When I say Slow Living, it also means Mindfulness. These two concepts are not entirely different from each other. You do hear about living mindfully but not a lot about slow living. A quick look on Wikipedia will give you the definitions for both.
Slow living is a lifestyle that emphasizes a slower approaches to aspects of everyday life. It has been defined as movement or action at a relaxed or leisurely pace.
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention in the present moment without judgment, a skill one develops through meditation or other training.
A Guide to Slow Living with Mindfulness
As I understand, only thing that differentiates these two concepts is that Mindfulness comes with discipline through some type of training like Meditation while leisure and relaxation is the trademark of Slow living. There is no intention involved in the latter. Just be.
It is interesting to note though, Slow living is not as easy as it sounds. Specially in a world we live today. We have been on autopilot for too long that slowing down is such a remote possibility. We are always chasing something, always on the clock racing to finish tasks at hand. So the principle of Slow Living can be shocking to most. I mean, how can you slow down when there is so much to do?!
I guess that’s where Mindfulness comes into play. We gotta make it an intention- the aspect of taking things slow, to enjoy life moments. Tools like Meditation can be very effective if you introduce an intention. In that sense, Slow Living and Mindfulness complements each other. One completes the other. They are even interchangeable in some situations.
Now, it is easier said than done. Do meditation and start Slow Living in three…two…one! But yeah, things doesn’t work that way, right? Right! So how can we get better at this? How can we be mindful to live our life slowly and with intention? Turns out, baby steps goes a long way. If you are not good with sitting down and chanting some mantras or worse, think nothing for 20 minutes (no judgement, I have been there once) there are little things we all can do to get the ball rolling.
1. Slow down your Pace
When you are walking, take slower steps. When you are cooking or washing the dishes, don’t be on a spree to get out of the kitchen at the earliest opportunity (I am guilty of that!), when you are reading, try to go through each word slowly, as if you are caressing the words you are reading, understanding the true meaning behind them etc. You get the idea. If you took 10 minutes to read 10 pages in a book before, now you might take 20 minutes. So what even if it is double the time? World is still here, you are still breathing and nobody died. Its all good!
2. Try a New Incense or Essential Oil
You know Aromatherapy is great for intentional living. It helps you feel grounded which is awesome if you want to learn Slow living. I love to test new oils and incense sticks. Its fun to discover that Aroma that calls you out from the crowd.
A combination of incense burning in my space or my favorite oil in the diffuser while meditating is 10 times more effective on the journey to Slow living!
3. Zero/Reduced Screen time
I have talked about this before and I will say it again, Slow Living and being active on social media DO NOT go hand in hand. So if you are really into Slow Living and want to reap the benefits, decide to let go of your screen time in major chunks. Yes it is possible, I wouldn’t urge you do it if I didn’t practice it myself to know how far this can take you. Being a blogger, this one was especially hard for me to do. My blog’s success greatly depended on how far my reach was in social and the wide world of internet. Or so I thought! But turns out, my readership has increased in leaps when I signed out from most of my social channels. Now, this could simply be the timing or luck but I am not questioning it. All is well, I am still surviving in spite of ALMOST one year of social media detoxification anniversary. Gosh! Has it been that long??
Now, this might sound childish but it actually works! If the goal is to slow down your brain waves contributing to slower moves in lifestyle, then there is no better way than to dabble in some coloring. Colors normally have a way of soothing you mentally. The activity of coloring will greatly boost your focus in a good way providing relief from stress and daily grind. There are some wonderful adult coloring books available on Amazon. My favorite is this Mandalacraft.
This has 125 stress relieving Mandala designs to brush upon your creative expressions. Its fun, try it out!
I would tend to think that now is the best time to start practicing a slow life. Most of us are home due to Pandemic. If you didn’t have time before to apply some of the tips mentioned above, you could try them now due to such a drastic change in the way we live life lately. It is easy to slip into depression and loneliness in lockdown. I will be lying if I say I am always upbeat in spite of COVID and a myriad of problems that comes with it. What has helped me greatly is learning to be aware of my emotions. Once I was able to master it, rest was easy to follow through. Practicing Slow Living with Mindfulness will equip you to be in control of yourself and also enjoy life as it is meant to be.
RELATED: FREE Meditation Planner Printable
If you are interested in more ways to help with intentional living, be sure to check out my other posts on self care and mindful living.
Take care of yourself.
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