Five Ways to Slow Down

Savor

In today’s fast-paced society, it’s easy to let ourselves go on autopilot and never allow time to savor the moment.

After all, if you’re rushing from one thing to the next with no time in between and barely enough time to scarf down some lunch, it’s nearly impossible to savor anything.

The ability to actually be in the moment is much more important than you might realize. Getting into the habit of using mindfulness helps reduce anxiety, improve overall health, decrease stress, and improve happiness.

My clients with anxiety find this to be very helpful. You can get into full-blown mindfulness meditation (which many people love) but I would argue that even being more intentional and mindful in small moments throughout the day has big payoffs. Here are 5 ways to slow down and really savor the moment:

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Prune Your Life to Find Fulfillment and Save Money

Cut Out of Your Life

When people find out that I have never paid for television, they are usually shocked (and sometimes don’t believe me). What do you do? they will ask, surprised that I could be so cut off from pop culture.

I don’t have anything against TV, but it isn’t something that would enhance my life.

The consumeristic nature of society has led us all to believe that more equals better.

More money. More stuff. More overtime. More commitments. More responsibilities. More subscriptions.

More.

We let so many things into our lives without really questioning why. This leads us to having cluttered homes full of mediocre stuff and cluttered lives full of mediocre relationships and responsibilities.

I’ve been working to evaluate the stuff in my life (physical stuff and the not-so-tangible stuff) and determine if it really needs to be there.

If you’d like to try this too, here are a couple questions to consider:

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How To Get Stuff Done When You’re Overwhelmed

Get Stuff Done

Do you ever have so much stuff to do that you just sit there and do none of it?

It’s amazing how a to-do list can be paralyzing. Failing to do anything is a sure way to feel horrible by the end of the day.

I have discovered a method which works wonders for my productivity when I have a bunch of things to do. It’s a really simple concept called focus sessions.

This is sometimes called the Pomodoro Technique (more on that here) and the idea is easy-to-follow. You set a timer for a short burst (25 minutes is just about right) and work with focused intensity for that time period. Then, you give yourself a short 5 minute break. After you’ve done four rounds of focus sessions, you can take a longer, 25-30 minute break.

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Six Weeks of Wellness- Week 6- Social Wellness

Social Media

What is the one thing that has the power to consume your time, distract you from your work, make you feel both lonely and connected, increase anxiety, and mess up your sleep?

Social media.

Sure, it can help us keep in touch, but it can also help us feel terrible. Countless studies have shown that social media has some pretty nasty effects on people.

That constant checking? It can cause anxiety. It also decreases your ability to concentrate long-term, because your brain gets used to switching back and forth between tasks so quickly.

Also, social media has been found to make people feel lonelier. One thing we humans are good at is comparing ourselves to others, and social media is a great place to do that and wreck your mental health.

Having Facebook friends you rarely talk to or just giving an occasional “like” is far from “connectedness.” Instead of making our friendships deeper, social media helps to make them wider, which isn’t healthy from a social wellness point of view. It’s better to have rich relationships than to have many acquaintances, and social media can easily steer us away from this.

On top of all that, the actual content of social media can be pretty toxic. Sexual photos, politically charged anger, horrendous footage of abuse, and fake news can crowd out the social aspect of social media altogether.

So what’s a person to do?

Well, you could quit social media altogether, like this talk by Cal Newport suggests. I don’t think it’s a bad idea.

You could also find some ways to use social media more intentionally. By this, I mean avoiding aimlessly scrolling or falling down the rabbit hole until you’re on your cousin’s friend’s ex’s mom’s page. I mean not wasting time and finding ways to make sure you feel happier after using social media, not like you just lost an hour of your life.

Some ideas to use social media more intentionally:

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Six Weeks of Wellness- Week 5- Intellectual Wellness

Hobby

Welcome back to the Six Weeks of Wellness Challenges series! We’re on week 5 and this week we’re focusing on Intellectual Wellness.

This is a part of your overall well-being that can easily be overlooked.

Everyone benefits from feelings of mastery. Feeling competent and that you have knowledge and skills is a big boost to total health.

With that being said, your challenge this week is to practice a hobby. This could be an old hobby that you’ve not spent much time on lately or a new hobby that you’d like to get into. The important thing is that it is something you can work on and improve. Watching TV, for example, isn’t the type of hobby I’m referring to.

Need some ideas? Here are 20:

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