Do you ever have the urge to just stop all the rushing and let go of everything and lead a slow and simple life?
At some point or the other, all of us have inevitably found ourselves wanting to just leave it all and go far away from all the rush, from all the noise and just be in peace with our own self. There is too much rushing, too much achieving in this overly fast paced world.
If you find yourself in such a position then it is actually reminding you that you need to slow things down and go slow with life.
Here are 8 practices you can try for slow living to simplify, slow down and step outside the rush.
How to slow down and live simply
Table of Contents
1. Do less:
You cannot lead a slow living lifestyle and at the same time rush yourself to do more. There are many of us who feel that no matter how much was done in a day, there is something that still can be done.
I kind of belong in this category and I tend to make myself feel that I can do one thing more or that I can still add something more to my to-do list.
But these days I am deliberately reminding myself to do less.
Remind yourself of these things before you try to do too much or you think you have to do too much.
- You don’t have to do too much in order to have a productive day.
- Make your to do list small.
- Do less. Set no more than 3-5 tasks as your mission of the day. Your mission of the day is the most important task you want to get done that will make you happy and satisfied.
- Instead of trying to do 10 tasks and making yourself feel overwhelmed, let yourself feel joy of doing just 3 or at most 5 tasks as your mission for the day.
- Allow yourself to rest, be happy and satisfied with how much ever was done. Even if you could get done just one, you’ve done it. You are getting there!
2. Do one thing at a time:
You have a list of things to get done and there is so less time. You don’t know from where to start so you try to do it altogether in an attempt to get all things done.
But I would say, no matter what all you do, start seeing each thing to do as a whole new task and do only one thing at a time.
While eating eat, while walking walkThich Nhat Hhan
Watching something while eating food and we don’t even realise what we’re actually eating, reading a book and then opening up the notification that pops up and then we forget that we were actually reading. Studying something and checking our phone.
Our mind is constantly so busy moving back and forth from one thing to the next and the result is that you end up feeling more overwhelmed and more anxious but you don’t know why it is so.
The only antidote to it is to deliberately do one thing at a time. And this is another key essence for slow living and simplifying life.
If you have the urge to do the other thing or if you find yourself suddenly doing the other thing without your realization even, simply pause and return to the original thing that you were doing.
We rush ourselves too much even when there is no need. Slow down. Remain calm. Be fully in in whatever you are doing.
3. Give spaces in between your tasks:
Most of us have the habit of doing one task right after another. No sooner do you finish one task, you think of the next one still waiting to be done and then move on to it.
Our mothers especially do so.
I too have been doing so. I had been feeling little exhausted and anxious and on reflecting, I realized that I had been rushing too much in my day wanting to do all of my tasks from my long to-do list right one after the other.
You need to allow yourself some space in between your tasks.
Use this space to relax in whatever way you feel best. It can be simply resting, simply noticing your breath, doing a quick walk, or simply listening to music.
You deserve these tiny spaces of rest in between your tasks and this will help you slow down.
Just make sure you don’t fill in with things that distract your mind and make your mind rush again.
- Allow you to see a thing to do as one whole task.
- Enable you to do a thing more fully and not constantly think about what next you got to do next.
- Help you to slow down and clear your head after every task done &
- More importantly, allow you to be thankful. Use these spaces to be thankful.
I know some of you must be really busy, especially in the morning when you have to go for work. I fully know the experience. We are in a fast forward mode. But these spaces need not be too long.
When you are extremely busy, just pause for a while. Even 2 minutes or 3 minutes will be enough. You will get your task done anyway.
When you have time, you can give 10-15 minutes spaces in between your big tasks.
4. Be Present:
Stop thinking about what needs to get done next while you are still into doing a thing.
Be fully present in whatever you are doing- whether it is writing, studying, reading , talking to a friend, washing dishes or even while simply putting on nail polish.
One way to be present is to be aware of what your body is doing in that present moment. Whether you are sitting or standing or lying down. What is your leg doing? What is your hand doing? And feel what you are doing.
Remember once again, that this is a practice and obviously cannot be achieved in a day, a week or even a month, so be kind to your self. I am practising too.
5. Let in silence in your day:
When was the last time you simply sat down all by yourself doing nothing and simply observed your thoughts and dreamt about your dreams, hopes and goals you wish to achieve one day?
Your soul needs silence to grow and learn. Simply sitting in silence is refreshing.
