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Posted August 30, Reviewed by Matt Huston. Oh, to be able to slow down, be more laid-back and less driven without having to get stoned or drunk. You can. Generally, there are two sources for your too-driven life: anxiety and going on auto-pilot. Anxiety is the constant looking ahead to the future, the what-ifs, the worries that propel you endlessly forward and keep you from appreciating the present.
Autopilot is when you're doing what you do because you do it. Your habits and routines and the demands of others remove any conscious decision-making.
Instead, you go on autopilot. Before actively embarking on this new adventure, step back and think about how you ideally would like your everyday pace of life to be different. Maybe less hectic overall, feeling less anxiousbuilding in time during the day for you to just take a breather or some quiet time by yourself. Or something even more simple, like being able to stand in a line without getting irritated. Your vision can help you set some goals that are important to you, can help you set new priorities to replace your old, all-too-familiar ones.
One way to do this is to check in with yourself, say, every hour.
How are you feeling? How is your pace? Can you take a few deep breaths, can you slow down what you are doing? Do you need a short break? By simply asking yourself these questions, you are stepping out of that unconscious action, becoming more aware of the moment, more aware of you and what you need right now.
This is a big, important one. Shoulds are the rules, the expectations laid out by that parent, schoolmarm, or drill sergeant in our he who is constantly wagging its finger, telling us to go, go, go, be efficient, get things done, no slacking for you. Success is measured by how much you get done, by how much you please others.
Time to shut those voices down. What is getting lost in this way of living is what you want—learning to listen not to the shoulds, but to your gut reactions, your desires. Here you may take a mental health day off from work, or allow yourself to go out for lunch rather than eating at your desk, or not spend four hours on Saturday cleaning your house or apartment, but go for a hike instead. This is about setting boundaries, which helps counter both the autopilot and the anxiety. Instead, you bypass the shoulds and focus on your gut.
But expect to feel guilty and worried that someone is going to get upset. This obviously ties into 3 and 4, but Looking for laidback girl practice also about managing anxiety through control. Some people have a hard time delegating to others because they are always stepping up and being the pleaser. They are perfectionisticuntrusting, need control. Like the guilt for saying no, anxiety will creep in if you let go a bit. Here you want to practice being more proactive.
Rather than seeing what comes at you, plan out in advance your own priorities—what you need to get done, for example, in the next week at work, or building in time for yourself when kids are taking a nap and proactively get them to take a nap. This planning in advance stops the autopilot, builds in wants and needs, and helps you set priorities to counter the everything-is-important stance that anxiety creates. Here you may want to consider practicing meditationdoing breathing exercises at regular intervals during the day, or seeing a therapist.
This Looking for laidback girl practice about having tools to help you lower your anxiety threshold and get centered in the present. Instead, you step back and proactively take small but ificant baby steps towards reaching your vision.
Here you plot out on Thursday what you might want to do on Saturday rather than clean the house, or better yet experiment with allowing that Saturday to be completely want-driven, or deliberately doing everything on Saturday at half speed. Here you put on your calendar going out to lunch with a friend three times in one week rather than eating at your desk, and better yet, make it a leisurely lunch as well. By setting up these experiments, you step out of your autopilot routines, practice moving at a different pace, build up your confidence in stepping outside your comfort zone, and begin to develop a lifestyle that you really want.
With practice, these will all become easier; your head will begin to slow down as your pace does; you'll create a new normal and move towards becoming that more laid-back person you want to be. But don't rush to revamp yourself, don't put it on your to-do list—that's only doing more of the same. Instead, take a deep breath. Slowly changing is just fine. Bob Taibbi, L. He is the author of 11 books and over articles and provides training nationally and internationally. Robert Taibbi L. Fixing Families. About the Author. Online: My Website. Read Next. Back Psychology Today.
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