MAY 24, 2021
Are you the type of person who is driven and works 60-80 hours per week, and you don’t allow yourself time to rest? Do you go from thing to the next thing, and don’t allow yourself to slow down in between? Do you live a life in constant stress? I think a lot of people live this way. I am one of those people.
How many of you give yourself permission to slow down? Why do you feel you need to go, go, go or do, do, do?
When you are able to slow down, you are decreasing mental stress. Your mind isn’t always racing. I am a believer that in order to allow more to enter your consciousness, you need to let go of things. It’s a practice that requires sitting still so you can hear what is going on.
Slowing down is about thriving instead of feeling burnt out. Check in with yourself daily, and if you are not used to doing this, start with five minutes per day. Just check in with you.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
How does my body feel? Is it always tired? Am I always tired? Do I feel exhausted? Is my mind cloudy?
It’s so important to honor your mind, body and spirit. If you always do, do, do, you are not able to slow down enough to honor your mind, body, and spirit.
I have lived for 64 years on this amazing planet and I’m here in Elko, Nevada reflecting on my life. I slowed down, somewhat lazy which I don’t allow myself to be very often. What I noticed is that I was moving slow, taking my time doing each task and most important I was feeling calmer. My body felt calmer.
What came up for me is that slowing down isn’t my nature but I am looking at the benefits that slowing down your mind, body and spirit provide.
I spent most of my life living in fight or flight mode or being a workaholic, and it finally took toll on me. Towards the end of 2019, I had mental burn out and was exhausted. I hit the wall.
My blood pressure was higher. My blood sugars were higher. My emotional health was affected too. These were signs to pay attention to what was going on with me and make some serious changes. I was forced to slow down.
I stopped working 50-hour weeks. I am allowing myself to work only 20 hours a week and still be productive. What I noticed is that my body feels calmer. I feel calmer. I am not anxiety ridden. I have clarity.
If you are someone who lives with chronic stress, please know that this way of living will eventually take a toll on your body. Chronic stress for prolonged times can contribute to long term problems with your heart and blood vessels because the consistent increase in heart rate, and elevated levels of stress hormones and can make your blood pressure go higher. It can weaken your immune system and cause fatigue, depression, and even anxiety.
You may ask yourself, how do I slow down? What are the action steps I need to take?
Take small steps in slowing down. Notice how your body feels. Notice where you mind is.
Here is an exercise that I highly recommend you do especially if you are not used to slowing down. Give yourself permission to take some down time. It’s important and you are worth it.
I invite you to start with taking 15 minutes per day and sit down, or lay down, wherever you feel comfortable. Slowly take in 5 deep breaths through your nose, count to 4, and then slowly breathe out from you mouth for a count of 4. Make sure when you are breathing in from your belly and not chest breathing. It makes a difference. I invite you to do this for 5 rounds at first and then increase this breathing exercise when you are ready to.
As you are breathing, I invite you to check in with your body, from your head to your toes. Is there any place where you are tense or feel pain? Breathe into that area. You may have to do this a few times. How does your body feel? Has your mind slowed down a bit? The end result is to feel calmer in your mind and body.
Once you are able to do 5-10 rounds of just breathing on a daily basis, take this mindfulness practice a step further.
This should slow things down, especially your mind. This practice helps slow everything down internally. You will feel calmer.
I invite you to meditate, listen to a guided meditation, calming music or just sit still for 15 minutes. If you want to focus on breath, just breathe.
This could be a practice that you do start out at once a week. Once you are comfortable with this, and then do it twice a week. You can do it daily. I hope by doing this practice, it’s something that you look forward to doing and not just it’s a another thing to do. This is all about slowing down. This practice will give you clarity? You can check in with emotions. When you slow down, you can feel the emotions you are experiencing and able to describe them. When you check in with your emotions, you can channel your emotions into actions that serve you.
When you are able to slow down, you are decreasing mental stress. Your mind isn’t always racing and it’s free to absorb information. I am a believer that in order to allow more to enter your consciousness, you need to let go of things. It’s a practice that requires sitting still so you can hear what is going on.
In my experience, it’s been an ongoing process and at this point, I am in training. So far I really love slowing down. I hope you do too!