Silence slows. Noise rushes.
Let in conscious silence in your day. Allow yourself to feel the refreshment of silence.
If you have never tried sitting in silence ever, try it once. Be consciously silent.
Don’t think of is as meditation or anything. It is nothing big. Just sit down in a posture you feel most comfortable remain silent and allow silence to fill in your mind.
Even 5 minutes of silence is great. You will find your thoughts slow down.
It is the first thing I do every morning. I sit down in silence after freshening up. I notice my breath for a while, then I give thanks for the day, pray and think about the dreams and hopes I have for my future.
This way I impress the right thoughts to my subconscious mind first thing in the morning. (something I’ve been consciously doing after reading the book ‘The Power of your subconscious mind’.
If you haven’t read the book yet, here is my review:
Also, this is how I spend my morning- My morning routine: things I do before 8 am
6. Do your everyday things slowly:
In this fast paced world, everybody is rushing.
Rushing to go to work, rushing to go home from work, rushing to get in line, rushing to come first, rushing to get a job, rushing for the next promotion, and rushing against all kinds of things.
Why are we so impatient? Let us go slowly with life and create a simpler life.
If someone comes rushing and takes your place in line, let him.
If someone pushes you and rushes to get home from work, let him.
If someone rushes past you while driving, let him.
Let them rush. You go slow.
Walk slow. Drive slow. Eat slow.
As you slow down the things that you do everyday, you will be able to bring greater simplicity into your life and actually help you lead a slow lifestyle.
7. Learn how to truly relax:
You have been in your office or in your bed all day, but still you feel tired. Why do you feel so tired even when you’ve done nothing much?
It is because all through the day, more than your body its your mind that rushes more. It is because our mind is tired, so we feel tired.
So we get home, lie down, open the tv or keep scrolling our phone checking social media and watch series after series after a long day of work. That is most common idea of relaxation.
Yes you deserve that too. But after scrolling your phone until you get to sleep, after watching series after series, do you really feel relaxed? Do you really feel any calm?
Sure your body also needs rest. Most of us don’t give due rest our bodies too. But your mind also does so much work. It works all day, 24/7 even while you sleep.
We think approximately more than 6000 thoughts in our day. Your mind lets in so many information, so many things get inside your head all day.
You need to remind yourself that your mind too needs rest. Relaxing is not just for your body but also for your mind.
Our mind is so important but we don’t give our mind any priority and wonder why our mental health is so down.
- Don’t let in any further information for a while while you relax.
- Do nothing for some while.
- There is no need to always stay on and active. Give your body some rest. Give your mind some rest.
- Disconnect. Put your net off. Leave your phone.
- Let go. Relax. Allow both your body and mind to rest. Slow down.
8. Adopt the pace of nature:
‘Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished’
– Lao Tzu
Lastly, aiming for slow living, you must adopt the pace of nature. This means that you must allow yourself to finish a thing slowly. Whether it is a habit you want to cultivate, a business you want to grow, a skill you want to learn or anything.
Allow yourself to be a beginner. Don’t try to learn it all at once. Everything of quality takes time. Don’t take the shortcut. Take the longer route.
Too often the reason why we give up is because we are too impatient. We want to see results fast. We want our business to grow fast. We want to learn fast. We want to cultivate a habit fast. We want to finish that series fast.
But in a world where everybody is too impatient be a rebel and allow yourself to finish a thing slowly.
I want to tell you that you will cultivate that habit. You will grow. You will learn. You will be perfect. You will be successful. Just slow things down and don’t attempt to do it all in one day.
Nothing grows in one day. Think of your food. Everything you ate today came from the plants and it took time to grow. It took the effort of farmers, it took the right amount of sun, right amount of rain and water and it took time to grow.
Impatience makes you aggressive. Patience makes you gentle with yourself. Patience is in and of itself a great act of self love. Keep trying. Keep learning. Slow living and slowing things down actually accelerates our growth.
So these are my simple tips for slow living on how to slow down things. These are the things I am reminding myself too.
I hope you found it helpful and I hope you find greater ease and calm in your life everyday. You deserve to slow down and live simply
Thank you. Be Happy!
- P.S How I simplified my life in 20 ways
- 3 tricks to build Self Discipline
- Sacred Morning routine ingredients for a positive day
- What happens when you embrace slow growth
- 15 things to get rid of to simplify life
- How to let go of fear and embrace the joy of not knowing
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