When someone says “how are you”, what’s your typical response?
I’m going to guess it’s usually one of these two…
“Good” or “Busy”.
I’m also going to guess that when we say ‘good’, we don’t genuinely mean it lots of the time. The word slips out of our mouth, more of a reflex than a considered answer. And maybe some of the time we actually mean ‘busy’ when we say ‘good’!
(is busy the new good?)
A couple of years ago I began to notice my answer was always ‘busy’. And I noticed how much I hated saying it. I may as well have put a post-it note on my forehead saying ‘I’m way too busy to engage in a conversation with you’. I’ve missed out on lots of meaningful, valuable interactions because of this default answer.
Busy is disguised in other ways too. Here are three of my favorites. My girls hear these far too often.
- “in a minute” (when I actually hope they forget)
- “I just need to finish this” (what I am doing is more important right now)
- “hurry up we’re running late” (I’ve tried to squish too much into my day and now you have to pay the price)
I hated how busy I was and was desperate to slow down.
Yes, I’ve been super busy the last few years, juggling my dream job and a family. And what I’ve realized is that I don’t want to be this busy. Ever. Again.
Our world is the fastest, biggest, and brightest it’s ever been. And it’s constantly evolving to the next level of crazy. #stoptheworldiwanttogetoff
What if you gave yourself permission to slow down… maybe simplify your life so you used the dreaded word, ‘busy’, less often? And maybe you were able to honestly answer ‘good’, and even have time to elaborate and engage in a meaningful conversation…?
How do you slow down?
Unfortunately there isn’t a fail-safe recipe. Slowing down looks different for everyone.
What you should know, though, is that it may not be as drastic or as hard as you might think.
For me, slowing down hinges on these four things;
- Incorporating slow deep breathing as often as possible
- Noticing the physical world around me
- Single tasking instead of multitasking
- Being mindful instead of mindless
Maybe for you slowing down means;
- Stopping over-scheduling
- Saying no more often
- Working less
- Getting more sleep
- Taking a social media break
What you might get when you slow down?
- You might feel less stressed. Deep breathing activates our Parasympathetic Nervous System (the opposite of the sympathetic system – Fight or flight mode) and calms us down.
- More time to do the things you love with the people you love
- Criticism – from the people you politely say no to (but who’s life are you living?)
- Disdain – from those who think you should be doing MORE (again, life = yours)
- More quality sleep. If we are less stressed our sleep quality is likely to go up.
If you are up for it – I challenge you to pick ONE area you can consciously slowdown in this week.
Let me know how you go xo