Five Reasons Slowing Down Will Improve Your Life.
Have you ever put yourself into overdrive trying to achieve a goal at warp speed? Or burned yourself out by trying too hard to be a better version of yourself? Maybe it’s time to consider some fresh perspectives for the new you in the new year.
Danielle Benvenuto, a psychotherapist and energy healer who specializes in mindfulness meditation, identifies five reasons why slowing down can get you better results. Here’s what she has to say:
Working extra hard to achieve goals, while it may give us a sense of control or feel productive, often leads to burnout. Burnout, a symptom that most of us experience at some point in our lives, is sure to guarantee a longer and more difficult process when it comes to achieving that which we desire most. The quickest way to manifest your dreams and have more authentic, loving relationships with others and yourself begins with moving at a gentler pace. To get started, consider these five steps:
1. Slow Down. Slowing down is not a prescription for procrastination but the forerunner of mindfulness. Procrastination is the habit of putting things off in an unmindful way. There is an absence of observation, a lack of curiosity about yourself and the process, and a feeling of indifference that often is present. Slowing down, on the contrary, means respecting the process, which by nature is not always clear and easy to understand, and being present and engaged with it instead of burning yourself out by obsessively looking for answers and craving instant gratification. Keeping your eyes frantically focused on the end result, driven by preconceived notions, leads to fatigue, depression, anxiety, accidents, getting sick, you name it.
So while it’s necessary when in pursuit of a goal to take certain measures to bring forth an outcome, it’s also important to find the space to surrender for a period of time and assess how things are unfolding before jumping in with your next game plan. When we walk at a gentle pace, we are more observant and open to new possibilities. Learn to sit patiently with an open mind in the space before your next action, without making rash decisions or harsh self-judgments.
2. Anchoring in Uncertainty. Claim the ground you walk on even if things feel shaky or uncertain. Remind yourself of the value of your journey. For instance, if you are in the middle of a dark forest, you don’t anchor yourself by running faster. Ideally, you slow down, feel out the surrounding space, and wait until your night vision kicks in order to see the outlines of what’s emerging. When you stay present you are more alert, sensitive and mindful about what your next move will be. This is moving with grace.
3. Connect With Your People. When your mind gets wrapped up solely in the achievement of your goals, you can become disconnected from people, even those you love. Spending time connecting emotionally with others reorients you back to being present and being in the moment. When you operate from a connected, more loving place, you’re able to see yourself more clearly and perceive everything from a more grounded place. Staying plugged in keeps you on course toward your goals and dreams, gives you clues as to how to proceed, and can even direct you to some quicker routes. A concrete example of this is opening up to a trusted friend especially while things are feeling messy and vulnerable. By talking things out, you reconnect to your intuitive mind. As result, new possibilities can begin to emerge.
4. Foster Gratitude. This brings me to gratitude. Honor what already exists. Be thankful for the abundance that is present in your life. Appreciate all the people and things that bring you joy. Even if there are only a few items on your gratitude list, something amazing happens: you experience and bring in more abundance without really having done anything. This is the law of attraction in full effect!
5. Redefine Your Self Worth. Although it is perfectly fine to feel proud of your accomplishments, true self worth does not come from the achievement of goals. If self-esteem comes solely from achievements, there wouldn’t be drug addicted celebrities or miserable multi-millionaires. Self worth comes from honoring your journey as you strive toward your goals. It comes from being in the muck and feeling the presence of others while you sort your way through it. It comes from stepping into the maze, not knowing what you’re doing, and discovering avenues you never knew existed and new and creative aspects of yourself you weren’t aware of. True self worth comes from embracing and honoring all the nuances of yourself.
It’s a sacred place, this place of becoming.
When you are more patient and present, you begin to understand that this gentle paced out process allows for great authenticity and creativity. Of course, it is not easy. You have to face many self-destructive thinking patterns and behaviors that have been deeply ingrained. When you slow down, however, your imperfections and the messy process of becoming, turns into a major life force that energizes your dreams into fruition and forges a deeper, more compassionate view of yourself and others.
This article was originally published by Psychology Today.