Slow Down

by / Wednesday, 18 June 2014 / Published in Health News

Manhattan Wellness Group promotes health and well being through chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage and acupuncture.  We also believe in slowing down and enjoying life.

The pace of our culture is increasing at an astonishing rate. While this speed certainly has its benefits and conveniences for our outer lives, they come at a great cost to our inner world.

Well-being can only be cultivated when you take time every day to slow down and turn inward.

If you need a jump start reminder for how to do that, experiment with the following simple suggestions.

1. Light a candle.

There’s something about the flicker of the flame in a dark room that naturally inspires us to slow down and turn  inward. Lighting a candle hearkens back to a time when we lived more organically and less technologically.

2. Sit in nature.

Similarly, one of the beauties of nature is that it’s completely unaffected by technology. The seasons still follow the same rhythm that has informed their cycle of shedding and renewal for thousands of years. The leaves of the trees die and reborn at their same pace; animals hibernate and migrate at the same rhythm. When you sit in nature, and we do mean sit, as opposed to hike, run, bike, or drive, you absorb via osmosis the pace of nature and your internal clock is reset to organic time.

3. Read poetry out loud.

Poetry is an aural art and, as such, is meant to be read out loud. When you read it out loud, your voice is more likely to meet the pace of the words as they were written, to savor each symbol, and to allow the imagery to wash over your soul and fill you up. It’s like standing barefoot in the grass and allowing the waters of the earth rise up through the bottom of your feet, through the channels of your legs, and into the chambers of your heart.

4. Listen to inspiring speakers and teachers

One of the blessings of technology is that it allows us to access some of the world’s greatest thinkers with the click of a button. If your mind is an overactive place and, despite trying to meditate you can’t seem to quiet those incessantly loud and often mean voices, try replacing them with kinder ones by listening to inspiring audiobooks and lectures.

5. Read an actual book.

Kindles and iPads are convenient, and for some people they may even be easier on the eyes, but when you only take in information through technology, you’re much more likely to jump onto the Internet or quickly check your email instead of staying focused on the book. There’s a certain romance to reading an actual paper book that is lost when the information is presented technologically. Curling up with the iPad just doesn’t feel quite the same as curling up with a good book.

6. Write an actual letter.

The act of putting pen to paper naturally slows us down. While it’s convenient to let your fingers fly across the keyboard and click send, when you take the time to choose stationary, write an actual letter in your own hand, fold it up, address it and stamp it, and put it in the mailbox, you’re hearkening another era where time moved at a slower pace, and you will move at that pace as well.

7. Meditate.

Meditating creates spaciousness and is now widely acknowledged as one of the most effective ways to slow down and turn inward. Thirty to forty minutes several days a week is ideal, but even just ten minutes of sitting down and getting to know your mind will help you fill your inner well.

8. Journal.

Journaling is a free and accessible way to enter your inner world. When you take time to reflect on the contents of your thoughts, feelings, and actions, you develop a capacity to make choices regarding how you treat yourself. In other words, if you’re operating on a running commentary that says, “I’m not good enough,” journaling helps to bring that subtext into the forefront of consciousness where you can then choose either to believe it or seek to replace it with a commentary that’s more loving and kind.

9. Take a nap.

When’s the last time you took a nap? When’s the last time, instead of getting something done, you lay down on the bed or your office floor and just closed your eyes? In our culture that values doing over being, it’s hard to set aside the voice that cracks down with the cackling whip of “you’re lazy” and remember that in many other cultures, a siesta or rest time is built into the fabric of the day and seen as an essential component to well-being.

10. Pet an animal.

It’s an incredible therapy, to stroke an animal, they love you back without any thoughts.