It’s very easy when life speeds up to speed up with it. Think hamster on a hamster wheel, whizzing around and around….and around. At some point the speed generated by the wheel (aka life) makes the hamster’s little legs go faster and faster, until at some point you could almost be forgiven for thinking that the wheel is going faster than the hamster actually wants to go.
And herein lies the question to ponder in this week’s post.
If you’re so busy keeping up with life and running the hamster wheel, how do you make sure you’re moving in the direction you want to be going in?
There’s a difference between moving quickly and feeling in control, and moving quickly and feeling completely frazzled. Feeling frazzled can be a by-product of the hamster wheel moving waaaay to fast – faster than your little legs can cope with. When you’re frantically moving those legs and struggling to keep up with life, it can often feel like you don’t know if you’re coming or going.
And this is when slowling down can ultimately help you move ahead more quickly.
Where did your calm go?
You know that part of you. The calm and still part that resides within you. Perhaps you’re good friends with this part, getting together on a regular basis. Or perhaps this part has been MIA for a few months or even years?
When you’re riding the hamster wheel and charging through life, take a moment to ask whether you’re feeling in control or feeling frazzled. Are you travelling in the direction you want to be going in? Are you moving too fast and risking your health and wellbeing?
Whilst society tells us that we must work harder and smarter, 100 steps in the wrong direction is just going to slow you down in the long run. Better 10 slower steps in the right direction than allowing external pressures and expectations to take you off to a faraway destination.
Allow yourself some ‘slow down time’
When you’re in the heat of a stressful situation, or in a stressful stage in your life and everything is getting out of control, instead of just riding the momentum, stop, stand still and take three deep breaths.
Yes, really. Allow yourself to stop. Take a pause and recheck your coordinates. Is this a pace you can sustain? Is your body giving you warning signs that you need to be slowing down?
Drawing deep slow breathes into your body through your nose and out through your mouth will slow things down. It’ll slow down your thoughts, your heart rate and allow you some space.
Checking in and slowing down allows us to move forward at a pace that is both sustainable (preventing burn out) and in the right direction.
No-one else knows what feels right for you, and no-one else can control the speed you move through life. Ultimately these decisions are all yours.