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October 11, 2012

Speed Up by Slowing Down

Would you agree that you have to slow down in order to speed up?

I was at Talladega Speedway this past weekend watching the NASCAR race and that’s exactly what they had to do. The drivers are racing around the track at 197 MPH and eventually they knew that if they didn’t come to a screeching halt for about 13.9 seconds, taking a pit stop, they would never finish the race. Everyone’s watching the lead driver, and as soon as he pulls into pit road, they all follow suit. Getting fresh tires, fuel, making adjustments, and back on the track they went.

Same applies to you. Scientific research is showing that taking a time out can reduce stress and make you more productive. So, how do you slow down when you have too much to do? Here are some tips.

Set a timer to remind you take a break.

Every 60 to 90 minutes you need to stop what you are doing and take a breather for five minutes. Get away from the computer and focus on something in the distance to rest your eyes. Gently stretch your back, neck and leg muscles. Walk around a bit to rev up circulation.

Focus on a picture of somewhere relaxing.

Where do you feel most relaxed? On a beach somewhere warm and tropical? In front of a roaring fire with the snow piled high outside? With your family around the Thanksgiving table? Whatever your image for relaxation, get a picture of it and put the image where you can see it. Focus on it and experience what you feel when you are actually there. The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what you experience in your imagination and in real life. A quick mental “vacation” will do wonders to relax you.

Meditate or pray.

Meditation and prayer can reduce stress. These activities lower blood pressure, encourage deeper breathing and improve your mood. You don’t have to become a yogi to learn to meditate. Just repeating a word such as “peace” or “calm” can put you in a meditative state. If you prefer praying, the power of prayer can produce the same results as meditation.

What are you doing to slow down?

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