.
When eating breakfast (and all meals today), sit down, don’t gobble it down whilst trying to pack you bag for work/school/college/etc. Take smaller bites, chew much more than you think you should and be mindful of the tastes, textures and sensations (as well as emotions and thoughts – but don’t get hung up on them) you have.
When commuting to work, run a commentary in your head of what you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste. Be polite to fellow commuters, let a car out of a side road, offer your seat to someone, hold the door open.
Be polite and well mannered, say “please” and “thank you”, take the time to connect with people and show a genuine interest in them.
If you can, go for a stroll, not to get somewhere, just for the sake of it. Look around and run the commentary in your head. See what you notice and how it makes you feel.
Do this 10 second relaxer whenever you find your mind has wandered or that you are getting flustered or frustrated:
- Step back (either physically or mentally) from what you are doing.
- Be in your body and focus on your centre (roughly your belly button).
- Check your posture, stand or sit up straight.
- Take a deep breath in (imagine your are breathing in through your belly button).
- Breathe out and focus on relaxing on any tension in your muscles.
- Mentally state the outcome that you want.
- Repeat as necessary.
- Carry on.
As a final note, some days are just rubbish and no matter what you do things seem to go against you. If that is the case, don’t fight it, just let go, walk away (either physically or metaphorically) and start again tomorrow.