“Physically slowing down can be very relaxing.”
We live in such a fast paced world that many of our actions also become fast paces. Our patience seems to be in decline in an age where information is so readily available. Our attention much the same with blinking smart phones, and pinging computers signalling to us the arrival of a new email.
The other day while washing the dishes I realized that I was washing them pretty quickly without thinking about it. Why? Because there is so little time during the day that washing the dishes had to be done as quickly as possible (without breaking things that is). And I realized that there is so much we do as fast as possible without even knowing it. When we do this, we end up missing so much of the action, focusing instead of speed.
So I started to slow down what I was doing, consciously forcing my hands not to rush. Within seconds, I realized how many little details I was missing. I noticed the texture of the plates in my hand, the warmth of the water, and that funny squeaking sound when everything is clean again. Forcing myself to slow down also opened my senses to everything else around me, including how green the trees in our backyard were, the smell of the mint growing in the garden, the light breeze coming in through the window.
After 10 minutes of having forced myself to slow down, I took off the gloves and realized that for the first time in a long while, washing the dishes had relaxed me. It was almost therapeutic. My mind was clearer allowing me to write, I felt a lot more energetic, and certainly a lot less stressed. I realized that by not rushing to get everything done so I could have free time, I had actually simulated the point of free time, relaxation, never mind having enjoyed what I was doing instead of mildly stressing over the fact that I had to do it instead of something more enjoyable.
Take a mundane physical task that you do everyday, and try doing it a little slower. The decrease in speed seems to actually increase the quality of life. 😉