This is a guest contribution to One Mind Dharma from a friend of ours, and we are grateful to have her sharing her thoughts, wisdom, and insight with us!
If your life is crazy busy and you find it difficult to concentrate then you’ve come to the right place. It’s time to step back and reevaluate if you’re someone who’s yearning to slow down and enjoy life more. Learn more about changes you can apply that will make your days more joyful and free.
The ironic part is that life doesn’t have to be as hectic as you’re making it. There are practical ways to ease your pace and put a smile back on your face. The external world is demanding and chaotic, but that doesn’t mean your universe has to be. Get excited about the fact that you can feel calmer and more at peace with a few simple tweaks to your lifestyle.
Meditate Daily & Live in the Moment
Meditation isn’t a practice you can pick up whenever you want and expect it to work immediately. You have to work at it like you would any other goal you set for yourself. Learn more about how to do it by downloading an app on your phone or taking a class online or in your neighborhood. Meditating allows you to attend to racing thoughts and free up more space in your brain for positivity, peace and compassion. It also allows you to live in the moment and not be shaken when the outside world throws a curveball at you. You’ll enjoy life more when your mind is calm and you can think clearly.
It used to be that multitasking was viewed as a skill one should have if they want to be successful. Now we know this isn’t true and it can actually hurt productivity. What you should do if you want to slow down and start enjoying life is focus your attention on one task at a time. The key to attending to all your responsibilities is prioritizing, not multitasking. This way you can give your attention to what obligations are most important and not stress yourself out trying to get it all done in one sitting. Give this a try at work and in your home and it’s likely you’ll be thrilled with the results that come from allowing your brain to attend to one item at a time.
Actively Manage your Schedule
A busy schedule is a recipe for disaster if you’re someone looking to slow your pace. You’ll enjoy life more when you’re doing activities you love and still allowing time for you to rest and unwind. This isn’t going to happen all on its own, but requires you to actively manage your schedule and start saying no to events and activities that are only taking up time you don’t have available in your day. Keep a calendar and proactively write down what you’ve committed to and have upcoming so you can quickly notice if you’re overdoing it and need to cut back.
Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
You’d be shocked at what a difference practicing deep breathing exercises will make throughout your day. This is because when stress hits you your body it automatically begins to react all on its own and your palms start sweating or your head begins pounding. What you need is to immediately start taking deep breaths and signaling to your brain you’re okay, which will allow your bodily reactions to retreat. What’s great about deep breathing is that you can do it anywhere, any time and no one even has to know. Use it before a big speech you’re about to give or when your home life feels like it’s spinning out of control.
The only way you’re going to truly slow down is when you start putting yourself first. Practice your self-care rituals regularly and stop making excuses for why you can’t workout or go to bed at a decent hour. Taking care of yourself could include activities like watching your favorite movie, drinking tea you love or taking a hot bath before bed instead of playing on your phone. Notice how much time you’re dedicating to work outside of office hours and your electronics on a daily basis. Become aware of how much time this is taking away from you caring for yourself. Instead of giving attention to tasks that can wait for another day, play and be silly with your kids or pet, read a good book or cook healthy meals for yourself.
There’s no better time than now to change your ways and experience more joy in your life. These are just a few ways to help you slow down and start to see there’s more to life than marking off a checkbox saying you completed a task. Branch out and try a new hobby, eat at a restaurant you adore or connect with an old friend over coffee to help you start enjoying life again. Smile, be happy and know that your worries will come, but that they will also pass.
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