Every day we find ourselves under an increasing amount of pressure to pack more in. From answering emails on our commute to work, to rushing through our meals, all the while glued to our phones, we think we’re saving time, when in actual fact we’re just giving it all away and are almost always removed from the present moment. Inspired once again by the pearls of wisdom found within Ariana Huffington’s modern day bible, Thrive, today we’re taking time out to slow down. Here’s five reasons to stop rushing your way through life.
1. You’ll be less likely to put on weight.
Have you ever found yourself diving on your dinner, with little more than a breath between bites? If so, you’ll probably have experienced that moment where you eventually catch up with yourself, realising that you were actually full about 10 bites ago, before the food baby/coma combination sets in. Experts say it takes twenty minutes for your brain to send out signals of fullness when eating, so you need to give yourself that chance, otherwise you wind up consuming far more calories than you needed or wanted in the first place.
2. You’ll allow for more creativity.
Another brilliant point made in Thrive, is that time pressure and our busy hurried lifestyles is the antithesis to our individual creativity. How many brilliant ideas have ever sprung from someone stressed out, running for a bus? As quoted by Ariana Huffington, ‘complex cognitive processing takes time, and, without some reasonable time for that processing, creativity is almost impossible.’
3. You’ll enjoy sex more.
Sure, the movies might lead you to believe that a quick, hot roll in the hay is where it’s at, but the act of rushing totally inhibits your production of dopamine, which of course is the feel good hormone connected with your libido, among other nice things. And if rushing stops you from producing dopamine in general, that’s reason enough to slow down not only in the bedroom, but elsewhere too.
4. You’ll appreciate and notice things you might have missed before.
When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses? When was the last time you passed someone in the office and instead of just saying ‘hey’, distracted, you paused for a moment for a genuine, uplifting exchange? The phrase ‘life is what happens when you’re busy making plans’ rings true; slow down and you’ll not only feel more centred, you’ll start to enjoy the simplicity in every day.
5. You’ll noticeable reduce your stress and anxiety.
Running from A to B, connected to your digital devices in every which way in the hopes of gaining some semblance of control on your life is actually having an adverse effect on you. If you never take the time to simply be, you deprive your parasympathetic nervous system the chance to take centre stage. If you are quite literally rushing through life, chances are your fight or flight response will be activated far more than is necessary, leading to increased adrenaline, increased cortisol (the stress hormone), decreased dopamine (see above) and one burned out you. Take your time, and for your own sake, lift your head out of that phone from time to time; the world won’t end if you’re five minutes late and nobody’s going to die if you miss out on that instagram post.
For more, check out Ariana Huffington’s book Thrive, available in most good bookstores.