The Importance Of Slowing Down
Our lives are chaotic. While rushing from one commitment to the next, we’re also constantly thinking about everything else that needs to get done for life to continue; “what am I going to make for dinner, when was the last time the car was serviced, what time is the kids’ soccer game on the weekend, are we going to be able to afford the mortgage repayments this month…”
Very rarely do we take time out of our day to stop, breathe, and be in the moment. Slowing down not only allows us to take a break, but it is extremely beneficial for our stress levels and overall mental health. Continued practice of mindfulness improves our ability to manage negative emotions, allows us to stop linking our happiness to other people or outcomes, or events, and long-term mindfulness practice decreases cortisol levels.
This is all very well and good, but how do we practice mindfulness? It’s unrealistic for many of us to take an our out of our day to sit and meditate, so start small. Sit and enjoy your coffee when you can, taking it in with all five senses – what does it look/smell/feel/sound/taste like? Be present in moments that you feel compelled to zone out on social media. Include five minutes of meditation (I find guided meditations the easiest to start with) before you go to bed of an evening – I promise you will sleep so well if you actually allow your brain to switch off with this.
Mindfulness is not easy. It’s actually really hard to stop and just be present when we feel like there is so much to do as we feel like we’re wasting precious time. Taking five minutes to actually stop and enjoy your life will definitely not be wasted. It will allow you to remind yourself that life is actually supposed to be lived, not rushed.
I’ve outlined some of my favourite meditation apps below for you to try out.