Keep up with Life by Slowing Down

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Living life in the fast lane is a learning experience. We all want to be successful, fast, efficient, attentive to details, and on top of everything. Our intentions are usually in the right state of mind of accomplishing what is necessary and that is a good thing. However, is the stress during that time of hustle really worth it in the end? There is a way we can accomplish our goals in quick fashion and get there without feeling anxiety along the way. We can slow down. Slowing ourselves down is the answer to reaching our achievements without experiencing stress and anxiety.

Do you ever notice when you are stressing about something time seems to fly and you end up totally wiped out mentally and physically? This is because of the chemicals our body releases during these manic episodes called fight or flight response. Your body’s response is by chemically releasing adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol into the bloodstream. This natural reaction is beneficial when in a dangerous life or death situation. Unfortunately, in the modern world many people struggle with fight or flight reaction on a daily basis over our jobs and not a life or death situation.

How can we manage our body’s chemical response to a stressful situation? Breathing techniques are exceptionally helpful when coping with anxiety. The trick to slow down the mind is to find awareness within the breath. Notice the pattern or pace of your natural breath right now. What happens when you fully appreciate a deep inhale and release a long exhale. Breathing is something our body and brain control naturally. We do not need to think about breathing but we can experience it. Next time you find yourself stressed out try this deep breathing exercise. Feel the inhale of air in the front, side, and back of your body and then repeat all three parts on the exhale. This is known as the complete yogic breath or durga pranam in sanskrit.

Find a way that works for you to allow space and time to accomplish your goals at a slower pace. This slow pace can be mentally, physically, or both! We learn that we are able to pay attention to the details of life if we give ourselves the opportunity to be aware of them. That way we can witness gratitude for what we accomplish. We also learn a positive lesson from the hustle rather than lose our minds trying to get there. Remember the story about the race between the rabbit and the tortoise? They both had the same goal to reach the finish line first. The rabbit was fast but easily distracted and the tortoise was slow but vigilant. While the rabbit was busy moving fast and being distracted over everything along the way, the tortoise was busy passing up the rabbit and ended up winning the race. We learn from the wise tortoise that slow and steady win the race!

Exercise is another great remedy for managing the stress and anxiety of life. One walk a day can improve and balance stress levels within the body’s chemistry. Child’s pose is a great yoga posture or asana to come into during your practice of slowing down. When we sweat, our body is releasing toxins and other chemicals that we do not need to have stored within us. Sweating is a way of balancing pH levels in your skin. I’m sure the majority of the population has experienced a break out from stress. Sweating during your workouts is a great way to find clearer skin. We also feel good when we look good so working out is always a win-win!

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