A New Year's resolution I made for this year was to stop rushing through life. I've gotten into this habit of racing from moment to moment because I was in pain or uncomfortable. Sometimes, we might not realize when we're operating on stress or are in overdrive and functioning like we're robots instead of people.
I've witnessed and experienced the consequences of racing the clock. You wake up in the morning and hit the ground running and are in this go, go, go mode. In my twenties, I was like a speed racer, constantly rushing from one thing to the next. We all have in common an eagerness to see what the future holds in our careers and our personal lives.
Unfortunately, rushing through experiences may lead to costly mistakes and errors that can result in missed opportunities and more stress. You may also wind up constantly second-guessing and not trusting yourself, which happens because your mind and thought processes are moving at the wrong speeds and in the wrong direction. You may be focusing or worrying too much about outcomes, results, and failure while not paying attention to the here and now.
Mindfulness is the way to break these cyclic patterns. Moving slowly and focusing on this moment instead of what may come next can change your life in these seven ways:
1. You'll make fewer mistakes in your personal and professional life. By moving slowly and mindfully going about your routines, the work you're doing will be its level best. Remember that rushing isn't the way to get more done. You only risk setting yourself back and causing more stress with this approach to living.
2. You'll learn new things. Moving slowly allows new information you're taking in to resonate. You're giving yourself a chance to learn new things when you focus on the processes of what you're doing now as opposed to what may come of the future. Whenever you learn something, your mind expands and mindsets transform.
3. You'll develop and grow. Self-development and growth can only occur if we let them. Things take time and being a speed racer isn't going to help move things along in an effective manner. Your brain, mind, and skills will develop and your overall functioning in your daily life will greatly improve if you engage in the present more.
4. You'll feel more centered and grounded long term. Stress and how you perceive it is all a mindset. By this, I mean, you have the power and abilities to change your views on the things that happen to and around you. Operating on stress is going to make you feel rattled and unstable physically and mentally and will only trip you up. To boot, we all know how stress can destroy your health which is why mindful living is so critical for wellbeing. Slow-moving promotes a sense of level-headedness so you can achieve the tasks at hand while feeling centered and grounded.
5. You'll be prepared and ready for obstacles and challenges when you need to be. Life is known for throwing unexpected curveballs. Since we can't predict the future and the next five minutes are unknown, worrying about what may happen is a colossal waste of time. Every single one of us can only control our actions and behaviors now, at this moment. With this mind-frame, you'll be well equipped with the tools necessary to meet the challenges life will most certainly present.
6. You'll be less stressed in the long term. I realize that you can't be 100% stress-free; it's not realistic. Living mindfully, though, will ensure you're in a better place mentally to deal with the stressors that may arise. Rushing around causes unnecessary stress and doesn't guarantee that things will be any better down the road. In this New Year, consider being open to a slow-moving lifestyle with the goal of immersing yourself in processes instead of outcomes.
7. Your perspectives and mindsets will strengthen. Perspective and mindset go hand in hand as we navigate daily life. A strong perspective means you're viewing matters in a logical and realistic way. When we're doing the opposite, we are setting ourselves up for potential disappointments and failures. Strong mindsets come from our viewpoints and may be the key to overcoming difficult situations and challenges.
If you've been reading my articles for a while now, you've probably gathered that I've been through a lot. I've experienced every stressor a human being can face and have almost lost my life three times to illness, Covid-19 being one of them.
As time has passed, the adversity and hardships I've endured have strengthened every aspect of my being, both mentally and physically. But I don't just want to rush through moments, even if I'm ill or uncomfortable. Instead of racing the clock to get to the next seemingly great moment or thing, I've developed mechanisms to make the most of now even if now isn't spectacular or great.