Even when we are busier than ever, people tell us we should slow down; however, no one really explains why. We know it’s something to do with stress and we know it sounds like a good thing to do, but we think we know better. When the message does eventually sink in a little bit or we wear ourselves out, we take a quick break and then go back to our old habits. I sometimes trick my body into thinking that I’m slowing down but then I go back to rushing around again once I feel okay.
Why we should slow down
Something shifted within me last night when I read the following on Day 51 of A Year to Clear by Stephanie Bennett Vogt…
“Slowing Down isn’t just a good idea that I adopted from years of personal experience. There is plenty of science to back me up”A Year to Clear, by Stephanie Bennett Vogt
I was intrigued, so read on and found out that it’s apparently all to do with the amygdala – the almond shaped area in our brain designed to trigger the fight or flight response. If we are under stress, it shuts down and we become this overwhelmed (and sometimes crazy) person not thinking straight. Everything your body sees as non-essential is shut down and the stress hormones fill your body to try and help. This is usually when we are busy up to the eyeballs and no one is going to be able to tell us to stop. What we don’t realise is that we can’t go back to normal and think straight until we actually s-l-o-w d-o-w-n.
Sounds simple doesn’t it? So, why is it so difficult to do? It’s because we don’t stop to think about what’s going on in our bodies and what effect the stress hormones have if they continually circulate. I’m no science expert but I am aware that stress can be damaging to the body if not kept in check.
So, taking all this into account, it has actually made me think differently about what I should do when I’m feeling overwhelmed. You could say that it’s given me a good reason to slow down before the amygdala is awakened.
It’s also made me think about keeping my voice calmer, and not reacting to every little thing that happens whether at work or at home.
A little bit of awareness goes a long way. Let’s see how I do…
Until next time…