Category Archives: Podcast

Mindful Moments (Journaling) – A Slow Experiment

Steven Houston

It’s the last Slow Experiment episode for September! For the final week of Mindful Moments, Ben and I look at journaling as way to bring a pocket of slow and mindfulness to a busy day (and our days certainly were busy during the book tour). It’s no secret that Ben is not the biggest journaler alive (see: the great journaling experiment of 2016), but by the end of the episode even he is convinced to give it another crack. Maybe.

On the other hand, I am a big journaler, and have used it as a tool to manage anxiety, give shape to my mornings and help me find slow moments in everyday life for many years. I found during the book tour that the busier life got, and the more I had to strip back my morning rhythm and self-care, journaling was a thing that stuck, and kept helping. It gave me immediate relief on anxious days, was portable and easy, could be as big or small a task as I needed and I felt the effects throughout the day. (If that’s not a testimonial to the power of the journal, I don’t know what is.)

We then share a few ideas for ways to bring journaling into your day, from my ideal scenario (Julia Cameron-style, 3 A4, handwritten, stream-of-consciousness morning pages over a cup of coffee) to the reality of some days (a couple of bullet points quickly jotted down). We also share some other techniques floating around, including Gretchen Rubin’s one sentence a day and the movement that is Bullet Journaling (abbreviated to bujo, apparently!) The key takeaway here is that whatever works for you is the way to go.

I also talk about some research I discovered about the impacts of journaling on physical and mental health. Studies have shown that journaling can help:

  • strengthen your immune system
  • people who journal regularly heal more quickly and get fewer colds/flus and viruses
  • reduces levels of stress, anxiety and depression
  • influences our emotional intelligence and our ability to identify and solve problems in relationships

Join us this week and experiment with a different kind of journaling. Feel free to share your efforts over on Instagram, using the hashtag #slowexperiment.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

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Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

Mindful Moments (Observation) – A Slow Experiment

Neil Thomas

“Mindful attention is choosing to make our mindfulness practice the act of diving deep into one detail.”

In this week’s episode we continue our month of Mindful Moments for the Slow Experiment, looking at the technique of mindful attention or observation. This is something I’ve been practicing for a few years now, and is an excellent example of just how simple mindfulness can be.

At its core, mindfulness is paying attention, and this technique takes that to a granular level. This week we encourage you to try sitting in study of a tiny detail for a couple of minutes, noticing something you wouldn’t have otherwise, and then see how you feel afterwards.

Another way to do this is a body scan, where you sit and rotate your awareness through each of your five senses for a couple of minutes in total – getting very specific about what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. I still remember the impact this had on me at the height of my overwhelm and depression years ago, and the way it would pull me into the present moment and out of resentment and anxiety.

For Ben, this mindful attention technique translates to the workplace as single-tasking. After years of being told multitasking is gold, he now breaks projects down into tasks and then works through those tasks one at a time, focusing on nothing else until the one at hand is complete.

There are so many benefits to these techniques of stripped-back mindfulness. Towards the end of the episode I share a study I found that said even after one week of a short daily mindfulness practice, participants showed significant improvements in attention, energy and ability to cope with stress, as well as in processing, working memory and executive functioning.

We’d love to hear how you’re going if you’re playing along, and whether you’ve noticed any benefits like these after last week’s breath experiment.

Here’s to more mindful moments this week!

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

 

Mindful Moments (Breath) – A Slow Experiment

Valeriia Bugaiova

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

It’s a new month, which means it’s a new Slow Experiment. Hooray! For September, we’re are playing with Mindful Moments, and invite you to do the same. Considering how full-on and intense the book tour has been over the past few months (and continues to be for much of this month) we really wanted to keep this Slow Experiment as simple and achievable as possible, while still experimenting with the question of whether it is actually possible to live a slower life amidst a fast and busy season of life. As a result, this is probably the most accessible experiment of all time, and in this episode we share their our personal intentions for the month and explain how you can start to bring more mindfulness into your daily life – no matter how full and fast and busy it is.

For us, mindfulness is all about paying attention without expectation or judgment. We’re all about stripping mindfulness back to its essence, which means this is not a meditation experiment (although you can meditate if you like) and doesn’t require any apps or colouring books. Instead, it’s simply an exploration of four different mindfulness practices. We’re committing to 5 minutes of mindfulness a day (because that seems do-able to us at the moment) but you can choose your own adventure. Two minutes is better than nothing at all – and the busier you are, the more likely you are to benefit from a mindful moment, regardless of how brief.

