Chaos, rushing thoughts, hurry, stress. These are just a few of the symptoms we experience in everyday life. We often fail to focus on what is important, enjoy the small things and can’t stop being upset by things beyond our control. Is it possible to change this?
Christophe Andre (a French writer and a psychiatrist) claims that in order to savor life one must learn to taste the little bits of it. It is those little moments when we stop to look at the sky, smell and taste food, take a deep breath and feel gratitude, smile at a friend or a stranger passing by in the street.
Positive lifestyle, or slow life, is a response to consumerism and mass production which surrounds us. This approach is promoted mainly by ecologists, vegetarians, life minimalists, but also by people very conscious of themselves and their expectations.
Intense living and haste make us become slaves of our time. This fast pace of our work creeps also into our private life. We lack time for relaxation, conversation, and often for family and friends. Our irritation and dissatisfaction make us weak, apathetic and unfortunately often unfriendly to the environment around us. Sometimes our loved ones suffer because of such behavior.
How to slow down?
Living a slow life doesn’t mean we should be lazy, slack and phlegmatic. It is about redefining the way we want to live and enjoying it as if we were tasting the world’s most delicious piece of cake.
Experts argue that you can slow down in every area of life: work, exercise, food, sex. The priority is to figure out what we want out of life. Clearing out the “clutter” allows you to regain the joy of living and being 100 percent yourself.
Principles of slow life
1. The basis of a slow life style is relaxation. Tension and adrenaline are very important, but if they are accompanied by lots of stress – they kills us. That is why it is so important to minimize the amount of negative energy in our lives.
2. Complaining and eternal dissatisfaction make us see the world in a pessimistic way. In order to see the colorful side of life, it is worth appreciating the “here and now”, enjoy the small things. Smile for no reason, find joy the simplest stuff and do something you feel like doing at the moment. Spontaneous actions usually create the most beautiful memories.
3. It’s equally important to take care of yourself. This can manifest itself in different ways, e.g. after a workout, instead of running to work immediately, you should just relax. A spontaneous outing to the cinema or for a bike ride in the middle of the week is also a good idea to calm down and spend some time just with your thoughts.
4. Slow life also means controlling the intake of news and information. Minimizing the time spent on social media could be an inspiring experience. Although probably very difficult for many, it would be the best treatment for the brain to cleanse and release negative emotions. Our head is reset by simple pleasures such as dancing, music, books, meditation. Just choose your favorite passion and enjoy the moment.
5. Finding the time for friends and family is another principle of slow life style. Of course, everything should be done within the limits of reason, not to go from one extreme to another. It is all about finding time to rest yourself.
6. Taming emotions may not be a simple task, but when you learn to control them, it is an amazing feeling of how easily you can control all your senses.
7. Passion and enjoyment of life is the next step to “de-stressing”. This can be anything. Riding a bike, reading books, writing stories, playing an instrument, dancing. The best time is when we are doing and creating what we feel like.
Naturally, if we want to make all the changes at once, we will get ourselves into another stressful situation (“I can’t slow down!!!”). That’s why it’s good to start with one element and try to make it a habit. We will feel better and with each subsequent change we will be less stressed out and happier.