Slowing Down, Finding Joy

Looking for a tip for mental wellness and healthy relationships?  Try this one! Slowing Down – “There’s Plenty of Time” Living in a state of stress and fear causes us to rush around, hurry up, get as much done as we can in as little time as possible, until we hit a state of overwhelm and shut down completely. The problem:
  1. This rushing around perpetuates the fear and stress response in our nervous system, confirming to our system “we must really be in danger, so I’ll stay on high alert.”
  2. We actually miss out on everything we are doing, the purpose, the joy, the connection, the beauty.
  An interesting experiment: Slowing Down!  Try this for a week and see what happens.  You might be surprised.
  1. Do everything just a little bit slower and with a little less intensity.  Be gentle with yourself and others.
  2. Loosen your grip on the steering wheel and drive a little slower, or maybe even take the scenic route.
  3. Walk a little slower through the store, make eye contact and say hello to a few people.
  4. Stop yourself from saying “hurry up.”  Instead say, “there’s plenty of time,” even if you’re just saying it in your mind so the kids don’t plop back down on the couch.
  5. Eat more slowly and mindfully.  Take 3 deep breaths before you eat, enjoy the food, welcome its nourishment.
  6. Slow down your hellos, goodbyes, and goodnights.  Hug a little longer, listen a little closer, let the love in deeper.
The purpose:
  1. You get more love, joy, connection out of each moment and activity you’re doing.
  2. Helping your nervous system know it’s ok to calm down and function at its best, instead of in survival mode.
  3. You typically will get more done more effectively, and it will go more smoothly.
  4. You’ll remember what you did and what you need to do, which will also make you more efficient.
  5. Slowing time.  We know we have limited time and we all want to savor it.  Let’s slow down so we don’t miss it.
  Cindy Grajkowski, MS Ed. Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Owner/Clinical Director of Couples & Family Therapy Center, LLC