Tips on slowing down (and getting a grip) in today’s fast-paced world

We live in a society where speed is essential and faster is better. From fast food and fast drivers to high-speed internet and short-lived Snapchats, people pack more into their day than ever before.

We’re constantly connected and always on-the-go. We’re frazzled and annoyed – like what’s with those ridiculous drivers who speed around us just so they can be first in line at the red traffic light. And for what?

People walking in a hurry

The more people cram into their days, the less they seem to accomplish successfully. Lives today are blatantly more stressful, filled with never-ending checklists, and high — often unrealistic — expectations. We’re in a constant race to a finish line that we never seem to reach.

Dr David Solly, psychology faculty at University of the Rockies, a graduate school specializing in social and behavioral sciences, says that while we live in a fast-paced society, we sometimes need to slow down and take it a little easier for our own well-being.

He offers these practical tips to help find some calm in today’s fast-paced world:
Stop, look & listen

It is far easier to speed up than to slow down, but taking a short break to take in surroundings can do wonders for one’s state of mind. Stop and focus on objects along the way – truly experience the sights, sounds, and scents. You may find your mood improving or you may recognize the many things you’ve missed along the way.

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“Often when I’ve been stuck in traffic and looked around at places I’ve passed several times, I see new things I hadn’t noticed before… including a wonderful pastry shop that I never knew existed,” says Dr Solly.

Keep it in perspective

Remember that everyone is in at least as big of a hurry as you are. Keep in mind that your urgency is probably something you created for yourself. When feeling stressed, realize that the only thing that can really aggravate you are your own thoughts about what happens to you or around you. Nothing is really that dire or important. Don’t forget to smile, laugh, and enjoy the moment.

Enjoy the journey

Allow yourself to experience the journey. There is probably more to see and more enjoyment to be had “going over the river and through the woods” than you are going to find at grandmother’s house, once you get there. No offense to grandma.

Find your pleasure

Set aside time to relax and focus on pleasure. Relaxation is only pleasurable if we allow ourselves to slow down, experience it, and give ourselves permission to enjoy it. Almost everything can be done a little slower or a little later.

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