Slow Down, Be Mindful


Have you ever wondered why everyone seems to be in such a hurry? We rush to school, rush to work, rush to get our tasks done, rush to finish our meals and rush to get back home again, go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again. Day after day after day we rush, but for what reason? It isn’t like we’re going to wake up one day with someone knocking at the front door saying, “You’re out of time.”

Yes, I know we all die, and yes, I know time is valuable; but isn’t that why we should be enjoying every second we have of it? We’re only here on this planet for so long, so there’s no point in rushing around.

We all need to slow down and take more time to be mindful. What does it mean to be mindful? To be mindful is to be focused in the present moment without judging it.

In this day and age, society bombards us daily with ideas and images of who we should be, what we should do, what is successful, and even how to be happy. Our peers and our superiors look to us for information, ideas, and innovation, but at what cost?

With so little free time in our days, we need to make time to be mindful. We need to slow down, let go of the whirlwind of thoughts and worries, and get back to the basics.

Have you ever heard that saying, “Stop and smell the roses?” Try it some time. Stop and smell the roses—literally, stop what you’re doing and actually smell the roses. How often do you actually take time to appreciate their fragrance? Their color? The way the petals feel on your cheek? The way the petals curl out at the ends just like how your sister’s or your girlfriend’s hair flips out when she doesn’t straighten it all the way?

I bet you never noticed that before, and now you’re laughing because you never thought that a rose and partially straightened hair could be compared to one another—but they can, and there is so much satisfaction in little things like that. Just think about how much there is to see in this world.

Have you ever stood out in the woods, absolutely silent, and listened to all the sounds around you? Could you hear crickets chirping or a creek bubbling? What about the soft rustle of the wind dancing between the leaves of a great, big, old oak tree?

We say that we know people like the backs of our hands, but do you really know the back of your hand? Without looking at your hand, do you know if there are hairs on your fingers? Do you know if your knuckles dimple when you lay your hand flat? Do you have freckles, or scratches, or dry patchy skin?

Look at your hands. Were you able to picture them accurately? Maybe you did, and maybe you didn’t, but either way, each detail that you remembered or missed is still beautiful, individual, and takes time to notice and remember. It takes mindfulness.

Why do you rush about your life? Really pause for a moment and think about it. What if you stopped and opened up your eyes? What if you really smelled the roses? What if you took the time to be more mindful? Would enjoy the quality of time you have with your family more? Would you savor a bite of food just a little bit longer?

I can guarantee you that slowing down and being more mindful will lessen your stress levels. You’ll feel more relaxed, and you just might catch some moments that you may have otherwise missed. You have nothing to lose in trying.