Category: How to

Always in a Hurry? Here are 9 Ways How to Stop Rushing

rushing in a train station

woman in a hurry near a clockI’m in no hurry: the sun and the moon aren’t, either. ~Alberto Caeiro

Extreme time-urgency is not a good thing.

If you are excessively time oriented, you might be at a greater risk to suffer from health deterioration, not to mention that you can never be at peace.

In this article we’ll see how you can chose never to hurry, but still manage to get things done.

I know…

…it might be a contradiction at first sight.

After all, everything around us is in a state of constant rush. How can you be calm and not busy, and at the same time still productive and active?

Before answering that, let me share some things about myself.

In the past, I was often trying to show other people how busy I was.

I wanted to make sure everyone knew that I was working on so many projects. (Multitasking, right!)

Because to my mind, having an insane schedule and many duties meant being important and successful.

You see, I’ve been trained to think that busy is good.

Everything around me was telling me to strive for more, to constantly reach for another thing.

As a result I was hyperactive:

– I analyzed everything,

– I judged,

– I wanted to control everything,

– I was constantly worried what might happen next.

It took me a lot of time to finally stop and think what I really wanted from my life.

What if in this Hurry Sickness doesn’t allow me to live my life in the first place?

We may have a great output, we may achieve a lot, but the problem is our future oriented mindset. It may be good for entrepreneurship, but it is certainly not good for you.

Because if you trade the present moment for some future fantasy, you won’t ever be satisfied…

…as there will be always some pieces missing to complete the picture.

There’s No Happiness in the Future,  Only Here and Now!

At that point I came to the realization that maybe I was playing the wrong game.

The other side of my problem was the ever present irritating little voice in my head trying to convince me that I always have to hurry because

  1. a) there is no way I could ever get enough done and
  2. b) that there is never enough time.

You too might’ve experienced this.

This is a painful urge that instead of focusing on the present task makes you think what your next task is…

…or forces you to do multitasking from morning till the end of the day.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

After years of chasing I finally decided to change everything and get into a slow-motion mode. It wasn’t easy, and I’m still struggling. But I;m firm in my decision, and things are already looking good.

When you get rid of this speed mania, you can enjoy your life. And still manage to get things done.

Here’s how.

Change Your Mindset

First thing you need to understand is that moving at a relaxed, slow pace makes your life way better.

I promise you…

… if you can just change this one principle, your life will be transformed as if by magic.

Think about it.

Do you enjoy more reading a book taking your time or by speed reading it?

Does your food taste better when you stuff it down your mouth, or when you take time to actually enjoy it?

Life is a gift. Savor it, appreciate it… and in order to do so, you need to slow down.

Change your mindset!

If you’ve always had a rushed mindset, change it.

Make a firm decision that from now on, you will have a slow paced mindset with two key principles:

  • life is great when savored
  • work is great when focused

If you change your mindset, slowly but surely, you will find yourself on the path of creating a rewarding and satisfying life, free in its foundation.

If you are ready to take control of your life and slow down, here are some tips:

Tips for Slowing Down

slow-down-sign

Use some or all of the following tips to make changes in your life that will reinforce your decision to slow down:

Do fewer tasks. Eliminate the projects that are not essential. Focus on quality, rather than quantity.

Work on the important tasks first. In the morning work on the important tasks first. Let the end of the day be reserved for less important projects or routine tasks.

Cut back on meetings. They just eat into your time, and, let’s face it… you don’t have unlimited time. Not to mention, meetings feed your rush, forcing you to go from one meeting to another.

Sit there and do nothing. This is a great exercise. It can help you a great deal. In fact, it can be so effective that everyone should be doing it.

Everyone should learn the art of being.

“Being” can be defined as a simple state of consciousness. You can activate this state by sitting down and doing nothing.

I can’t give you any instructions. It is that simple. Just sit there and do nothing. Same thing for example if you are standing in a line.

Either way, spend some time observing your thoughts, or just sink into your chair, listen to music without interruptions. You can even take a stroll without any particular destination in mind.

These are just a couple of ways for cultivating being. You can probably think of a couple of additional ways that are more appropriate for your situation.

