Effects of a Fast Paced Culture on our Health
Are you tired all the time and feel like you’re just going through the motions, getting through the many things on your to-do list without engaging with them or enjoying them very much? Do you struggle to remember what happened in the last couple of days because you rushed through them? Are you rushing through life, suffering from Sundayblues, hating on Mondays, hashtagging #humpday and wishing for Fridays?
This is no way to go through life. This is your body’s way of saying “Enough. Slow down.”
Every week I notice people living in a continuous loop. Living for the weekends, filling their body’s with the wrong type fuel, feeling sluggish and exhausted with life. We are destined for so much more than that.
“Let’s savor the hours and minutes rather than counting them.” – Carl Honoré
I recently came across an article in the Times Colonist “Pause, and embrace slowness” by Kim Ode. The article introduces the concept of Slow Movement:
“Slow Movement is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting.” - Carl Honoré – The Slow Movement
This notion of slow movement made me realize the effect of our fast paced culture on our health. We opt for fast food, we avoid grocery shopping and order online, we distract ourselves during meals and we are far removed from the natural cycle of the seasons.
When it comes to health we are obsessed with the destination and have lost the art of enjoying the journey. We are seeking to have a beach body instantaneously, we seek to remove negative symptoms without finding the root cause and fail to realize that we have the power to make a mind shift to live a healthier and thriving life.
A healthier and thriving life starts with you – your choices and your actions.
Eating well and living your best life doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s what you make it to be. Ask yourself:
Are you prioritizing your health? Are you committed to your health? Are you prepared to make small yet effective adjustments in your life so you can begin to feel more energized, clear minded and enthusiastic about life?
To get you started, here are 3 ways you can begin to take control of your life and slow down. Take the time to tune into your body and do more things that inspire and motivate you.
Whether it’s before work, at lunch or before bed, take five minutes to pause and reflect. Close your eyes, listen to your breath and clear your mind. Be still and take notice of any tension you hold in your body. Breathe in. Breathe out, and visualize releasing the tension with every breath.
Slow is calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity. It is about making real and meaningful connections – with people, culture, word, food, everything.
Be more mindful
If you find yourself multitasking or distracted during meals, make a conscious effort to remove any distraction and focus on the task at hand. Focus on the preparation of your meal, the different taste and texture of your food. Don’t rush. Chew your food, let your mind wander, tune into the silence or engage in meaningful conversation with anyone sharing this time with you.
If you are experiencing any stress, take a few deep breathes to relax the body. When your body is under stress, the body is pumping blood away from the digestive system which negatively impacts digestion. Unsure you are seated and chew your food slowly. I would even recommend playing some soothing music during meal time.
Listen to your body
Your body is constantly giving you signals – the good and the not so good. Take the time to nourish your body with real food, notice how it reacts to certain foods, and take some to care for yourself. Not only should you eat and exercise, but also fuel your mind with tasks that inspires and energizes you. You can follow trends, join the latest exercise movement, but none of that will be effective if it doesn’t agree with your body.