2 Ways To Slow Down For Greater Wellness And A Better Body!

Mature woman enjoying a walk by a lake

I’m often met with shocked and amazed expressions when I tell women it is not only possible yet imperative to “slow down” to lose weight. During midlife, our bodies are pushed in ways we cannot absorb, let alone embrace.

I often feel like I’m racing from one thing to the next all day long with little time to pause, eat, and actually think through what I’m doing in the moment. It can be late in the evening, after dinner, when we finally have a chance to take a deep breath, appreciate the moment and relax. Then, we fall asleep – and start the roller coaster ride of the next day.

The lack of calm in our lives is wreaking havoc on our ability to respond to stress, our eating and sleeping habits, and ultimately, our health, wellness, and waistlines.

The problem with this “go go go” mentality is it increases our cortisol, or stress hormone, and for many, it stays elevated all day long. When we are constantly going, doing, and hurrying, our bodies are perpetually in “fight or flight” mode. “Fight or flight” mode means it is simply trying to survive and protect our body from harm.

Our bodies are meant to protect us from stress. It does this by elevating our stress hormone, cortisol, to protect us. Primally, this hormone was intended to protect us from harm like a lion, a saber tooth tiger, or starvation. It is meant to help us survive physical and emotional danger and to give us the ability to “power through” tough days.

It was not meant to be elevated throughout the day without a break. Sadly, this is what is occurring in so many women’s bodies because of this constant “go go go” pace to which we have become accustomed.

So often, I hear women say, “I can’t slow down; I have too much to do!” We have work, driving kids to school, parents and loved ones’ responsibilities, last-minute and unanticipated requests, 1,000 new emails in our inbox, a constant stream of texts, appointments, taking care of pets and family. Yet, even the busiest of us can make time to slow down and embrace silence, even if only for a few minutes each day.

Quote on a white background " wherever you are right now, just be there"

“Slowing down” is largely about being present, mindful, and giving our bodies the chance to increase their “feel good” hormones like serotonin (calming) and dopamine (reward center and mood elevating). When I advise clients to slow down, I’m not necessarily referring to the physical act of moving slowly, which, yes, can be hugely helpful. I mean we need to slow down our brains, increase our awareness, and be fully in the moment. It also can mean taking stock of your core values by which you choose to live.

Our brains are on overdrive all day long – thinking, worrying, planning, problem-solving, and checking off/adding to our to-do lists in our heads. Sometimes, our brains simply need a break. One of the best ways to give our brain the much-deserved break it needs is to EMBRACE SILENCE.

Embracing silence in our program means not only quieting the physical noise around us but also focusing on the emotional “noise” we are allowing in our minds.

Simple ways Alexandria Wellness members slow down are #1 – to drive in silence. Yep, no radio, podcast, and phone in the back seat. And most importantly, FOCUS on driving. Your hand position, your body’s position, how your feet feel on the floor, are they relaxed, are you breathing 🤪, what are the other drivers around you doing, is the sky blue, are there any opportunities to find beauty on your drive, etc. I think you get the point. It is what I call “full-screen living.” Are we focused on our mile-long “to do” list, or are we simply driving?

You can also take a breath at each traffic light.

Young black woman holding the steering wheel while driving a car.

My second way to slow down is to go on a “LEISURELY” walk daily. It’s also called a “mantra walk,” where we notice the sights and sounds around us, leave the device at home, closely pay attention to our feet striking the ground, use our arms, focus on breathing in and out with intention and yes again notice the beauty around us. Beauty is everywhere!

Mature woman enjoying a walk by a lake

There are MANY ways we can slow down and embrace silence throughout our day without changing our routine and simply adjusting how we approach our daily activities. Reduce distractions and noise. Focus on breathing and take purposeful pauses. Your brain and body will thank you!

We want to help you (and your team!) take charge of your health and wellness and make it FUN. Here are two ways you can get started today. If you’re interested in joining our Small Group Concierge program, email us at contact@alexandriawellness.com. We have almost filled our 6am session and are quickly filling our lunchtime group. You’ll have a built-in community of others seeking holistic wellness!

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