15/02/2017 08:03 GMT | Updated 16/02/2018 05:12 GMT

Learning To Slow Down

Sometimes we are so busy that we rush through our days and lives, and we fail to stop and notice the simple beauty of living.

We are conditioned to value speed and getting things done quickly, we are told to hurry up and get that finished. We are also conditioned to think that doing is far more valuable than merely being, that making the most of life is a getting as much done as we can as quickly as we can. But is that right?

What I have found is that the more I try to fit in to a short space of time, the increasingly harried and disconnected I become. And I find that I don't actually achieve what I set out to achieve in the space of time I have given myself. I get frustrated and annoyed. I don't notice the simple beauty of what is all around me.

When I consciously slow down, I rediscover the significance of some of the seemingly inconsequential aspects of my life. I notice the stunning views, the sounds of the birds, the flight of the bumble bees.

I also find that I get more done by slowing down and getting that job done becomes a source of profound pleasure to me, no matter how large or small the task.

When I give myself the gift of time I reap the benefits. I have time to indulge my curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to sit and think, to connect with other people and with myself and to appreciate my world.

Taking my time is not being inefficient or lazy. By working at a slower pace I can be selective of how I use my time and can appreciate fully every moment. Pacing myself as I address something urgent allows me to centre myself before moving ahead with my plans.

Taking that little bit of extra time can even be a boon when a situation demands haste. When I embrace simplicity I allow myself to ignore those actions and activities that no longer benefit me. The extra time I gain can appear like a huge waste of potential. But as I slow down, I realise that by eliminating rushing from my experiences I have more time to focus on what I really want to do.

I can relish my morning rituals, linger over quality time with my husband, immerse myself wholeheartedly in my work, and take advantage of opportunities to nurture myself every single day.

It is challenging to avoid giving in to the temptation to rush, particularly when we are used to a world of split-second communication, mobile phones, email and overflowing agendas. Yet that sense of continuous accomplishment you lose when you slow down will quickly be replaced by feelings of contentment. Your relaxed tempo will open your mind and you will be more aware of how happy you are.

When you are happy you will achieve so much more than when you are unhappy, stressed and rushing around. Give it a try, see how much more you can accomplish.