Do you feel like you’re constantly moving – and can’t seem to get a break?
Do you wish you knew how to slow down, relax, and enjoy life?
You aren’t alone. Many of us are juggling a million things at once. Work. Friends. Family. Bills. Hobbies. Chores. Appointments. Obligations.
And that’s just the beginning.
Being so busy can add a ton of stress to your life and become overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to slow down in this fast-paced world and really enjoy life. You can quiet your busy mind, stop stressing so much, and learn to enjoy your life.
Why is slowing down important?
You may be thinking, “Why on EARTH would I slow down?!”
Why would you want to be less productive?
Why would you want to leave your to-do list unfinished?
There are a few reasons, actually. Working yourself to death and living with lots of stress isn’t ideal. In fact, it’s harmful.
By doing less, you’ll live with less stress. And since stress has a negative impact on your heart, your brain, your mood, and just about everything else that happens in your body, lowering your stress levels will make a big difference.
How to achieve more by doing less
Now that you understand WHY it’s important to slow down and enjoy life, we can move on to the hard part – actually making it happen.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, there’s a simple solution.
Do less stuff.
By finding ways to take items off of your to-do list and make it easier for yourself to tackle those obligations, you won’t be so overwhelmed, making it much easier for you to relax and enjoy life.
“But wait -” you might be thinking. “I absolutely have to do ALL of this stuff. I have responsibilities! But I can’t just stop doing things.”
Yes, you can.
It starts by admitting a powerful truth – you can’t do everything. You have a limited amount of time each day to make progress toward your goals, spend time with loved ones, and do everything else on your to-do list.
Make an essential only to-do list
Accepting the fact that you can’t do everything isn’t easy. And learning how to slow down in our fast paced world? That isn’t easy, either.
But there are some tools you can use to learn how to slow down and really enjoy life.
One of my favorites?
My essential only to-do list.
Now, this is not your every day to-do list. This is not a laundry list of every single thing you need to do under the sun. No – this is a focused list that you should use to identify what is most important for your day.
Your essential only to-do list should be short. Try to keep it less than five items long.
Yes, that’s right – five.
By ruthlessly prioritizing the things you need to do, you’ll get your critical tasks done – without burning yourself out, stressing out over your schedule, or missing something important.
Why multitasking is bad for your brain
Now, you might be wondering why you need to keep your to-do list so focused.
It’s because that’s the goal: focus.
Many people talk about multitasking like it’s a skill worth bragging about, but multitasking poses some very real risks to our health – physical and mental.
When you multitask, you’re never able to truly focus on what you’re trying to do. It takes a surprising amount of energy to bounce between tasks, working on multiple things at once.
Instead of multitasking, focusing on single tasks is the best use of your energy, attention, and brainpower.
At the end of the day, it’s going to make a huge difference in your ability to slow down, stress less, and enjoy life more.
Embrace strategies to slow down
If you’re used to moving a million miles an hour, slowing down can be hard – if not downright impossible.
You have to train your brain to focus. Learn how to be satisfied working on one task instead of splitting your energy between several.
You have to stop worrying about things that aren’t on your essential to-do list.
You have to slow down and enjoy your life!
If you aren’t sure where to start, try to leverage some of the following strategies to help you slow down and relax:
1. Listen to yourself: when life tells you to slow down
One of the best ways to make yourself slow down?
Listen to yourself.
Your body is sending signals all the time, telling your brain what you need.
Sometimes, you need food. Sometimes, it’s a good nap. And sometimes? It’s a break from absolutely everything.
If you’re feeling stressed out and on edge, and you just can’t figure out why, your body might be telling you loud and clear: it’s time to slow down and enjoy life.
2. Count your blessings and keep things in perspective
Taking a break can be a challenge, especially if we’re afraid we’re going to fall behind. In our constant quest to get ahead, achieve more, and do more, it’s easy to feel like we’re failing – especially when we see how far ahead others may be.
But that’s the wrong way to look at things.
Instead, you should count your blessings. Celebrate how far you’ve already come. It’s easy to focus on how much further you want to go instead of reflecting on how much you’ve accomplished.
Life isn’t a sprint – it’s a marathon. So slow down, be grateful for the things you have, and try to put things into perspective when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
3. Meditate and focus on your breath
Meditation has been practiced for centuries, and it’s easy to see why. The act of sitting in silence, clearing your mind, and simply letting yourself be can be incredibly liberating and powerful.
Of course, for some, it can be a stress-inducing experience, especially at first. If you aren’t used to slowing down and sitting still, spending time simply breathing can feel like a massive waste of time.
But the benefits of meditation are many. Numerous studies have shown how powerful a meditation practice can be, especially for those who are struggling to manage stress and find a little inner peace.
If you’re not sure how to slow down and relax, embracing meditation might be a helpful tool for you.
4. Learn how to say no
If you’re in the mindset of helping others, you know how hard it can be to say “no.”
But if you’re working to understand how to slow down and relax, saying “no” is a skill you need to learn.
You need to be able to set boundaries for yourself and manage your time responsibility. That means leaving yourself plenty of time to rest, relax, and enjoy life.
Helping out is totally fine when it works with your schedule – but it shouldn’t be a source of stress.
5. Spend some time in nature
People spend more time indoors than ever before. A recent study showed they believe that on average people are spending 90 percent of their days indoors. And that was from before the pandemic.
We spend a lot of time indoors in front of screens and with manufactured lighting.
Nature teaches us how to slow down. The benefits of spending time outside are numerous.
Your physical and mental health improve when you regularly spend time outside. Even opening a window and getting fresh air has been found to be beneficial.
Nature offers us a great opportunity to slow down and more fully enjoy life.
6. Focus on time-saving shortcuts – and ask for help!
Another great way to slow down and enjoy life more?
Find ways to save time doing the little tasks throughout your day that take up time and energy.
Not sure where to start?
- Use your slow cooker to make delicious meals with plenty of leftovers – without a ton of work!
- Order groceries for pick-up or delivery and save yourself the time it took to stroll through the store.
- Stop doing all of the chores for the whole family – instead, divide and conquer!
Life is short. Slow down and enjoy life – or you’ll regret it!
Nobody ever looked back on their life and celebrated the to-do lists they completed or the long hours they spent working. In fact, one of the top five regrets of the dying is that they spent too much time working and not enough with their family.
We look back and reflect on the time we spent with our loved ones, the fun we had together, the things we learned, and the experiences we enjoyed the most.
Don’t let life pass you by! Learn how to slow down and enjoy life now – and you’ll be glad you did.
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