Essential guidance for slowing down and being happier
By Susan Chan and Ian Geddes
Leisure by WH Davies
‘What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare’
Some people have noticed that time appears to pass faster as you get older. What seems to be a side effect of our busy pressurised lives is that, as WH Davies said, ‘we have no time to stand and stare.’ Increasingly we are unable to appreciate the pleasures of life at the moment, without thinking about what we have done, what we should have done and what we need to do. The source of much 21st century deep philosophical thought, (Homer Simpson) said, ‘Sometimes I sit and think, but mostly I just sit!’ That saying really appeals to me.
So are you ready for the New Horizons, Creative Solutions guide to, ‘Essential guidance for slowing down and being happier’? Be a rebel, and check your lifestyle and see if it can benefit from the application of the brakes.
• Do less. Focus on what is really important and what needs to be done. Let the rest go. Does it really matter if that report does not get completed today? Be realistic, who really cares!
• Be mindful. Focus on what is going on now. Not what might happen or an unpleasant thing that has happened.
• Seek your own company. Take time out and disconnect your mobile phone or electronic device. Otherwise you’ll always be available to be distracted, interrupted and at the mercy of others.
• People focussed. Remember what is really important. When you are with friends or family, be totally switched and connected to them
• Eat more slowly. Be mindful of every bite. Be aware of textures, colours, smells. Enjoy every mouthful.
• Slow down. When you are walking or driving, slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Make moving around calm and peaceful and enjoyable. Leave five minutes earlier rather than drive fast.
• Breathe slower and deeper. Take five minutes regularly, throughout the day to concentrate on the air coming into your body. As you focus on your breath, you slow down and become aware of the present.
• Find enjoyment in everything. Be content with what you have. Appreciate every moment, including task and chores.
• Single task. If you focus on one activity at a time, you can really be in the present. When you want, you can slow down, focus on breathing and switch to another thought or task. You can control your mind.
• Exercise your mind and body. Observe nature, the birds, the plants, the movement of water, the beauty of a mountain.
Be aware of all your senses. Feel the movement of the wind. See the colours of the flowers. Touch the flowing water. Hear the laughter of children. Smell the freshness pf the grass. Taste the sweetness of the food.
Be aware of what is called the ‘power of now’