28 Sep Ways to Slow Down
by Kara Ferreira
A recent article in The New York Times “How to Slow Down” points out the ways that sketching forces us to slow down and take in the world around us in a way that can seem disconnected from the fast-paced world around us. When we are used to hectic schedules, focused on productivity at all costs, and trying to document our real lives on virtual social media profiles, the irony is that trying to fit it all in can mean that we are not actually present for any of it.
Practicing being present or ‘mindfulness’ can help alleviate much of the strain on our mental health. It has benefits ranging from reducing stress and anxiety, to increasing contentment, to reducing the risk and amount of cognitive decline we experience as we age.
Mindfulness meditation is one way to increase our present-mindedness, as is anything else that forces us to slow down and focus on the present moment. As noted in The Times article, sketching is one such activity. Also referenced in the article are practices such as morning pages, bird-watching and carving out time to be away from our phones, TVs and computers. Some psychologists refer to this type of mindfulness as “participation mindfulness”, because it focuses on keeping you mindful of the activity at hand.
This week, plan at least one 30-minute window with an activity that forces you to be truly present, and see how it makes you feel.
If you find that you need additional support to make changes to your routine and create more mindful moments in your life, we’re here to help! If you’d like to explore working with a therapist, contact us at (734) 323-4897 or email@example.com for more information. Our practice, based in Novi, Michigan, is home to a team of psychologists with a wide range of expertise. We also offer teletherapy and can see anyone in the state of Michigan.
Kara is a G3 Contributing Writer
The New York Times, How to Slow Down