live slow. (Ideas: Who are they? Why do they
have a slower lifestyle? How do we become like
them? What sets them apart?)
For most of today’s busy lifestyles, it can seem impossible to take some time out to slow down. Slowing down is a necessary part of life, especially when stress is on the rise and there is no sign of a break! There are plenty of studies that show how unhealthy a high-stress lifestyle can be, and today’s poor diets and lack of exercise only contribute to the problem. When your mind and body are running on insufficient resources for energy, it can make it much more difficult to enjoy daily activities. Rest and relaxation should be a part of your daily routine, just as much as work and play. Leading a healthy and balanced lifestyle involves learning how to live slowly. But what does that mean, exactly?
People that live slowly aren’t lazy, ineffective, or inefficient. Instead, they’ve learned how to adapt to an often-chaotic environment successfully. These people know how much time to take out of their busy days for naps, meditation, yoga, gentle exercise, or just some time for deep breathing. You’ll find them taking walks for fresh air in the middle of the work day, or scheduling some time for meditation after dinner. Learning to take short naps is also a part of these people’s lives, helping them stay well-rested, energized, and balanced throughout the week.
People that live slow may also take part in a regular exercise program. Exercise doesn’t always have to be vigorous to be energizing. High energy exercise include Yoga, Qi’Gong, Pilates, and T’ai Chi that can help bring the body and mind in balance, and also encourage deep breathing. Breathing fully and deeply is essential for your well-being; adopting a regular exercise or fitness program with this in mind helps to reclaim energy and replenish the body’s natural systems with fresh oxygen.
Meditation is often a key part of many people’s lives. This doesn’t have to be extraordinarily spiritual, but instead can be a way to slow down and enjoy the moment. Zen Buddhism, some forms of yoga, and other practices from the Far East encourage various types of meditation practice on a regular basis. This can help to ‘ground’ oneself in a peaceful state, enjoy the tranquility of a clear mind, and help re-energize easily. When you can learn how to naturally relax yourself, you’ve achieved a wonderful state of mind that can help you solve problems, think about the future, and be comfortable in many stressful situations.
Living slowly can also mean adopting a healthy, nature-based diet. Natural foods that require limited processing or chemicals are more easily absorbed in the body, and can provide essential nutrients. These nutrients and minerals aren’t usually found in standard diets of the modern day, and people who live a slow food lifestyle encourage the selection, preparation, and cooking of natural foods for optimum well-being. Eating slowly, nourishing the body, and appreciating locally grown food are all parts of the Slow Food Movement that has spread throughout the world today. A large part of the movement is learning how vital the role of natural, organic food, is to the everyday diet, and the communities where the food is grown and prepared. A slow lifestyle may involve growing and preparing food as well.
Slow living is a rounded approach to living a healthy lifestyle, offering balance and ways to manage time and stress effectively. People who live a slow lifestyle may take part in many activities that promote wellness. This can include preparing and eating natural foods, listening to relaxing music, participating in Yoga or T’ai Chi, learning meditation, and encouraging balance in everyday life. This keeps them in harmony with their environment, and may even lead to a long and healthy life!