Slowing Down for a Longer, More Enjoyable Life

3 min read

Education & Career Trends: May 21, 2024
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Choosing to slow down can be a meaningful step toward intentional living and focusing on what truly matters.

Excerpts are taken from an article published on

Sometimes, it seems as if hearts have a finite number of beats, and once they’ve reached their limit, that’s it. In a way, this isn’t far from the truth. Research has shown that a person’s resting heart rate can predict their mortality (Zhang et al., 2016), with a higher resting heart rate correlating with a shorter lifespan. In many ways, hearts symbolize the passage of time.

In today’s culture, many activities make hearts race. People rush, stress, and consume caffeine to stay awake. It’s a culture where productivity is highly valued. A very small study in 2014 of nine construction workers suggested a correlation between performance and heart rate (Gatti et al., 2014).

This raises the question: Where is everyone in such a hurry to get to?

Each individual makes choices related to their values and pace of life. Choosing to slow down can be a meaningful step toward intentional living and focusing on what truly matters. Here are three ways slowing down can make a difference:

1. It Allows Us to Notice Things

When we’re moving quickly, it’s easy to miss things, particularly in relationships. While someone is hyper-focused on a work project, for example, they may not notice that a loved one is struggling. Laser-focus on a task can also guide our awareness away from the good things. I recall my last semester of graduate school when my partner planted a beautiful vegetable garden in front of the house. I walked past it every day yet didn’t give it much thought until I was eating the salsa from the peppers he planted!

2. We Can Make More Intentional Choices

A fast pace gives us little time to think. In the short term, this can lead us at a cheetah’s pace toward a short-term goal. Yet, overall, we can lose sight of why those goals matter to begin with. Slowing down gives us time to reassess whether we are on the path we wish for.

3. It May Give Us More Time

Stress is known to worsen health outcomes all around. By deliberately slowing down and taking our stress at a reasonable pace, we may be adding days to our lives and quality within those days.

It’s perfectly okay to slow down occasionally. Taking the time to acknowledge what brings meaning, love, and enjoyment, even if those things don’t directly contribute to a specific goal, is valuable. It’s natural to worry, but the problems people often rush to solve are not always the most significant ones.

Without time to reflect, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly matters. Spending less time on the racetrack and more time relaxing, perhaps in a hammock watching the squirrels, can be a fulfilling choice.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Promising Career Fields New Grads Can Consider

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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