By Lauren Bingham

There is so much that changes once we learn to slow down in a world that tells us to keep moving faster. With the world changing so quickly and a culture that is constantly bombarding us with the newest trend to follow, it is unbelievably easy to get swept up into life in the fast lane. For a moment, it is fun and exciting to experience all that there is around us, but after a while, it is also easy to crash and burn into the anxious thoughts that come from within after living life too fast. This is when I learned to start asking the question: What might happen if I go against the grain and live slower and simpler?

I decided to take this into action, especially throughout this new year. Some ways I implemented slower living as part of my lifestyle were through enjoying time by myself each day, waking up earlier, and reducing my time on social media. This has drastically changed my life because I am not constantly being fed thoughts of needing to do the next big thing. I slowly have learned how valuable my time is when I am alone.

I like to say that I am now a “Six A.M. kind of a girl,” simply meaning that I am an early bird. There is no need for me to be waking up early, but I choose to do it because it removes any possibility of starting off my day in a rush. I am able to practice mindfulness and just sit and look out of my window, choosing to start my day on the right foot.

Another habit I have put into place is not even looking at my phone until later in the morning. Quite possibly one of the worst things people can do for their mental health is be reminded of what seems like a million different notifications the moment that they wake up. It truly does start the day off on a stressful note.

To be honest, there is also something nice about having a screen time you don’t have to feel guilty about by the end of the day.

Living slower in general has taught me so much. It has brought me to appreciate the smaller things in life. Whether it’s a simple sunrise or the sound of my roommate’s oscillating fan, taking time to become in touch with my senses eases anxiety for me. I can start my mornings feeling grounded, and I have time to go through my intentions, goals, or thoughts for that day.

With my alarm going off at 6:15 every single morning, I immediately open my blinds and turn on my lamp. This eliminates any temptation to go back to bed. Without checking my phone, I go straight to my coffee maker. I make my bed, take out my journal, and start thinking about what I need to do that day. This is also when I get the opportunity to meditate a little bit, declaring good things over my day. Sometimes, this looks a lot like simply sitting at my desk chair watching the sun make its first appearance of the day. By 7:30, I feel ready to start my day on a positive, peaceful note.

When a morning starts slow, life as a whole begins to look slow. When I started living at such a pace, I noticed things I never would have seen before. Small moments mean so much more to me, and I no longer am chasing after the next big thing simply because society told me to.

With all of this being said, I hope to live my life like this until I grow old and that’s all I can do.