Do you find that life is getting busier and you just want to slow everything down?
We focus so much on productivity that if we try to slow things down, we have a hard time being still. We feel guilty about slowing down.
Sometimes, we even feel competitive when it comes to who’s busier. Your neighbor might complain that they’re so busy taking the kids to school, soccer, and run a business.
You chime in with your list of to-dos. Then you complain some more.
The fact is being busy makes us more miserable. In the United States, we’ve become less happy according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.
How can you slow down and enjoy life?
Read on for these tips to slow life down and be incredibly happy about it.
Why Our Perception of Time Changes
As you get older, you may feel that time is slipping, slipping, slipping into the future.
Do you remember when a 20-minute car ride seemed to take forever? Now you spend 20 minutes in the car, and it feels like five minutes.
There are a number of studies that have looked into this question. They found that age plays a part, but so does the pressure to get everything done in the day.
Another theory called the ratio theory posits that we experience time relative to the amount of time we’ve been alive. So, for a 10-year-old, one year is ten percent of their life. For a 30-year-old, that’s a little over three percent. The more we’ve lived, the faster we perceive time.
Practice Joy and Gratitude Daily
If you want to slow life down, start with the simple act of practicing joy and gratitude every day.
You might be wondering how to do that when your life seems crappy. Here’s a secret, your crappy life is a matter of perception, too.
Even in the worst possible situations, there are lessons to be learned and gifts that are in those lessons. When you learn to find the gifts and learnings, you’ll start to change your perception around life.
That’s the start of a more joyous life.
It does take practice and awareness on your part. There will be moments that may make you unhappy or hurt or angry. Take those opportunities to bring yourself back to a positive state of mind.
You can start by being grateful for the situation and what you’ve learned from it.
When you practice gratitude, start by writing five things you are grateful for that day. It can be as simple as a beautiful sunrise or going to the park.
You can do this at any time, but it’s best to do early in the day or before you go to bed.
Take Yourself Out On a Date
When you’re learning to adult, it doesn’t mean be as busy as possible with endless to-do lists, goals, and resolutions.
You need to step out and get away from it all, even if it’s just for an afternoon. This is a great way to get outside of the to-dos dancing in your head.
A date doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Here are a few date ideas to ponder:
- Do arts and crafts at home
- Go to the movies
- Check out a museum
- Do one thing that you’ve been wanting to do
- Stay at home and watch old movies
By creating this time for yourself, you’re also sending the message to yourself and to others that it’s OK to step away and slow down.
It’s OK to Say No
Do you have a hard time saying no? If so, that’s probably what contributed to your busy life.
You can create more time for yourself and slow life down just by saying no, whether it’s at home or work.
You have to keep in mind what’s important to you and what your priorities are. Remember, your priorities in life aren’t other people’s priorities. They’re focused on their priorities, not yours.
Also remember that when you do say no, you can’t control someone else’s response or reaction. The thing is that you have to stay strong and remember why you’re saying no.
This is a challenging one because we love to be in control of everything.
Practicing trust doesn’t require that you believe in God or a higher power. You already have all the proof that you need that things are working out just as they’re supposed to.
Write down that proof and look at it every day. That practice will help you realize that you have help in accomplishing what you want in life.
Your Presence is a Present
How often are you somewhere with friends and your mind is racing because you have to get home to finish a project?
To be in the moment, you have to recognize that you can’t do anything about the past and you have no idea what’s going to happen in the future.
All you have is right now.
When you notice your mind wandering, try to bring it back to what’s happening in the moment.
The people you spend time with will appreciate it more than you know.
When you think of slowing life down, the first thing you think of is probably meditation. This is last on the list for a reason.
Meditation has been proven to slow time down. In a study by researchers at the University of Kent found that meditation has the power to make time feel longer than it did before.
It doesn’t take much, just 10 minutes a day. If you’re brand new to meditation, you should start off with guided meditations.
A Slow Life Can Mean a Happy Life
It is possible to slow down and be productive. Like anything else in life, it’s not going to happen overnight. You have to decide to slow down, and practice putting these tips into action.
There will be times when you stumble and have too many things going on in your life. That’s when you refer back to this article and just do one thing to slow life down again.
That one thing will help you get back on track.
Do you want to optimize your life? Check out our content that will help you in your life, whether you want to slow life down, achieve goals or just be happier and more fulfilled. Read our blog on self-improvement today.