Time is of the essence. There’s no time like the present. Expert health advice on patience, taking your time and the power of slow.
Living in a fast-paced world is something we are all now accustomed to. We may not thoroughly enjoy rushing around like a colony of ants during harvest time, but it is essentially what we do. Pressure builds, as does stress, as we move in this eternal whirlwind of questions and answers. We fret over coming up with solutions and getting things done on time.
This intensity is however not the most effective way for us to function, we don’t all perform our best when under pressure and rushing doesn’t produce the best results. When we allow our subconscious some space to ruminate and contemplate it will be far more productive. This allows room for development, and helps make those connections we may otherwise struggle to locate. You may recall a time when you had a mental block and couldn’t remember someone’s name or the name of a band, for example, and when you stopped racking your brains the answer suddenly popped into your mind. This is the power of the mind in action, if we are forcing a thought or idea down the wrong neural avenues it may well come to a dead end. Battling against this will never work. Once you stop, allow your thoughts to refresh, and work their way down the correct path this is when everything begins to fit into place. Immediate results are neither realistic nor effective, we need to work with the mindset that good things take time.
If we stop expecting instant gratification and allow ourselves to realise the power of slow we will achieve far better results so experts claim; if we calm down the expectation of results as and when we want them, we will achieve them in their own time and at a greater level. This works in all aspects of life from exercise goals, health goals, business goals, to creative goals. Whatever your aim, patience, discipline and hard work leads to progress, success and breakthroughs. If we think long term and make continual progress then we are on a positive path. In terms of health this is a very important guideline, to achieve perfect health is not something we can get on demand, it is something to be constantly worked at and maintained. ‘Slowly does it’ as they say definitely applies here. The power of slow is not something we can achieve in a rush! So long as we are making conscious (and subconscious) effort to stay on a particular path and move along it we are on the right track.
As Abraham Lincoln so eloquently put it “I walk slowly, but never backward”. And Goethe: “Without haste, but without rest.” As long as you are putting one foot in front of the other and going in the right direction you’re making your way successfully towards the goal. Hunkering down and trying to cram everything in within a ten hour stretch for example is not going to work. Nothing happens overnight; slow and steady wins the race after all. In between working on whatever it is your working on you’ve also got to take time out to do the things you enjoy – leisure and relaxation time, are just as important as actual work. These moments are often those when the eureka hits! Just ask Einstein when he came up with his most brilliant ideas.
How can slow living and the power of slow positively affect our health?
If we look at food for example, the least nutritious diet we can possibly eat is a processed one. Fast food is by far one of the worst examples man has developed and the least effective for good health. Richard McCarthy, executive director of Slow Food USA, speaking of food, stated that “It is the connections between climate, season, farmer, farmer knowledge, harvest, post-harvest handling, the songs of the harvest, value-added processing, shipping, and the relationships that are borne out of transporting and selling the products. All of the thousands of little steps that are taken to deliver food from field to fork, from lake to plate.” Or we could of course take on this process ourselves and grow our own. We then take the time to use those ingredients and put them together to form a healthy, nutritious meal. Sit down at the table with loved ones to eat it, and savour the entire process. Diet is incredibly important, developing a good one, implementing it and working towards a strong, healthy immune system is imperative to our longevity. And this, of course, does take time and dedication.
When it comes to exercise, we can’t expect to become fit overnight, it is a gradual process. Yoga is one of the most effective forms where you can experience the power of slow and it positively affects the person as a whole; mentally, spiritually and physically. It is also carried out with slow, methodical movements. See the patterns forming here? However we do it, exercise is necessary for our health, we must achieve something each day and stick to it if we want to maintain a healthy life.
Mental health can be something many of us overlook as it doesn’t seem to be something we are supposed to manage until a problem arises. On the contrary we need to work out a balance between mental and physical health as they directly affect one another. Meditation is an extremely important and effective activity that encourages us to re-centre ourselves and find balance. It is also a time out from your day to find inner peace and it will contribute greatly to our overall wellness. It is another procedure that can help with our productivity, and in keeping with the theme, it makes us slow down, take a breathe, take stock and release all the tension and stress we may have accumulated.
An extremely obvious, and essential, part of life that fully embraces the power of slow is sleep! Humans hibernate on a daily basis and the quality of those hours that we take are vital. Eight uninterrupted hours of sleep per night is the best gift you can give to your health and wellness.
One way to ensure you can change your current rhythm in order to become more effective is to make the time you need. You may well have a busy schedule as it is, but we can always carve out moments for the things we want to do. Dedicate specific times within your day for the goals you aim to achieve.
Essentially we live in world where speed is overwhelmingly present but actually life ought to be far more organic. If we take our example from nature we can see that beauty, growth and development is a slow, gradual and highly-effective process. Nature is our best example of the power of slow. Everything takes time to form, take note from evolution rather than revolution! Take those steps, and keep them going, focus on consistency and steady improvement and you’ll get to where you want to be.
We must learn to tackle life without frenzy, take a step back and work together at ease. Connection chaos can be reduced as we pace ourselves and shift from fight or flight to a more natural rhythm. As we do this we collectively restore wholeness, and with it, wellness.
Online diploma courses in Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga
Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences our courses in Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga have become the most popular in the curriculum. All these courses give individuals and practicing therapists a base of knowledge and awareness with which to handle the day to day stress of living and working.
Mindfulness teaches us to live in the present moment, helping us to manage stress, pain levels and improve relationships.
Meditation brings us to a state of consciousness where the mind is free of scattered thoughts and intrusive patterns.
Yoga helps to relieve stress and clears the mind. This course covers the basic benefits for obtaining relaxation and includes a detailed routine, which is easy to follow.