The pleasures of slowing

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One of the biggest lessons hiking has taught me is to slow my roll. When you are out there with no phone service, no distractions and no contact with the outside world you realise just how incredible and peaceful life can be. The simplest things that you wouldn't notice normally, like an earthworm on the trail, make you stop in your tracks just to marvel at them. The trail allows you to hold space for yourself, for personal and spiritual growth and the world around you.

While it is all well and good to slow down and appreciate life while you are on the trail, the challenge is really how to bring these feelings of contentment and inner peace to our every day world. A world that can all too often be filled with energy draining distractions, deadlines and commitments. A world that values being busy and sees simply being as lazy or indulgent.

This notion of slow living is a lifestyle approach that is all about slowing down your everyday to live a more meaningful, more present and more engaged life. It doesn't mean that every moment we live needs to be purposeful and intentional. It is more about giving ourselves permission not to fill every spare second of our time. To be ok with just being. It is also about choosing to be present and fully engaged in what ever is going on in front of us...full immersion in the moment. 

Thankfully, living a little slower is something we can simply integrate into our routine. Here are 4 simple tips for slowing down your everyday:

  1. Single task
    How often do you have the tv on, searching something on your lap top, with your phone next to you, eating corn chips all while your loved one is chatting your ear off...Am I the only one!? Multi-tasking has been worshipped for far too long and I'm hear to tell you it's a thing of the past (ok maybe not...), but it should be! Slow things right down and channel your focus on to one thing at a time. I promise you will lower your stress levels and feel a lot more productive! 
     
  2. Go tech free
    Get offline and be tech free every now and then. That means taking a break from your computer, your phone, the tv. The constant email alerts, screen time and noise have a negative impact on our stress levels, attention spans and relationships. While being completely tech free isn't possible for most people, you might want to think about setting some boundaries around your technology use. Perhaps saying no to technology in the bedroom or dinner table, having a tech free days or even setting some healthy boundaries around when you will and won't use technology.
     
  3. Practice mindfulness
    Quite simply, mindfulness is focusing one's awareness on the present moment. It can be applied to just about everything you do. You can eat more mindfully, have a mindful and meaningful conversation with someone, work in a mindful way or take a mindful walk in nature. Bring a sense of child-like intrigue to everything you do, like you are doing or seeing it for the first time. Appreciate every moment.

  4. Ditch the social media for a while
    Social media absolutely has its place, but in healthy doses. If you can't be without your phone for fear of missing out on social media updates or taking that insta worthy photo, then it might be time for a break. As a society we are becoming way too obsessed with our phones and missing out on simple, precious everyday moments that are occurring right in front of us. Relationships suffer and so too does our mental health. If you think it's time for a detox join me for my free 5 Day Social Media Detox Challenge! Be supported to go social media free.