Don’t be impatient. Don’t check your phone. Don’t think about the past. Don’t plan the future. Just look around, observe, listen.

As an article from “The Guardian” so nicely explains it, doing nothing isn’t actually doing nothing. It can boost your creativity, give your brain some downtime, and you may regain control over your attention: When your practice the art of being, you can be sure to find your natural pace once again.

Which brings me to the next tip:

Disconnect your gadgets. Set a time during the day to disconnect your phone, TV, social media, email announcements, and anything else.

Go for a walk, meditate, spend some time with the people you love, or just read a book. Whatever you choose to do, do it slowly and enjoy it.

This tip should be no brainer, but if you are still wondering how, here is a nice write-up from thebridgemaker.com:

Get rid of the commitments. While you think they should improve your life, too many commitments can in fact ruin the quality of your life. So eliminate the ones that are not necessary.

Do you have too many hobbies or classes? Is your social life busy? Slowly do away with commitments that are not essential. Leave only the important ones.

Practice meditation. Nothing can slow you down like meditation. It can show you how to appreciate living in the present. It can teach you how to be fully present with whatever you do.

Check the next chapter where I describe a form of meditation called “Mindfulness”.

Eat at a slower pace. Become a slow eater, which means being mindful while eating. Which means sitting at a table, not standing or walking.

Serve smaller portions, and chew. Take small bites and chew your food slowly and thoroughly.

And make small breaks by putting your fork down every once in a while. It makes you relax and chew your food instead of shoving it down your throat. Summer Tomato has some tips on how to become a slow eater:

Mindfulness for Slowing Down

The practice of mindfulness is a great meditation for slowing down. Here’s how I do it:

Stop whatever it is you are doing and concentrate on your breath. While you do that, pay attention to the sensations in your physical body.

Don’t interfere, judge, alter, or do anything with those sensations.

If a thought comes (and it will, no question about it), release it and bring back your focus on the breath.

New thoughts will come, and you will have to repeat the process all over again.

At one point, you will see (or feel, or sense) how the doors to the present moment of your own being start to open.

You can’t miss this moment because you will feel unusually alive, alert and energized. Congratulations! You’ve discovered the state of “mindfulness”.

If you are bored at the idea of performing mindfulness practice by sitting down and doing nothing, know that meditation is precisely what you should do.

Because, once you taste the incredible beauty of the present moment, you won’t forget it. Ever.

If you are a beginner or if you need additional help, check this post, or start from this video introduction of mindfulness:

Infographic

Here is a simple infographic that summarizes the main points in this article.

how-to-stop-rushing-infographics

Click here to download a free PFD version of the above image! No registration required.

The Bottom Line

Rushing takes from your health, your focus, your satisfaction, your calm, and ultimately from the joy of the present moment.

Rushing deteriorates the quality of your life.

Not to mention that by being in a constant hurry you may…

  • … hurt other people…
  • … or cause accidents…
  • … or make stupid errors.

And probably the greatest error you are making is not being in the here and now.

Life is so much better if you are not in a hurry. Don’t waste the precious moments you’ve been given by always rushing through your life.

You can live only in the present moment, and if you don’t slow down, you’ll lose it.

Why don’t be grateful for the beautiful sunrise instead of worrying that you might miss your morning coffee?

Why don’t be grateful for the fine drops of rain, instead of wondering if you have your umbrella near by?

Why don’t appreciate the incredible body you have been given instead of trying to find its flaws?

Once you’ve experienced the attraction of the present moment, slowing down and living in the “here and now” will become your priority.

Eventually, your life will become a string of mutually joined present moments, something that leads to a fabulous, totally new states of consciousness.

When that happens, you are firmly on the path of spirituality, are given numerous insight, and ultimately – enlightenment. But that’s another story entirely.

Filed under: Blog Posts, How to

Resolutions vs Intentions: Forget Resolutions and Set a Sankalpa

list of resolutions

list of resolutionsLast Update August 8th, 2016

As years pass us by, for many of us, comes the inclination to set some solid resolutions for the upcoming months. Looking back at months preceding, so often what stands out is areas in which we could have been “better” versions of ourselves.

