Health (mental too)

Reduce Stress by Slowing Down

I know it sounds like a completely wacky idea, but it’s not.  I’ve had wacky ideas before and this isn’t one of them.  Yes, you really can get more done (and get it done the right way … the first time) when you slow down.  Not having to go back and redo things then reduces stress.

It’s not easy to do.  It took me quite a while to get the hang of it … especially since I used to brag about being a multitasker.  But, I promise you once you let go of the addiction to feeling rushed and start seeing how doing things the right way the first time really does save you time and energy then you will be addicted to the feeling of living at a slower pace.

5 Ways to Reduce Stress by Slowing Down

1. Write or Type Slower

It’s so simple.  When you write, write slower.  When you type, type slower.  Try it.  It forces the brain to concentrate on what you’re trying to say in the written form.

It reduces errors, which saves time.  You have clearer thoughts.  It’s easier to read.

My handwriting is horrible when I rush.  It’s not too damn bad when I slow down.

This is the slowed down version.

2.  Prepare your meals slower

I’ve adopted the “eat better feel better” mentality.  This means I have to do more food prep and eat less processed stuff.  I’ve learned that fast isn’t always better.  Yes, there seem to be way too many steps in the salad making process (I’m hiring a salad maker if I’m ever rich), but slowing down and preparing your food with great thought can change how you see food.

I have no idea what’s in a fast food mega burrito and I probably don’t want to know.  But I do know what’s in a salad or sandwich I made for myself.  I appreciate food and what it does for me when I know what’s in it and I spent my time and energy making it.

3.  Talk slower (and listen more)

A conversation worth having is one worth slowing down for.  REALLY listen to what the other person is saying.  Learn how to respond instead of react to things that are said (pausing before speaking helps a lot).  Don’t assume you know what the other person is going to say or that they have a motive.

Listen more than you talk and I guarantee you will reduce your stress level.

4.  Slow down your hobbies

The entire purpose of having a hobby is for fun (and/or relaxation).  If you see it as something you HAVE to do then you’re missing the whole point.  Don’t put deadlines on your hobbies.  Do them when you can and for how long you can.  Enjoy the journey and don’t worry about the destination.  You may never get there and that’s okay.

5.  Clean slower

I have a love/hate relationship with cleaning.  For years my husband did most of it, simply because he was home more during the week while the kids and I were gone.  I’m  learning that maybe it isn’t so bad.  I loooooooove the feeling of getting stuff done. I looooooove the feeling of getting rid of junk.  I loooooove the feeling of being in a clean house.

So I’ve stopped seeing cleaning as a horrific chore that I’m forced to do.  I’ve learned to put things where they go the first time so I don’t have to look at visual clutter (and dread doing it later).

I try to “tidy up” or clean one area of the house each evening.  You’d be amazed at how much you can get done in 15 minutes when you block out the distractions, pay attention to what you’re doing and not rush the cleaning.

Obviously more can get done when more people are doing it.  Ask for help.  Insist on help.  Demand help.  You probably aren’t the only one living in your house.  If the kids are old enough to use a smart phone, they’re old enough to use a dishwasher or washing machine.  Teach them.

My challenge to you is to slooooooooooooooow down.  Unless you’re an emergency responder or doctor, there’s probably not a reason to rush anyway.

Related Posts …

How to Prioritize Your Week

Get More Done by Slowing Down

Know Your Timing

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