Do you sometimes arrive somewhere, and wonder ‘How on earth did I get here?’
I know I do and hardly remember anything at all about the journey. I was either distracted by what I had to do later, or I was lost in something I was doing earlier. We can sometimes go through life in this way: a little bit distracted or lost and wondering how we got to where we are today.
But when we stop, even just for a moment to notice our surroundings we create a little bit of space. In that space, things appear to slow down a little and we can see a little bit clearer. We start to recognise what might actually be going on in that very moment. We show up engaged and ready.
But how do I slow down, you ask? You are busy. You are really busy. You’re juggling many things: work, family, children and life in general. Surely there’s no time to slow down!?
What if I said that slowing down doesn’t mean you get less done, it can actually mean you get MORE done!
By introducing one (or more) of these 3 easy and simple tips to your daily routine, you will start to feel calmer and more relaxed in a matter of minutes. You will feel more in control and on top of things. You can spend as little as 2-3 minutes on each.
1. Take a few deep breaths
How deeply do you breathe? My guess is not very deeply at all. Mostly we breathe using only the top part of our lungs, which means that we rarely exchange the stale, older air in the bottom parts. Breathing properly improves our health, reduces stress and helps our organs to function optimally. This really is a simple way to feel better very quickly!
Take a few deep breaths. Is it easier to breathe in or out? Can you feel your body relaxing with each cycle? What else do you notice?
2. Write a daily gratitude list
What are you grateful for? Often it’s the really small things we are most grateful for – a kind word, the smell of coffee, birds singing. In becoming aware of the small things we realise how many great things that happen every single day!
Write down 3 things that you are grateful for each day for the next 7 days. What especially brought a smile to your face?
3. Listen and give your full attention
How often do you actually feel heard? In conversations with friends and colleagues, we sometimes only listen partly. We can quickly become distracted by our own thoughts, and we quickly claim we know exactly what they mean. Sound familiar?
Next time you are having a chat with someone, notice how much you actually hear. Give them your full attention and be curious. Ask questions, rather than sharing your own thoughts and feelings about the situation. How differently does that person respond when you really hear them?
Remember: start small, and build from there. There’s no rush!
You only need to spend 2-3 minutes on each.