I'd like to share a practice that I've been working to incorporate into my life: slowing down.
I am a naturally impatient human with a buzz of energy. Although I appreciate having an abundance of this resource, it can be challenging to channel. Due to its frenetic quality, I often feel pulled in all sorts of directions. I'll take shortcuts, rush through projects, and avoid moments of stillness... all to "check things off my list" more quickly. The quality of my work suffers as a result. Even when it comes out passable and I feel like I've gotten away with my haphazard ways- imagine what a difference slowing down would make.
I am beginning to find that my default rapid pace does not offer greater efficiency. Rather, it results in errors and perpetuates my anxiety around getting things done. Playing into the buzz fuels it like oxygen to a fire. My heart rate increases, my hands shake, and my vision blurs... NONE of these things are conducive to happiness or productivity. In the continuous quest for these things, I am beginning to craft a slower approach.
My boyfriend is fantastic at this. He is thoughtfully detailed, double checks his work, and understands goals as a process rather than a destination. He invests mental energy to one task at a time, and patiently accepts progress as it comes. Because this does not come naturally to me, I have to make conscious changes. The foundation of such change has been breath. I used to scoff at the yogis and hippies that touted breathing as a miracle cure for modern life's stressors. But dammit, it works.
Deep breaths lower our nervous system's activation state; they slow our heart rates; they bring peace. When I feel frantic, I take a minute. I breath. I proceed with a renewed sense of stillness. Additionally, I make an effort to move more slowly. Whether this is in the gym, my typing speed, my hustle between patients' rooms at work... and it keeps my anxiety at bay. It is my way of telling my overstimulated body, "it is okay, and we can handle this".
I am beginning to believe this sentiment. I feel the difference in my body, as the physical manifestations of jitters make less frequent appearances. I feel it in my mind, as a clarity that allows for critical thought. I feel it in my heart, as a deep appreciation of my flawsome (awesome but not without flaws) self.
**flawsome is not a word that I created, but I love it! I first found it on the instagram page of Courtney Ustrzycki, who is a badass and inspiring individual.