The Importance of Slowing Down

Today, many of us are constantly jumping from one task to the next. Our agendas are filled with things to do and appointments, and yet we’re barely present during the day to remember what we did in the evening. Days, weeks and months simply fly by, but we don’t even register this is happening. If we have headaches, fatigue, fever or whatever else, we usually just take some medication and carry on as if nothing is wrong. But after a while, we can start to feel stressed, mentally drained, unable to sleep and suffer with chronic headaches. 

Listen to Yourself

Though you may not know it, stress is a factor in many diseases today, contributing to anything from anxiety, to headaches, from heart disease to back pain. Long term exposure to stress can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure and increased risk of heart attack. It also stops us from sleeping well and messes with our digestive system, all of which are detrimental to our health.

We are constantly plugged in every day, slaves to our laptops and cell phones. We need to stop, take a deep breath and listen to what our bodies and minds are trying to tell us. After all, our health is the most important thing we have, and if we are constantly stressed, eating badly and don’t even have time for a short yoga practice, we need to slow down and take a long hard look at our life. 

A daily yoga practise and simple relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, can help us greatly to relieve stress and slow down. Retraining your body and brain to accept a slower pace can finally allow you to take care of yourself and to let go of all the tensions you carry around daily. So retrain your body and brain to accept a more leisurely pace in a culture which seems to demand and reward speed. Slow down and notice how you benefit. Give yourself permission to make time to let go of worries; to nurture yourself; and to relax. Slowly begin to let go of the tensions you daily carry around in your body and expectations you carry around in your mind.

Breathe, Breathe, Breathe!

Yogic breathing can help you feel calm, centred and more attuned to the world around you. Pranayama breathing combats stress and anxiety, so it’s important to practice breathing any time you can. As you go through your day, you may notice the need to breathe more deeply and and place less tension and stress on your body. Breathing will improve your posture but also help you relax, let go and stop getting stressed and irritated about little things, giving you a sense of perspective. Breathing will help you slow down and live in a happier and more aware way. 

Through practice you will build awareness every day and you will be able to break free of destructive emotions. Simply take a breath and start living your life with a relaxed but more aware body and mind.  

Contributed by:

Sally Collins is a professional freelance writer with many years experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.