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4 Simple Ways to Slow Down So You Don’t Rush Through Life

Woman Drinking Coffee

“If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.” ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Throughout my life, a deep voice within has constantly asked me to slow down.

Don’t get me wrong; I thrive when I have deadlines, when I have to push myself to get somewhere. I love being quick in what I do.

However, over the last ten years of living like a workaholic and then having to find a semblance of quiet after the birth of two adorable babies, I have begun to realize that being quick in what we do is in itself not worrisome; feeling rushed is.

I began experimenting with slowing down after several episodes of sickness that resulted from the stress I accumulated in my rushed life.

The struggle between being in ten places at once and being in just one place at one time was immense.

Even today, I still feel the urge to check my mobile and send out a quick email as I walk my little ones to the park. Yet I cannot stand to miss the little tumble walk of my toddler and my big talking kindergartner as I walk with them.

Slowing down just a little has taught me the power of pausing and gathering perspective.

This is an invitation from my deeper self to yours to slow down, just for a few moments, to pause and breathe. Here are four simple ways to do that.

1. Morning drink.

For most of us, the morning tea or coffee has become somewhat of ritual that we rush through. Just for today, allow the morning drink to wake you gently. Sit with it as if you were participating in loving yourself.

Eventually, allow your morning beverage to help you set an intention for your day, gently and with care.

Set an intention about how you want to feel during the day, and after you finish your morning drink, intentionally rise and take good care of the cup that helped you slow down and gather perspective.

2. Write/journal.

Experiment with writing. When you take a few moments of your day to write, you allow for space to pause and reflect. You slow down the speeding thoughts of what is to be and what should have been to accept what is now.

Write about the sense of feeling rushed in your everyday life and how you struggle to balance. Write then about how you yearn to feel and how that life you yearn for can begin now.

3. Pause to observe.

In this moment, pause and look around you.

On the surface of things there might be chaos—the tooting of horns from the street, your children screaming for you, or your coworkers having an argument. Take a deep breath anyway, look around, and see how there is stillness in the objects around you.

The earth that is bearing us; the furniture, still and sturdy; the air, present and quiet. Observe the nature of stillness around you and allow your thoughts and actions to slow down just a little.

4. Embrace now.

In any given moment there are one or more things around us that we like, be it the color of the blinds or people around us that we love. And yet, we are often overwhelmed by the things that happened to us or the things that didn’t happen.

In this moment, identify three things you like. Once you identify them, allow the realization to sink in and enjoy it for a few seconds before you move on. Hence starts the experience of slowing down to embrace now.

Experimenting with slowing down is an invitation to try out living in the now, because honestly, it is a pain to live in the past and too scary to think about the future.

Now is all we’ve got. And experimenting with these practices helps us be everything we want to be in a more quiet, peaceful, and joyful way—in a more present way, with deep intention.

There is utter beauty in taking refuge in our senses, in opening up to the small miracles that we always rush through. Take a day or more to experiment with slowing down and, as difficult as it may be, you’ll find it expands the time that we often think we lack.

Woman drinking coffee image via Shutterstock

About Aarathi Selvan

Aarathi Selvan is a Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Guide and a Contemplative Artist. She writes and teaches introspective seekers to live intentional lives over at Pause for Perspective. Take her signature free mini course Calm in Every Step at pauseforperspective.com.

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  • I can really relate to this, Aarathi. I often have to actively think about slowing down and not stressing out to keep myself from rushing through everything in my day-to-day. Although I’m sorry to hear about your illnesses, it’s kind of comforting to know that other people deal with this daily too. Thanks so much for sharing! Great piece!

  • aarathi

    Thank you so much Kayla for your comment. Slowing down is an intentional practice for me too. If i dont intentional take action life easily feels rushed. So glad you enjoyed this piece.

  • Kate

    Hello Aarathi Lovely piece and so timely in this season. I love the winter because it seems to call me to slow down and reflect rather than be active all day long. But although I personally find it easy to physically be still (and even lazy sometimes!) my mind is racing and I need reminders to help me just breathe and be in the moment.
    I have been thinking a lot about how much my mind dwells in the past or races on to plan the future. It is as if I lose parts of myself as they scamper back and forwards through time. Coming back to now is such a relief – but quite hard to maintain.
    I hope you are feeling better and wish you well for this new year arriving soon!
    love Kate

  • aarathi

    Kate, I sure know the feeling. Definitely hard to maintain- staying in the moment but so beautiful. A lovely new year to you too Kate

  • That’s a lovely piece Aarathi. I’m drinking my morning coffee as I read this and it’s prompted me to really enjoy drinking it in a much more mindful way.

  • aarathi

    that’s sounds so delightful Ellen. So glad you liked the piece 🙂

  • Minimise

    ‘A pain to live in the past and too scary to think of the future’ …my new mantra! Thanks!!

  • aarathi

    haha! Glad you like it 🙂

  • Danielle Dinh

    I’m looking forward to my morning tea tomorrow.

  • g

    If we keep up in our rushing modes we end up taking away those things in life that have a deeper meaning and usually in the name of profit or progress.. eventually that may bring us to an end of total existence. Anything retail is very dangerous to the inspiration of life.. especially retail electronics.