2 Slow Down to Be a Better Mom
It's not easy to truly connect with your kids when there are toys to pick up, meals to prepare, and endless other chores to get done around the house. But the less time you spend doing things with your children when they're young, the greater the odds that you'll run into family conflictquarreling frequently about curfews, smoking, alcohol usewhen they hit adolescence, according to a study from the Netherlands.
How to take it slow: You don't necessarily need more time with your kids; you simply need to use the time you do have a little differentlynamely, by focusing your full attention on the little moments. For instance, instead of assembling lunchboxes at the kitchen counter while your children eat breakfast, sit at the table with them and chat for a few minutes while sipping your coffee. Or stop folding laundry for five minutes and help build a Lego castle. These short bursts of shared do-nothing time really count: They let children know they're valued and loved and keep you in touch with the fulfilling joys of motherhoodplus, they pave the way for better communication when your kids hit their turbulent teens.
3 Slow Down to Make Your Sex Life Sizzle
Chronic hurrying can raise levels of stress hormones that suppress your body's production of dopamine, a "feel-good" brain chemical that plays a key role in regulating your libido, according to Bost. As a result, you may find most nights that you're far more interested in snoozing than in sex. Needless to say, skipping the foreplay just so you can get to sleep sooner can also make for a pretty ho-hum sex life.
How to take it slow: The key to nudging your desire back to normal is simple: Before burrowing down into your pillow, take one minute to touch your husband's hand, look into his eyes, and say something, whether it's "How was your day?" or "I love you." Communicating with each other at the end of a busy day enhances intimacy, says Bostand the closer you feel to him emotionally, the more you'll want him physically.
4 Slow Down for a Healthier Heart
If you fume in the face of any sort of delay, you may be putting your happiness and your heart health at risk. Those who hate to wait have an almost 50 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure in the next 15 years compared with those who know how to Zen it, according to a Northwestern University study.
How to take it slow: The next time you feel yourself freaking out because the woman in front of you at the post office is taking ages to choose her stamps, say something calming to yourself, such as, In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter if my errand takes an extra two minutes. "When you think positive thoughts, your body and mind quickly relax," notes Luskin. Keep your cool by distracting yourself and tuning into your senses. Pay close attention to how beautiful someone looks (that baby being cradled nearby or a woman having a great hair day) or how pleasing the texture or color of some object is. Take a minute to just be in the moment rather than feeling like your life is on hold.