How To Slow Down And Appreciate Your Life

Do you ever get so busy doing that you forget how to just be? Learn how to slow down and appreciate your life so you can feel better and less stressed. #slowdown #appreciate #thismoment #destress #stressrelieftips #anxietyrelieftips #mindfulness

Do you ever get so caught up with life that you wonder, “Where did the day go?” or, “Where did the month go?” or, “Summer is over already??”  This happens because you are so busy doing that you forget how to just be.

How To Slow Down Time

Learning how to slow down can be challenging, especially for those of you who feel guilty taking a break or thrive off of always being busy.  But continuing to live your life moving from one thing to the next and never taking the time to slow down comes at a cost…

The cost is that you are missing your life.  The time you are spending planning, doing, rushing from one place to the next, scarfing down that meal, thinking about the next thing you have to do… And the next… And the next…  All of this is time you are not truly in the moment experiencing what it is like to be alive.

This is so profound, yet what is it to be alive?  Although I cannot concretely answer that question for you, through my personal and professional experience I have found that people feel the most alive when they are truly experiencing the present moment.  Those times when you are able to slow down and pay attention.

The present moment is where your life experience truly lies.

How to slow down and appreciate your life.  Only this moment is life.
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Beliefs That Stop You From Slowing Down

You may hold certain beliefs that keep you stuck in the fast lane.  These beliefs may be derived from personal experience, things you learned growing up, or societal pressures.  Take a moment to reflect on the beliefs that you have about slowing down and what they mean to you.

Here are some examples of beliefs you may have about slowing down:

  • If I slow down or take a break I am lazy.
  • Things won’t get done.
  • I need to be doing more and be more successful than the Smiths next door, and the only way I can do that is by working harder- even if it stresses me out.

The reality is that you will actually be more efficient and more productive if you take breaks and pay attention to what you are doing in the moment because that increases your focus.

When you continue to work yourself into the ground and move from one thing to the next, you are not fully engaged in the moment and you are probably living your life on auto-pilot.  This can result in two things:

  • You are not putting the best work into things because you are just thinking about moving onto the next task.
  • You are burning yourself out by never taking breaks or slowing down.

How Can You Be Fully Present To Start Slowing Down?

While you are busy rushing, somebody else is taking in the moment and time is moving much more slowly for them.  It is the same number of seconds ticking by, the same minutes and hours pass by… But it is your perception of those moments that is different.

“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.”     

Your perception is your reality, therefore if you find that you seem to be rushing through life then the answer lies in changing your perception.  Some of that may originate in identifying and changing your anxious thoughts

Additionally, you can practice mindfulness by being aware of your senses (touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell) in the present moment.  This is one of the most effective ways to truly bring you into experiencing this moment fully.

Try it now and pay attention to what is around you.  Notice how you feel.

I love this scene from the movie Across The Universe in which they discuss what defines you: is it what you do or who you are?  Take a look for yourself:

Tips To Help Your Slow Down And Appreciate Your Life

  • Minimize Distractions:  Distractions such as a smartphone or television can make it harder for you to focus on the present moment and take you down a black hole without you even realizing it.  Leave your phone in your car or put it on “do not disturb” to prevent distractions so you can be fully present and appreciate the things and people in front of you.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness meditation or practicing mindful awareness regularly can make it easier to slow down.  By observing your thoughts non-judgmentally, you can increase your awareness when you are rushing around for no particular reason.  This can help you to approach your life and certain situations with presence and focus, instead of just rushing through them to get to the next thing.
  • Give Yourself Reminders: Little reminders can be helpful so that you remember to slow down and pay attention.  Whether it is a phone wallpaper, a sign on your desk, or a decal on your mirror… visual reminders to slow down can get you out of your head and into the present.
  • Take Breaks: Taking breaks at home, work, or school can help you stop anxious thinking or stop feeling stressed.  Taking a break can help you to refocus and reflect.  Some helpful things to do on a break are taking a walk, taking deep breaths, or eating mindfully.  These are examples of breaks that bring you fully into your present moment experience, and out of the stress of overthinking and rushing.

Learning How To Slow Down Is A Practice

If you can cultivate present moment awareness, then you can learn how to slow down and appreciate life.  Appreciation comes from actually paying attention to yourself, your body, your environment, and the people around you- not rushing from one thing to the next.  So the next time you find yourself caught in a frenzy of stress, overwhelm, and frustration, ask yourself:
“How can I choose to slow down today?”

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Hi, I'm Tatiana!

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and I am passionate about helping people live more fulfilling, stress-free lives.  This blog is written with the intention of helping guide your life towards a brighter path. Topics include stress-relief tips, anxiety, mindfulness, self-improvement, mental health, self-care, and anything and everything to help you become more aware and live your best life!

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