house of wendu logo (200x60px)
Search

Finding Peace in the Pause: How to Slow Down and Enjoy Life (5+ Ways)

11 min read

Life can be hectic, filled with obligations and expectations that pull you in so many different directions at once. From relationships to work to everything else — it’s no wonder you may be constantly feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. But don’t worry — you’re not alone.

slowing down: how to slow down and enjoy life

Personal Story

I used to be one of those tunnel-visioned, excessively success-driven people who always felt like I had something else to do — and that it had to be done right now.

I was always looking ahead and never taking a moment to stop and smell the roses.  I used to have the mindset that if I wasn’t working, I was wasting time and not being productive.

So I had no pause button. Slowing down wasn’t a known option to me. I didn’t even know how to slow down if I wanted to.

My days were filled with loads of client work, errands, and a never-ending to-do list that left me feeling exhausted and unfulfilled at the end of each day.

But one day, something snapped. And badly.

I felt extremely burnt out and drained, and all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep for days. That’s when I realized that I needed to make a change.

And asap.

I realized I was so consumed by my dreams, aspirations, businesses, work, and responsibilities that I had forgotten what it felt like to just exist and enjoy life in the present moment.

I also realized that I had been sleeping-walking through my life for too long — always in a hurry and never taking the time to appreciate the world around me. You know…never slowing down.

And so I woke up. And I made some notable changes in my life.

I slowed down my pace and started taking time to savor every moment of my life. I transformed my mindset and became more mindful, grateful, and self-aware.

The best part? These changes didn’t mean I had to give up my ambitions and dreams either.

You don’t have to either. And I’ll tell you exactly how.

So, if you’re ready to reclaim your life and start enjoying each present moment, then keep reading for the steps I took (and am still taking) to slow down and start living a fuller, more rewarding life.

Start Small: Assess and Reflect.

How to Slow Down: One method to slowing down is to assess and reflect

Before diving into your journey of slowing down and finding inner peace, it’s important to take a moment to assess your life and reflect on the areas you may not feel good about. This is a part of personal development and can help you identify the habits or thought patterns (mindset) that are making you feel stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

As James Clear from “Atomic Habits” wrote, “You do not rise to the level of your goals; you fall to the level of your systems.” In other words, you become what your habits cultivate.

Looking at your current habits and systems can help you figure out what needs to be changed to become a better, more fulling version of yourself.

Once you clearly understand what needs to change, it’s time to start small.

How?

By incorporating simple slowing-down activities into your day-to-day life.

Examples:

  • Remember to take deep breaths throughout the day: You can set reminders on your phone. Change your screensavers on your phone or laptop to a picture of a deep-breathing technique to constantly remind you. You can also practice taking deep breaths when you feel stressed, before a meeting, event, or before bed.
  • Take 5-minute breaks: You can use this time to step outside, stretch, grab a drink of water, or simply close your eyes and relax. You can also do a quick exercise like jumping jacks or squats to get your blood flowing.
  • Stretch for 5 minutes throughout the day to relax your body: You can stretch your arms, legs, neck, and back to relieve tension. You can also use this time to do a short yoga routine (if you’re into that).
  • Alternate between environments daily: You can switch up the vibes depending on what you are doing. Spend some time outdoors, or move to a different room or workspace indoors. Add some excitement to your schedule by taking a different route to work or trying out an unfamiliar hobby.
  • Speaking out positive affirmations daily: You can repeat affirmations like “I am strong, and I am capable,” “I am worthy, and I am enough,” or “Happiness, love, and money flow to me in abundance” to help boost your confidence, self-esteem, and mindset. You can also write these affirmations down and place them where you can see them regularly. The more you say them, the more you’ll believe them, which will trickle into your habits in other areas.
  • Write down 3 things you’re grateful for each morning or night: You can start or end your day by reflecting on the things you’re thankful for. This can include anything from small things like a soothing, warm cup of tea to bigger things like good health or loving family and friends. Writing these things down can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate a sense of gratitude.

And although these may all seem like minor adjustments, they can have a major impact in helping you develop lasting new habits that can transform your life (drastically) over time.

Be Present and in Each Moment.

Slowing Down: Learn about how to slow down, be present, and enjoy life

One of the biggest challenges we face is how to be present due to fears of forgetting about the past or not planning for the future, but just because you focus on being present and in the moment doesn’t mean you can’t still make progress towards the future or hold onto positive memories and insightful experiences from the past. It’s simply the missing key to tying it all together by gaining a deeper appreciation for life and all its gifts.

And it’s a lot of fun! I like to make it a daily game to see how many times I can remember to be in the moment.

For example, when I’m eating, I take time to really taste and enjoy my food. When hanging out with my friends and family, I try to be fully engaged and enjoy their company. And when I’m doing my daily tasks, I stay focused on what I’m doing right now.

One time, while practicing being present, I noticed some intricate and cool designs on the tiles above my stove top that I had never noticed before — in the 2 years I had been living in my home. Another time I observed the profound detail of the unique lines on the palms of my hands — and was deeply amazed as if I had just been given my hands at that very moment. Meanwhile, these were obviously the hands that I’ve had since birth.

