Rituals for Slow Living


Rituals for Slow Living

As Grand Prix fever takes over Montreal, the need for speed and exuberance also consumes our behaviour.

Which is why, this is perhaps a great time to remind everyone the importance of slowing down. It seems as though life has gotten faster and faster and we are constantly trying to play catch up. But in the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi: “That there is more to life than increasing its speed.

Slow is good. In fact, small moments are actually more pleasant and enjoyable if we decrease the speed and take time to savour the present. Small gestures in our day to day can help us stop the rat race and connect with the present moment.

We are happy to share with you some of the rituals we find truly helpful at achieving presence. Rituals are great for slowing us down and enjoying experiences in a fuller richer way by bringing us into a state of being – a state where we are only aware of what we are doing and nothing else.

Breathing

Of course, we do this throughout the day and never have to be reminded to inhale and exhale. But by brining your focus back into your breath, and making sure you are zoning everything else out in order to focus on each inhale and exhale, it will effectively bring your body to a natural state of relaxation. Your heart rate will slow down as your breathing becomes slower and deeper. Your muscles relax and blood flow to your brain increases. So even in the midst of noise and distraction, you can always pull your attention back to yourself and slow down with each breath.

 Disconnect

Nothing drives our attention span crazier than the constant notification we get on our devices. The distraction we are often seeking whenever we glance at our phones is becoming a major factor in our inability to be present. Being connected at all times means we are subjected to interruptions, information overload and inability to pull away from work or engagements. Shut it off or if at all possible, leave your portable device at home. If you feel a pang of anxiety or FOMO on some big important text you might be missing, this is a clear sign that perhaps you need this disconnection even more than you think. Life is happening all around you, not just on your phone. So enjoy the connection with life away from electronics.

 Single Tasking

Slow is good and single is good too. The opposite of multi tasking is being able to completely dedicate your attention to a single task rather than run 12 tabs on your browser while simultaneously juggling a paper & group chatting. Pull back. Select one task and do that till completion (or until you’re satisfied) and pause to enjoy your work before moving onto the next. Your work will improve and so will your focus.

Eat & Drink Slower

Tea ceremonies are a great example of why slowing down your food preparation and consumption is a glorious thing. Cramming food as fast and quickly as possible to get this “task” over with leads to overeating and lack of enjoyment in your food. By contrast, if you savour each bite and are mindful of what you are eating, the flavours and textures will suddenly seem so much more satisfying. Food is our nourishment and is also what can alter our mood and health. So take this extra step to slow down when you are replenishing yourself.

 Be Present

Whether in nature or in a group of friends, distractions can still arise when we are always looking for them. So instead of wondering when that email will come in or if someone replied you yet, enjoy the present moment in front of you. Listen, observe and appreciate subtle details you would otherwise overlook when you are mindlessly glancing. No one is immune to distraction, but with some conscious effort and a lot of practice, you can effectively alter your connection to your entire surrounding.

“Rituals are routines we give importance to” – as author Tony Schwartz wisely coined. Placing our attention into rituals  allows us to slow down to a slower tempo of life. Creating new rituals is like creating new habits so small steps are best in approaching this.

Spa Cloud wishes you all a fantastic weekend celebrating the Mural Festival, the Grand Prix and all the other exciting events happening in Montreal. Our doors are still open all weekend for those seeking a refuge from too much celebration, so feel free to call 514 773 2568 to book a spot to wind down and slow down.