By SHANNON SKAE, health and life coach at Revive with Shan
Why is it that almost everyone in society seems to do things at a breakneck pace? We work fast, socialise fast, use the internet fast, eat fast, and do not get enough sleep.
We move at warp speed to fit all our tasks for the day, week, month, and year. Many of us do not take holidays or the breaks that we need because, increasingly, financial stability is precarious.
Believe it or not, stress and doing everything at a fast pace only slows you down. It can slow down your metabolism while increasing the production of cortisol. The increase in cortisol can have several effects, such as dulling your skin, throwing your sleep off-balance, lowering your immune system’s defences, storing more body fat, and making it difficult to lose weight.
When we try to do everything too quickly, we also rely more on processed, fast foods because they are quick and easy solutions that we can wolf down if needed. We are so exhausted by the end of the day that any food is better than no food at all, and because we have no energy to cook, we turn to quick and easy options. Eating fast can lead to weight gain, obesity, other health issues and even diseases.
An exercise you can do every day to slow you down while you eat food is the 20-minute meal journal.
Set a timer for when you eat your meals, and for the first day, just write down how fast or slow you are eating. Notice this. On day two, increase this time by five minutes and continue this every day until you reach 20 minutes. Chew your food, notice the sensations when you eat, and put your fork or spoon down between each bite.
We need to slow down to be healthy:
- Slowing down lowers stress levels
- Slowing down gives you more time to focus on self-care
- You can make more time to exercise
- You can eat more healthily when you make more time to plan your meals
- Slowing down, resting, and focusing on recovery can lead to a healthier you
Slowing down can make you more effective because it can make you more productive. This seems counterintuitive, but by slowing down, you can focus on your work, produce your best, and ultimately improve the quality of your output. You also make better decisions when working from a space of calm and focus, instead of rush, panic and stress.
So, take your time. Your health is worth it.