Who gets there first? The tortoise or the hare? The tortoise of course.

There is much wisdom in that classic fable.

This year, after a frantic Christmas period, I decided I needed to change speed. I needed to embrace a slower pace and a simpler approach. I didn’t have to do everything yesterday or make everything 150% perfectly complex. Slowing down and simplifying was actually ok. This has become my motto, my little affirmation for 2024. Slow and simple is where I choose to be.

Modern life has the tendency to be fast paced and non-stop. Whilst that, is wonderful and can serve a fantastic purpose, if continuous, can have repercussions.

So much of my clinical practice, regardless of the issue a client arrives with on my screen, boils down to stress. Whether it is smoking to relax, unable to fall asleep due to worrying about work; snapping at our kids because we’re so overwhelmed, having that glass of wine to unwind at the end of a long day, perfectionism, pressure to perform…the list seems endless.

Slowing down, taking a step back, pausing and simplifying starts to reduce the cortisol level in your body and starts to shift your mind from the high stress fight or flight response to the calm, thoughtful, empowered state of the parasympathetic nervous system.

It’s half term break for us and I’ve kept the week gloriously free of plans. Time and play at home are what both myself and my girls crave. A little trip to the park, bike ride or perhaps swimming if it rains. Time and space. Slow and simple.

I don’t have time to slow down I hear you cry! (That’s the stress talking, panicking, being the grand protector). Soothe that part of you, start small. Just taking a few slow, deep breaths tells your mind and body that you can slow down; that slow and simple is ok.

The more you do slow down, even if just for a moment, the stronger that slower, simpler mindset becomes; the more calm and ease you feel; the greater your clarity of thought. For when we’re in that frantic high stress state of mind, good cognition and clear thinking can be a challenge. Ultimately making it tougher for you to achieve your goal.

Thus just like in the beloved story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and simple can actually be the winning combination to get you where you want to be.

How will you embody slow and simple for yourself?

13th February 2024