Slowing down


Many years ago, a book by Carl Honore “In praise of slow” has caught my attention, whilst I was right in the middle of living my life to the full, doing a lot of exciting things and feeling busier and more tired than ever before. Around the same time, I have read yet another book “Thinking fast and slow” by Daniel Kahneman, which showed some important evidence-based benefits of slowing down.

This activity is great for anyone who is stuck on a hamster-wheel and wants to slow down to smell the flowers. It is created as part of the positive psychotherapy programme and suggests a number of techniques that will help you slow down, when you feel it is time to do so.

  1. Start small and gradually decelerate – rather than stop completely and disengage, come up with actions you can take to gradually slow down. For example, if you keep seeing 3 friends over the weekend and feel tired afterwards, arrange to see 2 of them instead. If your walking pace is too fast, slow it a little bit. If you usually gollop your food down, start doing it less hastily.
  2. Get involved – actively engage in activities that will help you live a more peaceful life, such as mindfulness, spending time in nature, or listening to calming music.
  3. Learn to say “no” – sometimes the lack of assertiveness makes our lives as busy as they are. Coming up with strategies to say “no” can help us do it. One such strategy, I have heard of a long time ago, was to say “not, now” which has softened the blow of saying a blunt “no” making us feel a little better.

Rashid, T. & Seligman, M. (2019). Positive Psychotherapy: Workbook. New York: Oxford University Press.

Have you tried any of these activities? If so, please share your experience.