In a recent survey, 70% of people said they are starting to prioritise their personal life over their career.
In a post-pandemic world, where we’re all re-evaluating how we spend our time, there’s been a shift away from the hustle culture dominating our social feeds in recent years. More of us are opting for a change of pace, swapping fast for slow, and seeing the benefits for our health.
Pioneered by trends like #softlife (with over 600 million TikTok views - a concept putting joy, comfort and ease first, limiting stress) the rise and grind mentality is being replaced by a more mindful approach. Living with intention rather than blindly going through the motions, to really slow down and notice how you’re feeling day-to-day. Think slow movement exercise trends like at-home #cosycardio (mindful movement over intensity) to breathwork techniques you can do between video calls. It’s accessible. It’s attainable. It’s working.
Health over hustle
We’re starting to learn more about all the ways rest is productive, with multiple health benefits. Here’s how taking things slow can improve your wellbeing - for body and mind.
1. Improve mobility
There are many discussions over HIIT (high intensity interval training) vs. LISS (low intensity steady state). HIIT is quick but intense, and can cause stress on the body. LISS exercises like yoga and swimming are slow and gentle to strengthen the body, improving mobility, alignment and muscle memory. A great way to support cardiovascular health without putting stress on joints. Trending primal movement is a free-flowing form of exercise harnessing natural movement patterns humans are built to do, but don’t always use in everyday life (like squats and lunges).
2. Boost your mood
Recent studies show slow breathing exercises can enhance mood. We automatically breathe fast and shallow in times of stress, to get more oxygen into the body so we’re able to run away from danger. Slow, deep breathing techniques stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, letting the body know it is safe, taking it out of ‘fight or flight’ and into ‘rest and digest mode’. For a relaxing moment, spray WATER THERAPY onto pulse points, proven to stimulate neural pathways and switch your mood. Inhale in for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four.
3. Improve digestion
How many of us eat lunch at our desks or on the go between meetings as fast as we can? Many of us see food as simply fuel. But eating too fast causes indigestion, heartburn and nausea. Slowing down and embracing mindful eating allows us to listen to what the body needs, and supports better digestion. To eat more mindfully, listen to the body and eat when hungry, sit down and eat without multitasking, focus on the flavours, chew slowly and properly, take your time to enjoy your meal, and stop when you’re full. You’ll feel the difference.
4. Prevent illness
Stress lowers our natural immunity by decreasing lymphocytes - the white blood cells that fight infection. Slow breathing techniques are a natural antidote to combat stress and its effects on the body’s natural processes. By slowing and deepening the breath, we can help support the lymphatic system - responsible for draining toxins and transporting lymph fluid around the body (full of white blood cells). Slow breathwork has even been in the news recently, with one study suggesting certain techniques have been linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimers.
Looking for more ways to slow down and relax? Learn more about Blue Medicine and what it can do for your health.