Dr Libby: Can’t Stop Rushing? Here’s How To Slow Down

By Dr Libby Weaver
Gardening can offer an opportunity to recharge. Photo / Getty Images

Life can feel like a whirlwind. How can we slow down?

In the relentless hustle of modern life, we are perpetually bombarded with the notion that more is better.

More work, more activity, more social engagements. Yet, amid this maelstrom of constant “doing”, a pressing question emerges: Is this ceaseless

The notion of an ideal pace of living has been a subject of debate and contemplation for centuries. Philosophers, poets, and scientists alike have pondered the right cadence for human existence.

Finding a balance in today’s world that allows us to flourish both physically and emotionally can sometimes feel impossible.

Between cost-of-living pressures and technology that makes us contactable (not to mention gives many of us the opportunity to work at any hour of the day and night), it’s very easy to get swept up in the frenetic “go-go-go” energy of our modern world. And some may thrive on this.

Yet, if you feel as though the demands of your day alone are draining you or you feel overwhelmed more often than not, it may be that you’re living beyond your body’s preferred pace.

What brings you fulfilment?

Each of us is biochemically unique. This means our bodies respond differently to various foods, environments and lifestyles. Just as there is no one-size-fits-all way of eating (other than the broad message of “eat food, not junk”), there isn’t a universally perfect pace of life.

Recognising this individuality is the first step in tailoring a lifestyle that aligns with your personal health needs. It’s not merely about slowing down or speeding up; it’s about finding a rhythm that resonates with your individual needs and aspirations.

The first step in this quest is introspection. What activities or pursuits genuinely bring you joy and fulfilment? This question might initially seem inconsequential, yet it holds profound significance. Its answer is the cornerstone in defining your ideal lifestyle pace.

Introspection isn’t a fleeting thought but a deep, reflective process, often requiring you to begin peeling back layers of societal or familial conditioning and self-imposed expectations you quite possibly didn’t even realise were there.

Are you living the life you want to live or the life your parents expected of you, or the life society pushed at you as acceptable? We absorb so many of our beliefs from our external environment and often they’re not truly in alignment with what we want for ourselves, with our values.

Yet, we will never truly recognise this unless we explore our inner landscape.

How do you know if you are really fulfilled?

Fulfilment is a subjective and nuanced concept that varies remarkably from person to person.

For some individuals, it emerges from a career that is challenging and intellectually stimulating, where each day presents a new puzzle to solve or a novel idea to explore.

This drive for professional achievement and the exhilaration of overcoming challenges can be the very essence of their contentment.

Conversely, others may find their bliss in quieter, more introspective activities. The serene moments spent in a garden, tending to plants and nurturing growth, or the hours lost in the pages of a captivating book can be equally fulfilling. These activities provide a sanctuary from the bustling world, a space where one can recharge and find peace.

It’s vital to recognise that your source of contentment may significantly diverge from societal expectations or norms. Society often heralds certain life choices — like a ladder-climbing career, social visibility, or material success — as epitomes of achievement.

Yet if you are living in this way when it isn’t really what brings you true joy and fulfilment, you are only ever going to end up depleted.

True fulfilment is deeply personal and cannot be measured by external yardsticks. It’s about what resonates with your inner self, not about fitting into a preconceived mould.

Notes on stress

It’s equally important to consider the role of health in determining your pace of life. The effects of stress and overwork are not merely psychological but physiological.

Chronic stress can lead to myriad health issues and niggling symptoms, including cardiovascular diseases, digestive challenges, hormonal imbalances, inflammation and mental health struggles. It’s crucial to align your lifestyle with a pace that supports, rather than undermines, your well-being.

Your body will give you signs that you need to reconsider your pace. Persistent fatigue, recurring bouts of colds and flus, regular headaches, anxiousness, poor sleep … all of these symptoms can be signposts communicating to you that something needs to change — and it might be the pace of your lifestyle.

How to find a pace that works for you

It’s important to note, too, that the pace of life is best kept fluid, adapting to different life stages and circumstances.

What works for you in your twenties may not be suitable in your forties. Having young children may be a time when the pace becomes a little more chaotic, though remember it won’t always be this way.

Remain open to reassessing and readjusting as you evolve and as your circumstances change.

In the end, the pursuit of an ideal pace of living is deeply personal and dynamic. It’s about crafting a life that feels enriching and sustainable, one that allows you to thrive both professionally and personally.

Remember, the journey to finding your perfect pace is not a race; it is, in every sense, a marathon.

Take the time to understand yourself and your values, listen to your body, and adjust your stride accordingly.

Dr Libby Weaver.
Dr Libby Weaver.

Dr Libby Weaver is a nutritional biochemist, 13 times best-selling author and international keynote speaker. To learn more about stress, emotional resilience and finding balance in our modern fast-paced world, visit Drlibby.com

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