The art of slowing down

Personal Growth

Have you ever been in that situation where you feel as though Time is taking on a new pace, spinning faster than ever towards a deadline and the number of things you need to get done almost feels insurmountable?

Of course you do, you’re human I assume.

You booked that trip so long ago with the intention of being super organised. As it approached you were going to start a pre-holiday before the holiday just to get you in the zone and not have to waste those first four days unwinding your tightly coiled springs (nerves).

And then somehow, even though you thought you were on track Time just seemed to march off to the beat of its own Drum and Bass. Sending your knuckles white and reinstating that horrid teeth grinding habit you thought you’d fixed with orthodontic support.

When time feels like it’s racing


I’m not going to propose to be an expert on that. I imagine it to involve some kind of quantum physics and psychological illusionary that is beyond the scope of my humble blog article but I do know that it happens and it makes you feel;

Crazy, unsettled, anxious, rushy, nervous, forgetful and emotional.

And I do happen to know the best way to deal with it……

After reading the many masters on this topic, I think my husband says it best (in overalls with muddy boots and safety goggles)

‘All you need to do is slow down’.

The first time he said this I blinked a few times as if to gain full comprehension via my eyelids of this profound concept.

But yes, of course this was answer. SLOW IT DOWN.

Slow down our movement

Slow down our thoughts

Slow down our actions


Why slowing down is the answer


It’s counterintuitive but the reality is, when we are rushing and allowing ourselves to be caught up in a spin it’s not as though things get done at twice the pace. In fact often this is when we make mistakes and things need to be repeated again with more focus and precision. May as well do it right the first time round OR delegate, defer or say No if it’s too much.

We love heaping the whole buffet onto our plates and then wonder why we have a weight problem. Well the same is true of stuff, relationships, activities, work tasks, all the things we’re convinced we need in order to feel full, without void. And then we wonder why we are stressed!

To lose weight we must stop consuming more than we need.

To lose overwhelm we must stop assuming responsibility for more than we need to.

The only way to recognise this, then create space for you to decide what you can let go is by slowing down.


Practical examples of how to slow down


Slow down when you walk. This is how I know when my husband is feeling stressed, overwhelmed or tired. He does the opposite of most of us, a guru in work boots who knows instinctively to slow his pace of movement in order to reconnect with his body, mind and feelings.

Slowing your pace and focusing on your movement, the steps, where you place each foot is the ultimate in simple mindfulness practice. It brings you back into the moment and out of the craziness of the head which wants your body to move fast and unconsciously.

Slow down the basics of being human. Breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping and even going to the toilet. I know that sounds nuts but the statistics on the number of folk whom rush to the loo with their phones so they don’t miss something is out of control.

People eat so fast they virtually inhale food when stressed, don’t get me started on what that does to digestion! And many of my clients are moving at the pace of light and then wonder why they can’t switch off at night when they decide it’s time to sleep. The body needs a decent ‘heads up’ around this please. It doesn’t have an on/off switch it needs some clear messages and a nice slow wind down ritual.

Slow down your decision making. Unless you are in a speeding car that is about to crash and have to make a split second decision on left or right chances are you have more time than this in which to make a decision.

Take it, take the time but don’t fill it with worry about the decision just take the time to let it sit, ponder the options, feel into it as you are slowly walking outside, slowly breathing in some fresh air.

Slowing down your pace, giving yourself space with this decision offers you the best outcomes for making one that’s in alignment with your needs. Resist the urgency and if someone else is hassling you, politely but firmly say ‘thanks but I need a little more time with this, I will get back to you soon’.

Breathing more slowly, moving more slowly, these are the practices that encourage our minds to quit racing uncontrollably and come back to centre. So much of this is within our power, it just takes a little practice.