Italians are known to live life to the fullest, but they do so strategically. Instead of rushing through the days, they take time to enjoy life. You can take the time to slow down when eating, going for a walk, or talking with loved ones. Italians provide a great example of the physical and mental health benefits associated with slowing down. The slow-paced, relaxed lifestyle in Italy is one of the reasons the country boasts so many centenarians.
Ways to slow down
- Pay attention to your pace during all activities such as eating and drinking.
- Plan time to practice your faith.
- Make your circle smaller by not associating with draining people.
- Learn to say no to things that aren’t bringing you closer to your goals.
- Find a hobby that you enjoy.
- Plan time to make meals at home and exercise.
Below are 6 of the countless benefits associated with mindfulness and a slower-paced life.
1. More concious decisions regarding what you eat
There are actually only 5 blue zones on the Earth, and Sardinia Italy is one of them! This means that the individuals who live here live some of the longest and healthiest lives. The residents make conscious decisions about what they consume, as most meals are made and eaten at home. They know what exactly is going into their meals, and the fresh food ensures they are receiving all the vitamins and minerals they need.
2. More meaningful connections
Family is so important in Italian culture for a reason. Italians make time to listen to their family members, which helps form deeper connections. When focusing on slowing down, you are able to eliminate all the background noise of life and focus on your relationships with your loved ones.
3. Decrease in phsycial health-related issues
Increased stress that often comes with a hectic, fast-paced life has been associated with numerous health-related issues including obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, Alzheimer’s, and premature death.
4. Decrease mental health-related issues
There is no question as to whether or not a fast-paced life is associated with increased stress and anxiety. Anxiety has been on the rise, even before the pandemic. Studies suggest that for American adults, anxiety increased from 5.12% in 2008 to 6.68% in 2018. When you take the time to eliminate unnecessary activities from your day, you increase the amount of time you have to focus on yourself.
5. Less use of technology
When you are constantly on go mode, you are always worried about keeping up with others, and this includes on social media. When you take the time to stop and reflect, you begin to understand that your focus should be on yourself and not others. Limiting social media use is an extremely effective way to slow down your days.
6. More time for physical activity
Oftentimes when you are living an extremely fast-paced life, you may neglect your physical health. Many feel as though there is not enough time in the day to focus on exercising. Physical activity is a proven way to reduce stress, and a slower life will leave you more time to focus on it.