The Benefits of Practicing Awareness When Rushing

July 23, 2021 by

By Cawood Fitzhugh

In coming out of a pandemic where life slowed down a bit, have you noticed now all the rushing?  How much we rush through life, getting on to the “next” thing?  Hurrying through, while attempting to take care of something else?  My mother hung a quote on the kitchen wall, “The hurrier I go the behinder I get.”  Research seems to indicate this is probably true.

Excessive hurrying ends up in worrying. For example, if you are in a fast-paced job and you need to get home at a certain time, you may find yourself hurrying through your day.  Yet later, you may find yourself worrying when you get home.  Worrying about missing an important detail?  Now you find yourself spending more time at home re-checking your day’s work.

Many of us are going at an immensely fast pace right now without true direction. This hurrying results in habit formations of rushing. Rushing to get to work, rushing through a conversation, rushing through a meal.  We soon begin to operate on autopilot, rushing for most everything- giving into inefficient systems- personally and professionally. Does this apply to you?  Is rushing really serving you?

Bringing awareness to rushing through your day can help reveal how unrewarding rushing truly is, especially after spending months in a slowed down pandemic culture.  Keep an eye out to notice your own habit loops around rushing.  Ask yourself, what do I really get from this?  The very act of noticing and noting “rushing” is the beginning of awareness. This new awareness can re-orient us in a better direction for better health.  The practice of awareness is the lens that allows us to see more clearly with curiosity and lovingkindness being the framework in which to see.

Switching from rushing to paying attention can result in increased feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction, with perhaps the bonus of a little better sleep.  At first, this can feel scary because we are so used to rushing through our lives every day.  Start with just noting, what do you feel when you are rushing?  Are you mindless, constricted, feeling tense?  Do you find yourself always rechecking yourself?  Are you worrying, anxious?  Do you have a hard time sitting still?  Is your mind always on to the next “to do” list?   Then notice how it feels when you are being fully present with an activity and not rushing.  Is there more personal satisfaction?  Do you feel more relaxed?  Is it more spacious? Can you think more clearly?  Are you happier? Are your relationships better?  Conversations more pleasant? Sleeping better?

The next time you are rushing, try taking a slow, deep, breath down to your toes and back out again. Pause a second and ask, what is rushing truly getting me right now in this moment?  Slow down a bit. Then decide how you want to proceed.

Try it out this week to see for yourself how this feels. It’s small moments, many times a day, that begin to shift our  habitual patterns of behavior.  Establishing a new pattern of slowing down, now that we are coming out of a pandemic, and being efficient, instead of rushing, may assist in moving through each day with more awareness and kindness.   As in the song, Beautiful Boy by John Lennon … “Before you cross the street, take my hand. Life is what happens to you, while you’re making other plans”.

Filed Under: Monthly Musings