Do you often struggle with the frenzy of life? You want to slow down and enjoy life, but then feel guilty about not doing enough.
So a daily tug-of-war rages inside you as you catapult into more busyness, and a desperate need for pause pulls you back.
But why is slowing down such a struggle?
Fear of not being enough.
Fear of losing your hard-earned hustle. Fear of mistakes because you’re a slave to perfection. Fear of being an underachiever. Fear of getting left behind. Fear of going unnoticed.
Fear will keep you mired in busyness until you’re overwhelmed with life’s chaos, on the brink of a stress-induced meltdown.
Yet, a slower, simpler life is possible . . .
Why I Was Forced to Slow Down
I was living in the fast lane, too. Until leukemia forced me to stop.
And after two years of life-saving treatments, I no longer desired that hamster-wheel life. Because time is too precious for busyness.
But you don’t need a life-threatening disease to slow down and enjoy life.
In Italian there’s a perfect phrase for slowing down, “Il dolce far niente.” It means “the art of doing nothing.”
You can learn the methods I discovered to keep life at a slower, saner pace, without forsaking productivity, success, or satisfaction.
Instead, you’ll feel relaxed, yet on track. Serene, yet focused. Thoughtful, yet productive. Sound good?
Here Are 7 Strategies to Simplify a Frenetic Existence to Slow Down and Enjoy Life:
1. Slow Down Your Rapid Responses
When you run through life, you often listen to respond. But how much information and how many opportunities does this approach lose?
Instead, you can save time when you listen to understand. Deep, active listening creates trust, enhances problem solving, avoids misunderstandings, and improves both professional and personal relationships.
So, the next time you’re speaking with someone, forget about how to respond. Put yourself in their shoes, listen, and learn something new.
2. Diminish Your Digital Dependency
The constant checking of your devices makes you feel, and seem, busy and important. Yet, you’re relinquishing time management to your devices.
Instead, unplugging from your digital world is a wonderful strategy to diminish distractions and slow down. You’ll create space, enhance mental clarity, and sharpen your focus.
For example, plan device-free mornings, reduce your alerts and notifications to the essentials, and check emails, chats, and social media twice a day.
3. Honor Thy Marvelous Mind
Does your mind jump from one topic to another like a monkey? Then swap multitasking with single-tasking through mindfulness, which studies show slows your perception of time.
Mindfulness also decreases anxiety levels, improves sleep, and diminishes rumination. All benefits that will slow your mind to a more peaceful, manageable pace.
When I returned to work after my illness, I made focusing on my breath for a few seconds every hour a priority. And I remained productive while preventing mental busyness.
4. Glide Into Graceful Gratitude
Where mindfulness trains your attention to slow down, gratitude will guide your heart to follow that pace.
In life, we often focus on what we lack, which pushes us to buy and consume. But you can’t fill an emotional void with consumerism.
So today, be grateful for the simple yet important things, like having a roof over your head, food in the fridge, a steady job. Do this and you’ll think twice before adding more clutter.
5. Unleash Your Awe-Inspiring Appreciation
As opposed to gratitude, which focuses on giving thanks for what you have, appreciation recognizes the awesomeness of your environment and community.
When you cherish your relationships and world, you perceive a greater sense of ease. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that appreciation increases life satisfaction.
So treasure simplicity, like marveling at the watercolor hues of a sunset or rejoicing in a child’s contagious laughter. Stopping to smell the roses really is worth your time.
6. Lounge in Extraordinary Ease
In Italian there’s a perfect phrase for slowing down, “Il dolce far niente.” It means “the art of doing nothing.” It isn’t about loafing. It’s about enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
We identify so intensely with our own busyness that doing nothing seems shameful. Instead, downtime allows you to relax, recharge, and restart.
Begin small and schedule short do-nothing moments. For example, during your next break, instead of checking your phone, observe the clouds drifting overhead.
7. Get Out of Your Own Hustling Way
We’re so intent on achieving goals and fulfilling desires that we take ourselves too seriously. And concentrate too much on us.
You and your busyness are two separate entities, so do as the philosopher, Iris Murdoch, suggested and “unself” yourself. Surrender your being to nature, art, and this world’s inherent beauty.
When you stop identifying with your frenzy, you can connect to your higher self, one that recognizes others, this world, and the universe as one, united being.
Slow Down and Enjoy Life to Experience the Life-Changing Magic
Picture yourself 20 years from now. What do you wish to remember about your life? The daily frenzy, the career sprint, or hazy recollections? I think not.
Imagine a life vivid with meaning, because you took the time to listen, observe, and enjoy.
Instead, imagine an abundance of blissful memories spent with the people who mattered. Imagine long nature walks in awe of surrounding wonders.
Slow living is possible in these fast times, and many people like you have mastered it. And with the strategies above, you too can find your own sweet balance for a slower life.