6 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Life

Explore these science-based tips and strategies to slow down, savor the moment, and enjoy life a bit more.

Do you feel like you're constantly running on the treadmill of life? Not quite sure how to take a break or stop feeling like you always have to be 'doing' something? It's not always easy to slow down, but it turns out that slowing down is exactly what we need. Slowing down is not only good for our well-being, but it can also help us feel less stressed while accomplishing more.

You've probably heard of the idea of 'slowing down'. But what does it mean, exactly? It doesn't have to mean that we literally do things slower—although we might walk slower or give ourselves more time to make a decision or cook a meal. But when people talk about slowing down, they're often referring to the idea that we cram too many unimportant things into each day.

​For example, when our minds are speeding, our performance and effectiveness get slower or weaker. It's not 'being slow' that we're seeking necessarily. It's the feeling that we have time to do the things that matter. We can handle our daily tasks, we don't feel stressed, and we feel like we have the time to rest, be present, and enjoy the good things in life.

Why We Always Go So Fast

In the modern world, we are encouraged to be busy, to multitask, and to be as productive as humanly possible. Most of us probably feel the pressure to perform—or at least look like we're performing—even if that means masking exhaustion with caffeine and sugar. But this feeling of 'time urgency'—or the sense that we don't have enough time—actually leads us to perform worse. Faster does not equal better. And being busier does not mean we are more productive.

We might also struggle to slow down in the right ways—ways that actually help us achieve the feeling of slowing down, which is what we're really after. For example, we often turn to our smartphones to relax but instead of soothing us and slowing down our thoughts, they hijack our attention, speed us up, and generally make us feel even more frazzled. So how do we slow down—our racing thoughts, our overactive stress response system, and our bodies? Here are some science-based strategies to try:

1. Take Intentional Pauses

It's thought that taking intentional pauses can lead to better outcomes. More specifically, taking a moment to consider something more deeply may help us to act with greater clarity, momentum, and impact.