There are many reasons someone might feel constantly rushed. It could be because of social media consumption, financial pressure, family issues, or personal struggles. And in this global context, some people are unable to choose when or where they work. Nonetheless, they do have the choice to disconnect, take sporadic breaks, and dismiss unnecessary tasks. Hence why the slow-life mantra can very well benefit one's well-being.
What Is The 'Slow-Life' Mantra?
"The slow-living movement incorporates many ACT principles by encouraging living by your values, slowing down, being mindful, and generally engaging fully with what is happening right here and now," says Juulia Karlstedt, a BACP-accredited counselor who also practices the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). "These are all practices that have been shown to increase general mental wellbeing and life contentment.”
More than just a popular trend, it’s a life philosophy to incorporate this year.
How To Transition To This Way Of Living
“Slow-living is not about doing everything more 'slowly' but rather about recognizing that our brain naturally wants to go on auto-pilot if we allow it. Our brain's desire to be 'efficient' can come at a cost to our happiness,” Karlstedt adds. "When we slow down, we switch back into 'manual drive' and actively choose where we put our attention and time. This requires our brain to work harder and thus 'more slowly' but allows us to make mindful choices in line with the life we want to lead and the person we want to be.”
Here are a few actionable steps to take if you want to start a slow-life process:
1. Reduce noise before bed.
Turning off most devices, especially those that tend to consume more of your time, such as your personal phone, is a great way to disconnect in the literal sense. Instead of scrolling through social media during bedtime, you can relax with a cup of your favorite night tea in silence. If you want to feel accompanied by something, listening to a podcast is a good option, too. Remember, technology is a tool that, when used wisely, can facilitate a fulfilled life.
2. Create with your hands.
Even if you don't consider yourself a good cook or believe that art isn't your thing, the benefits of those tasks can help you relax and stay grounded at the moment - try applying this mantra while doing laundry, for example. According to an article published by Psychology Today: “By being present in the moment (and savoring the time leading up to it), you obtain a higher level of satisfaction, allow yourself to have a better experience, and feel more fulfilled as the event has not come and gone as quickly.”
3. Bring nature to your home.
“If you’re feeling a little disconnected from nature and the world around you, take a few moments to get grounded by standing outside barefoot, inhale a deep breath and embrace the weather that surrounds you," shared Kiran Singh, an award-winning lifestyle coach who specializes in guiding people on how to live a balanced life. “You can pick a few stems from the garden or bring some greenery to display on your mantelpiece. Also, live in sync with the seasons by having a seasonal capsule wardrobe or curating a music playlist.”