Life these days is busy. With so much going on it sometimes can feel as though we’re constantly running from one activity to the next just trying to keep up. Well here’s a crazy thought: what if by slowing down and doing less you could actually feel more fulfilled and make the most out of life? Not convinced? Well, it has been scientifically proven on a number of occasions that slowing down the pace of your life can indeed make you more productive and provide greater meaning. Taking things easy may not seem like the optimal way to achieve more or be healthier, but once you discover the benefits you’ll want to leave your hectic lifestyle behind and enjoy life in the slow lane.
1. YOU ENJOY FOOD MORE
Taking the time to cook a balanced meal for yourself is not only healthy it also gives you the opportunity to be mindful of what ingredients you are using. If you are not in a rush you’ll have the time to smell what you are about to eat and then once it’s in your mouth you can make a point of really appreciating the textures and identifying the different flavors. On top of all this, taking the time to properly chew your food before you swallow has a host of health benefits including improved digestion.
2. YOU NOTICE WHAT’S GOING ON AROUND YOU
When we slow down and take time to be aligned with the present moment, we can actually enjoy what is happening around us for what it truly is. Taking things easy helps you appreciate the more simple things in life because you can be fully there when they happen instead of planning for the future. Try truly enjoying a meal, a conversation with a friend or a walk by the ocean without worrying about what you are going to do next – it will heighten the experience, that’s a promise!
3. YOU MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
When you have more time, you’ll find that you respond to situations in a calm, grounded and guided way and it will give you the chance to consider all your choices before making any rash decisions. Also, by slowing down you will be forced to prioritize and therefore decide what is truly important and make more informed decisions.
4. IT REDUCES STRESS
Being busy can make you physically and emotionally exhausted, which causes high levels of anxiety and stress, so slowing down can help calm the body and release lots of that tension. Just taking the time to breathe or go for a short walk can help you gain perspective and they are great resources for reducing stress. Scientifically speaking, engaging in relaxing and enjoyable activities provides for an increase in oxytocin and serotonin levels in the brain, leaving you feeling more relaxed.
5. YOU’LL GET MORE CREATIVE
Ironically, when you put less time into being creative, your mind will naturally start to relax and that’s when the great ideas come. Pretty awesome, hey? If you are constantly bombarding your mind with new information then there won’t be much room for creativity, whereas if you go for a long walk or a relaxing swim you’ll free up space in your mind to get those creative juices flowing.