Benefits & Pleasures of Physical Slowness
Life is a race with no prize at the end, because the other runner, death, so far always wins. We have to enjoy the race itself, not the prize. It's only a race for pleasure, since no other value gives meaning to such a breathtaking race to make it worth-running. What matters is how much pleasure we enjoy, not how many miles we run.
Yet, many pleasures have to be enjoyed at ease, slowly, that we must ease our tension first, ignore death and other competitors, and act as if we were immortal having ALL the time we need, to enjoy the moment properly at our own pace. Not only sensual pleasures, but many thoughts need to be slowly relished and imagined, and many jobs must be given time to come out perfect. Even when we end up dexterous and familiar with some, there will always be more to do and taste anew, slowly, especially at their first stage, impression, sight, bite ...
Walking, talking, eating, or any physical activity we do in a relaxed slow motion, allows our senses more sensitivity, that a fast rushed hurried motion cannot give. It is the most favorable mode of living for our body, enabling it to see clearly what life has to offer. The human body cannot stay long in a fast tense state, consuming all its energy, nor in a still passive state, with responsibilities and work it must finish. Even getting into these two states, full alert or full rest, should be slow and gradual, for optimal results, since our body is like a vehicle that cannot speed up or stop suddenly without some loss or damage.
Slowness is more effective and easier to achieve in a relaxed body than a tense one, because tension makes slowness difficult, with the stressed parts constantly goading us to fight off stress.
Benefits of Slowing down
• Slowness naturally speeds up thinking, thanks to the mutually exclusive relationship between body and mind (the mind is fast when the body is slow, and vice versa). It's the wise man's choice: a study in 2010 has shown that old people are generally wiser than other age groups, not only because of their accumulated life experiences, but also their naturally slow movement. As for the rest of us, we don't have to wait till we get old to wise up. Unlike oldies, we needn't do it out of fear of catching a cold, breaking a bone, or missing the few days and pleasures left to enjoy: we can be wise now. Even our reckless youth stage, with its impetuous high testosterone, can be curbed for extra pleasure.
• Slowness is more practical than stillness or any "outer" speed, because most of our necessities require one type of movement or another, that to stay still is nearly impossible, and to go fast you lose focus and mess up your work. Even then, if it's difficult to slow down physically (e.g. while doing exercises), we can still slow down mentally, or not think at all if thinking distracts us.
• Slowness is safer than speed that can be more hazardous than any other body mode. It's good to stay still and not make a move we are not prepared for. However, if we MUST move, we have no choice then but to slow down. We should slow down if we must move while sleep-deprived, exhausted, absent-minded, nervous, angry, excited, aroused, etc. Moving fast while in any of these states is so risky. A sleep-deprived train-driver should stay STILL at home and take the day off, rather than risk the life of hundreds, including his.
• Being slow is more relaxing than being fast which creates unnecessary tension; thus the former allows us more "stress-free" pleasures than the latter. The number of pleasures in life enjoyed at ease are more than those enjoyed in haste. Suspense or intensity is temporarily exciting, before it causes fatigue and turns into familiarity and boredom. Look at the overall picture!
• Slow eating helps increase digestion, satiety and pleasure hormones more than fast eating does. Its benefits go beyond the act of eating.
• Slow exercises are better than fast ones that cause stiff arteries, among other health problems. Our ancestors used to move slow and much almost all day long, not like present-day people who work out hard, non-stop, for a couple of hours, until they fall exhausted ... and rest the whole day (like they are done living, solved all their problems, and are ready to die/rest). Early humans, however primitive they were, always had problems, more than ours, and always took their time solving them: days, years, millennia. We didn't evolve overnight.
• Slow speech allows speaker and listeners to think and apply more logical skills to what is being said, more than fast conversation does which only excites superficial emotions, addressing outer senses and ear drums where they quickly bounce off, never penetrating such surfaces. A fast, loud or emotional speech does not excite the brain. (A cheer-leader or a theatrical preacher may use it anyway to "please" his audience, and make a living too!)
• Slow consciousness and waking up! In the morning, if we have to wake up "reluctantly," we can do it instead slowly and lightly (using minimum effort, without causing the slightest stress to any muscle), moving one body part at a time, starting with the smallest: fingertips, toes, eyes, etc., until we are up on our feet, fully conscious and ready to meet our day. However, if there's an urgent need or imminent danger that we must get up immediately, we'll do it the hard way then—fight or flight: "Stiffen up and run, or face your enemy and beat him!"
• Slow exposure to sensual changes—light, noise, heat, coldness, etc.—is safer and more enjoyable than sudden one. For example, facing the light suddenly after staying so long in the dark is difficult and harmful; we do it gradually instead. (The same with mind senses or new thoughts, slowly allowing the light of truth and accepting hard facts we wouldn't accept immediately! Read on!)
• Slow adjustment, quitting old habits and creating new ones! We cannot change a chronic/lifelong behavior suddenly; we do it gradually.
We can't ignore the fourth dimension of TIME, in any aspect of life.