This just goes to show that when you’re in the moment and paying attention, you can discover new and amazing things in your everyday life. Even the things that have been right in your face all along.

So, try to make it a daily game to practice being present and see what beautiful things you’ll discover next.

Disconnect from Technology.

How to Slow Down: Closing laptop to practice slowing down and enjoying life

One of the biggest obstacles to cherishing life and embracing each moment is our constant reliance on technology.

From checking emails on our phones to scrolling through social media or being bombarded with an endless stream of news, our devices can absorb a significant portion of our time and focus.

To truly unwind and savor life, it’s crucial to disconnect from technology and the digital world.

Examples of Effectively Disconnecting:

  • Set aside specific times each day to unplug (e.g., before bed or during meals).
  • Temporarily put your phone on do not disturb mode while you’re having “me time.”
  • Limit the amount of time you spend on social media or news apps.
  • Engage in activities that don’t require technology (e.g., reading, journaling, arts and crafts, board games, cooking, dancing, singing, taking walks, working out, and spending time with friends and family).
  • Encourage others to disconnect with you and make it a community effort.

Benefits of Disconnecting:

  • Increased focus and productivity.
  • Better sleep quality.
  • Improved mental and emotional well-being.
  • Deeper connections and relationships with loved ones.
  • Reduced stress and anxiety levels.

Form Deeper Connections.

How to Slow Down: Forming Deeper Connections is a method to slowing down

Relationships are at the heart of our lives. They offer support, comfort, and happiness throughout life’s journey.

When we make an effort to nurture and cultivate our relationships with others, it can bring us a greater sense of joy and fulfillment.

It’s easy to get caught up in our daily routines and forget to prioritize the people we love in our lives.

Here are some ways to build stronger bonds:

  • Spend quality time and Make Plans: Call or visit a friend or family member during one of your breaks. Schedule time in advance to hang out with friends or family members after work or on the weekend.
  • Volunteer: Find an organization or cause to work with and meet new people who share the same values.
  • Be kind: Make sure all your interactions with people are positive and compassionate.
  • Listen: Take an active interest in others’ stories, opinions, and perspectives. Make an intentional effort to listen with an open heart and be genuinely interested in learning more about the person you’re talking to.
  • Say thank you: Show your appreciation for someone or do something kind. Express your gratitude for the people who are there for you and add to your happiness and fulfillment.
  • Show up: Attend special events or social gatherings that mean a lot to your friends or family members.
  • Be vulnerable: What you get is what you put into the world. If you want to form deeper connections, you need to connect deeply. Share stories, memories, and relatable experiences with people you can trust.

As people, we’re meant to interact and help each other cultivate empathy and understanding. A strong network can help you get through good times and challenges. Your relationships with family, friends and our communities form the foundation of a rich and meaningful life, so it’s important to cherish them, nurture them, and prioritize them.

Prioritize Self-Care.

How to Slow Down: Self care is a method to slowing down and enjoying life

Taking the time to focus on your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs is a priority.  You can’t function off of an empty vessel. So, it’s important to find the self-care activities that work best for you and make them a regular part of your routine.

Examples of self-care activities:

Physical self-care:

  • Exercising (Going for a walk, running, pilates, lifting weights, etc.)
  • Getting enough sleep (about 7-9 hours each night)
  • Taking power naps throughout the day
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet
  • Taking a relaxing bath or shower
  • Getting an at-home massage or going to the spa
  • Getting a facial
  • Getting your hair done or a haircut
  • Getting a manicure or pedicure

Emotional self-care:

  • Talking to a trusted friend or family member
  • Keeping a journal to reflect on your feelings and emotions
  • Playing with your pet
  • Watching comedy
  • Pursuing hobbies or creative activities
  • Seeking therapy or counseling (when needed)
  • Listening to uplifting music, podcasts, or audiobooks
  • Engaging in acts of self-compassion and self-love
  • Taking a break and giving yourself permission to rest and recharge.

Spiritual self-care:

  • Praying and studying scripture
  • Practicing mindfulness or meditation
  • Engaging in a religious/spiritual community
  • Spending time in nature
  • Engaging in acts of kindness or generosity
  • Reflecting on your values.

By practicing self-care and putting yourself first, you can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being, allowing you to show up with your A-game in all the other areas of your life.

Embrace Adventure and New Experiences.

How to Slow Down" Embracing adventures is a method to slowing down and enjoying life

Being explorative and stepping into the unknown can be a thrilling and life-enhancing experience. By exposing yourself to new cultures and diverse perspectives, you can expand your knowledge, gain more wisdom and understanding, and foster a deeper love of the world around you.