Whether it is in our careers, relationships or just all the excess over the holidays, what we tend to focus on are specific things we “shouldn’t” do. So when the clock passes midnight on December 31st, and we are rejuvenated with a sense of renewal and fresh starts, resolutions are born. We resolve to take out all the things that have been creating suffering in our lives.

To do without, go without and let go of anything that has made a negative impact on our life. Whether it’s to stop drinking, cut out sugars, quit smoking, quit over spending, or to diet; we resolve to mold a “better” version of ourselves by letting go of vice.

And it usually works for a time. But then the negative habits creep back in slowly, and before we know it, we are back where we started.

So why don’t resolutions work?

In the context of yoga, and other reputable disciplines, there are a few fundamental flaws with new year’s resolutions. First and foremost, resolutions are mostly set in the negative.

We tell ourselves what we WON’T do, eat, smoke, or say get angry, and in this way we are actually still subconsciously focusing on the aspects of our lives we wanted to let go of.

We are negating an aspect of our self, and essentially trying to stave it off by sheer will power. Willfulness may work temporarily, but there is no power in will if you can’t see yourself doing it.

And you can’t conceptualize, visualize or even imagine yourself NOT smoking, NOT drinking, NOT eating cookies. It is impossible.

Which leads us to another fundamental resolution flaw: we brought all our focus onto a goal, an end result, that we can’t clearly see ourselves achieving.

This is the place where intention comes into play. An intention means that we decide on the course of action we want to follow in the future.

When we intend something, we are setting ourselves on a journey that ends up in a better version of ourselves. In yoga, the practice and power of intention has been around for thousands of years.

It is known as sankalpa.  To set sankalpa means to invite and embody a more positive aspect of ourselves into our lives. Specifically. If you want to stop over eating, set an intention to eat smaller meals.

Invite in healthy eating habits, and see yourself eating that way. If you want to stop over spending, set an intention to save money. Invite in savings, and see yourself living in abundance.

When we focus on the positive, we can conceptualize ourselves there. We can see it, feel it and believe it.

When an intention is properly set, it becomes not about the end product, but about THE PATH towards bringing out more of what is already there for us.

And that is the beauty of sankalpa, we invite something in clearly and definitively, and here is the key: we let go of the outcome. Because on the path towards a more positive you, there is no ultimate destination, each small step forward along the way is an opportunity and a blessing.

Many yogic texts, such as The Vedas, say that the whole universe is evolved through Sankalpa (the yogic version of intention); that everything we perceive is constantly shifting, changing and moving with the conceptions and ideas created in our minds and hearts.

The Vedas are some of the world’s oldest sacred texts, dated some 1500-1000 BCE; well before new age culture and movies such as “The Secret” popularized the idea that we can shape our own reality.  From the yogic perspective, positive thought patterns have always been paramount to seeing through the illusions of our fleeting emotions and fickle minds.

In practice, setting an effective Sankalpa is relatively easy and can be summarized in the following three steps:

  1. Sit quietly, breathe and perhaps journal your way into one main, realistic and positive intention. Focus on the course of action you intend to follow, rather than what you DON’T want, using wording that is in the present tense; wording that can become your motto or mantra. For example: “I am living a happy, healthy lifestyle”.
  2. See yourself in that state you wish to embody and invite. Sit in it, feel it, write about it and examine what it looks like until you believe it is possible for you, and your sankalpa becomes something tangible. Do this for a short time each day.
  3. Let go of the outcome, and especially let go of the “how”. Just by setting a positive intention, and spending a little time with it each day, you are already helping to shift negative thought patterns in the mind. Remember that you are embarking upon a journey, if you hit some bumps along your  path, accept them for what they are: challenges to learn from.

Yogis have known for thousands of years that the universe will support us in whatever path we choose, whether positive or negative. To shift the negative to the positive, all that we need do is consciously choose a direction, and focus on it lightheartedly and with diligence. Inevitably, our eyes will open to what the world has on offer.

Namaste!

Resources for Further Reading

Photo by:Colleen Galvin

Filed under: Blog Posts, How to