In this episode we look at breathing as a mindfulness practice, and specifically focus on deep breathing (or square breathing) and lion’s breath. We break both techniques down, and you can also find links to tutorials in the links below. The benefits of deep breathing have been proven: it relieves stress and anxiety by impacting the nervous system, as well as positively impacting stress hormones. Plus, stress reduction is a win for our physical and mental wellbeing.

So this month we simply invite you to have a play, see what works, and commit to a few minutes of deep breathing every day this week. Let us know how you go – connect on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to download the Mindful Moments guide for more ideas and suggestions for the experiment.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Finally! An hostful update from the road

Welcome to this week’s fast’n’loose hostful poggie (yes, it has been a while between our Q&A episodes – thank you for noticing!)

In this week’s show we get through what must be a record number of your questions, on everything from slow living in fast cities to travelling on a budget. A big thank you to everyone who submitted their thoughtful questions – knowing what you’re struggling with, what you need more of (and what you need less of) is so important because it helps us to create a show that helps and that speaks to the real challenges you’re facing. It’s not necessarily easy to ask questions and I just wanted to let you know that we appreciate it. A lot.

Today’s episode kicks off with a question from a listener who lives in Mumbai, who asks how they can preserve their energy while living in such a fast-paced place. I talk about the power of mindful micro-moments throughout the day to help you step out of the chaos and into the tiny details, while Ben talks about the replenishing effects of spending time in green spaces in cities, harking back to the nature Slow Experiment earlier this year.

In a similar vein, the next question is about ways to get out of your head (not that I’d know anything about that of course *cough cough*) other than meditation. As someone who relates very well with this question I share two of my favourite strategies for this: brain dumping and the body scan. Later in the episode I also share what resources I use to meditate, for anyone searching for an app to use.

Then it’s on to a bunch of travel-related questions. We talk about what we’re cooking and eating on the road (spoiler alert: their meals are “not setting the world on fire”, according to Ben), the oven foods they miss the most (strong contender for question of the episode), how the kids are going with school and being on the move so much and how to travel when you’re on a budget.

We move on to a super dorky throwback to answer the question of how we met, and finish up by answering a couple more cracking questions about dealing with waste and what we’re currently learning about. We both answer these ones completely honestly, sharing some of the challenges we’re facing as we travel, as well as the juicy topics that are sparking our interest right now.

I guess the takeaway from this entire episode is that life is rich and varied and ever-changing. And that you guys ask the best questions. Thank you for making us think and learn and improve. We love you.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!

Making Friends as an Adult – A Deep Dive in to Slow Relationships

joyce huis

Active listening is the cornerstone to developing meaningful, longer-lasting relationships.

We’re onto the last of our slow relationships episodes, and this week is all about new friends: where to find them and how to get from barely know each other to BFF, slowly. It’s all about taking the time, being intentional and paying attention, as well as discovering the joy of spending time with people based on what’s important to you rather than the situation you find yourself in (bye awkward office/school drop off chats, hi fellow slow living friends).

First up, Ben asks if, given last week’s episode about maintaining existing friendships and the time it takes, as well as the effort involved in meeting new people, do we even need any more friends? I give an emphatic yes and share some of my own story and the challenges I’ve faced around friendships. (i.e. I struggle to make them and to put myself in the position of vulnerability required to deepen them).

In case you need convincing, I also highlight some of the benefits of friendships according to science, including everything from improved self-esteem to reduction in stress and depression, finding like-minded folk to while our days away with is absolutely worth the effort.

And now the question is: how do we find these new friends? I talk about the importance in shifting our attitude and being open in social situations (even if that feels difficult and scary). Think about the values you’re looking for in a new pal, and find ways to put yourself into a relevant community, whether IRL or online. I’ve got some helpful strategies for the introverted among us (I feel you) and some coping mechanisms for those inevitable awkward first conversations.

It’s also important to keep in mind that not all fledgling friendships will work out, and that’s OK. It’s a cheesy cliche, but I really do believe that we have friendships that will last for a short time, an important time and also a life-time, and just because a new mate doesn’t become a bestie isn’t a reflection of us or our failings. It’s just life.

Here’s to more listening, more mateship and in those lucky instances of true connection – more friend love. It’s important, just like you.

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Head over to iTunes to subscribe to the show and play the episode.

Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!

——

Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:

Keep Listening:

Support the Show:

Recently we hit the mind-blowing number of 4.5 million downloads of The Slow Home Podcast! This is all thanks to your lovely self and the community of people who listen to the show every week, send in your questions and offer your feedback. I’m so grateful you’re here and part of this, and for anyone who has supported the show in any way over the past year – thank you so much.

If you do love the show and would like to show your support by becoming a patron, head over here to make a small monthly donation (as little as $1 a month) and know that any amount makes a huge difference to us being able to cover costs.

Most importantly, thanks for being here!