When I transitioned my career from Manhattan to Long Island, the most remarkable difference was the pace at which people worked…and walked.
Those first few weeks I would catch myself flying down the hallways. For what? Absolutely nothing. It was a silly habit.
Same thing with the commute. I would find myself in a frenzy if I missed a red light or another driver cut me off. Even when the reality was I had plenty of time to spare.
If you can learn to slow things down, you’ll be amazed at how everything improves.
Consciously slowing down keeps me balanced.
– I see things I might have otherwise missed (look at that pretty flower!)
– I give myself time to process my emotions before reacting to outside forces
– Slowing down forces me to be a good listener and enjoy people rather than rush through social exchanges
– My usual racing mind pipes down a bit when the pace relaxes
– Slow eating gives your stomach time to signal your brain that you are satiated, thus limiting overeating. This one, luckily, just came naturally to me.
– Slowing down my breathing often feels like I’m rewarding my body.
Backing up to my point about rushing in traffic, do as peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh does, view the red light as a “gift” or “your friend” and use it as a moment to take a deep breath and relax.
Ask yourself, why am I rushing? And how do I slow down?
Rushing and anxiety are tied together. Only you have the power to do the unknotting. Remember: Be the turtle.