Examples of how to embrace adventure and new experiences:

  • Travel to a new location: Book a trip to a place you’ve never been before and immerse yourself in the local culture. Try new foods, participate in local activities, and make new friends.
  • Take up a new hobby and step outside of your comfort zone: Try something you’ve always wanted to do but have never had the chance or courage to do, like painting, public speaking, taking singing lessons, signing up for pilot training, etc. By facing your fears, you can grow and develop a better sense of self-confidence.
  • Meet new people: Join a club, attend a social gathering or volunteer for a cause you care about. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you have to experience new things. Just make sure you’re interacting with good people.
  • Take a class: Sign up for a class to learn a new skill or explore a new subject. This can range from cooking to photography to a foreign language.
  • Try new foods: Visit a new restaurant or try a dish you’ve never had. Experimenting with new flavors and ingredients can broaden your palate and give you a new appreciation for food.
  • Attend a live event: Go to a concert, play, comedy show, sporting event, etc. Experience the excitement and energy of a live performance.

Again, keep in mind that the key to slowing down and enjoying life is an open mind and a willingness to try new things. Life is precious, and you only get one, so don’t be afraid to push yourself beyond your boundaries (safely), explore, and embrace all that life has to offer.

The Bottom Line.

Slowing down is a learning process. Finding peace in the pause is a journey of self-discovery, self-awareness, and personal growth. It requires a change in your mindset and habits, as well as taking time to reflect on your life and identify areas that need improvement.

Sooner than later, you’ll start developing habits that’ll transform your life and help you enjoy each moment to the fullest.

And remember — you don’t have to give up your ambitions and dreams to find peace; you just need to learn how to slow down and appreciate the journey.

You got this.

If you need any more advice or methods on how to slow down, feel free to contact me 😉

Additional Resources on Personal Development.

Read this ultimate guide on personal development.

FAQS About How To Slow Down.

How to slow down and create a more relaxed pace for yourself each day?

Take regular breaks throughout the day – Whether it’s taking five minutes to stretch, getting up from your desk and going for a walk, or simply closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths, these small breaks can help you restore energy levels, reduce stress and slow down.

How to slow down when it feels like the world is moving too fast?

Find activities that help you slow down. Make a list of things that require you to be present and move slower, like praying, drawing, pilates, meditation, journaling, walking in nature, or any other calming activity that helps you relax and slow down.

Take time to do these activities regularly – even if it’s just for 10 minutes each day.

How to stay motivated when slowing down?

Staying motivated when slowing down can be a challenge. Start by setting small, achievable goals and focusing on the progress you make each day.

Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Focus more on the quality of your work rather than quantity — this will help to eliminate any unnecessary pressure or stress. Finally, intentionally make time for yourself each day to practice being more present and mindful.

How to slow down my breathing during periods of stress or anxiety?

You can slow down your breathing during periods of stress or anxiety by focusing on your breath. Slowly inhale and exhale for a few seconds with each breath, paying attention to the sensation of air moving in and out of your lungs.

You can also practice diaphragmatic breathing exercises, which involve taking deep breaths into your belly.

How to slow down and give me a break from technology?

Technology can make it difficult to slow down and take a break. One way to disconnect from technology is by setting boundaries around your tech use, like taking an hour or two each day where you don’t look at any devices.

You could also plan a “tech-free” weekend or vacation where you leave all your devices on do not disturb (in case of emergencies), allowing yourself time to focus on other activities like reading, drawing, dancing, exercising, singing, writing music, painting, praying, meditating, spending time with friends, family, significant others, pets, or exploring nature.

And as mentioned, if possible, try to have specific times during the week when you do not use technology (or limit your usage) so that it doesn’t control every aspect of your life.

How to slow down and take time for yourself?

Taking time for yourself is important to help you feel refreshed and re-energized. One way to slow down and take time for yourself is by scheduling it in your day.

Make sure you allot a specific amount of time each day that’s exclusively dedicated to relaxing, doing something fun, or just taking a few moments of silence to practice prayer, mindfulness, or meditation.

You could also try some form of physical activity like pilates, walking, swimming, or dancing. These practices can be incredibly calming and restorative when done mindfully.

Additionally, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, as this will help improve your energy levels and keep stress from building up unnecessarily throughout the day.

Finally, find activities that bring joy into your life, like reading books, playing musical instruments, or engaging in creative hobbies — anything that helps improve your sense of well-being.

How to slow down when I’m feeling overwhelmed by the demands on my time?

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the demands on your time, it’s important to be mindful of how you spend your energy. Make sure that you’re prioritizing tasks based on their level of importance and trying to set realistic expectations when tackling them.

Take a few moments throughout the day to pause, stretch, or take a short walk and reassess your daily priorities.

How to slow down and be still in order to stay focused on what matters most?

In order to stay focused on what matters most, start by setting aside a few minutes each day for stillness. This could be anything from sitting in silence and listening to music, meditating, journaling, or praying.

Start small — even five minutes of stillness can make a difference.

How can I keep myself from rushing through tasks so that I can enjoy them more fully?

One way to keep yourself from rushing through tasks so that you can enjoy them more fully is by setting a timer.

When performing any task, set the timer for a few minutes and try to stay focused on the task at hand until it goes off. This helps you appreciate the moment you’re in without feeling like you have to rush.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *