5 Easy Ways to Slow Down – and Be Kind!

As we all get into the rhythm of back-to-school and work—let’s not rush. Because the more we rush, the more our life speeds up. And the more our life speeds up, the less connected we feel to ourselves.

We all have long lists of “to dos” and decisions to be made. Yes, everything around us moves fast, but when we join in and rush through our days—and worse, our lives—it sucks the joy clean out of us.

Feeling rushed makes everyone feel anxious. So instead let’s slow down, and be kind (to ourselves and others)!

Think for a moment about how it feels to rush…

Remember a time when you were rushing:

  • What were you doing?
  • How did it feel as you were doing it?
  • How well did you do what you were doing?
  • What thoughts were going through your mind?
  • How did you relate to others – and how did they respond to you?

Being busy, going fast is a “badge of honour” in modern society. We worry that we’ll be seen as lazy if we slow down and take our time. And our inner critic thinks we should be doing more, faster!

But the more we rush, the more we are likely to make mistakes or do poorer quality work. We’re less able to connect to ourselves and those around us. We’re incessantly buzzing, trying to do more and don’t recognize our body’s signals to rest, or eat, or go to the bathroom… Sounds familiar?

Rushing adds to our stress levels and over the long term, negatively impacts not just our mental health – but our physical health too.

The Benefits of Slowing Down

Slow Down & Be Kind!

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When we slow down we:

  1. Feel more connected to ourselves. Not only does this feel wonderful, but it means we notice what we feel – and THIS allows us to take action to meet our needs before we get stressed or overwhelmed.
  2. Make fewer mistakes.
  3. See things more clearly, and therefore make better decisions.
  4. Connect more deeply to others.
  5. Are more creative!

In short when we slow down we do better – and we feel better about others, ourselves and our lives.

So, slowing down is a very important part of being kind to ourselves. Because it’s when we slow down that we connect to ourselves and can notice what’s going on with us – what we feel and what we truly want, think – and need.

We are human beings, not human doings…

All too often we’re already thinking about the next thing while doing the current one. We’re rarely fully present with the task at hand.

So, one easy way to contribute and make the world a better place is simply to shift your energy: to slow down, be more present and be kind!

One Easy Way to Slow Down!
  • Next time you’re rushing, simply take a deep breath and gently say to yourself, “Slow down _____your name_____ and be kind.”

And Here are 5 More Easy Ways to Slow Down

Next time you notice you’re rushing, use one of these 5 easy ways to slow down – and be kind!

  1. Breathe. Take a deep breath. Then give yourself one minute to do the Calming Tree Roots Exercise.
  2. Just one thing. Notice you’re doing more than one thing at once? Pause. Break it down and choose one of those things to do first. Do that. Then do the next thing.
    • For example, at lunch I noticed I was trying to heat my lunch (stirring my soup and making toast) while answering a text and listening to the weather forecast. Of course the soup almost boiled over and I burnt my toast!
  3. Stop and notice! Awareness is a powerful tool for change. So take a pause and simply notice what you’re doing right now—and how you feel. Say it aloud.
    • For example, I notice I am rushing to write this blog post and my shoulders feel tense. I notice I’m looking out of the window and I feel calmer/guilty/am holding my breath.
  4. Leave your phone alone. Better yet, leave it behind if you can. Smart phones are designed to encourage us to multi-task. Instead ignore the phone and be present to this moment.
  5. Focus your full attention on the person you’re with. Listen and wait for them to finish before thinking what you’ll say next. Just be present for them. They’ll appreciate it!

Time is Too slow for those who wait, Too swift for those who fear, Too long for those who grieve, Too short for those who rejoice. But for those who love, time is not. Henry van Dyke


Slowing down is a wonderful way to connect to yourself, others and create a life you love by appreciating the life you already have more.

I’ll leave you with these questions to ponder:

  • How specifically would it benefit you to slow down and be kind?
  • How would life feel different if you slowed down?
  • What times of day do you rush most? What are you doing at the time? Where do you most need to slow down?
  • What one thing will you do to slow down?

If you liked this article about slowing down, you may also like:

Remember: Change the world. Start with you!

Image of Coahuilan Box Turtle by fivespots via Shutterstock

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