When walking in the hallway, I sometimes notice that I’m traveling quickly. It’s an arm swinging, rigid-stepped pace.
It’s as if I’m rushing to a meeting that has already begun. Most likely, I walk fast often, but fail to notice it for the most part.
In these moments, I’m not late for anything. Walking quickly through the halls is the default setting on busy days. When my mind is racing, my body naturally imitates the pace of my thoughts.
When I catch myself in this needless sprint-walk, I slow down, almost comically, to a casual stroll.
I instantly feel calmer and more relaxed. I haven’t changed anything external; I’ve just noticed the needless rush and slowed down. The day will still be busy. I still have plenty to do.
But my mind won’t be frantic as a I read the next essay or talk to the next student. I won’t be needlessly sprinting through the experience, racing late to a meeting that exists in my mind.
Instead, I slow down, read carefully, and listen.