A slower lifestyle can start with simple things, like how we eat

Written by Kristy Loewen

A huge problem in our world today is the pace. Everything must be done quickly. I want my package to arrive tomorrow. I’m going to run to the store. I need to quickly finish my work so I can go to that meeting, where I’ll find out the next deadline to rush toward. We’re constantly being bombarded with distractions and deadlines.

Hurry and distraction can lead to one common health issue: too much stress. Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life for everyone, but when it gets out of hand for too long it can cause heart problems, weight problems, indigestion, headaches, and the list goes on.

Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

Worrying can cause stress to spiral out of proportion. It would be one thing if we were rushing around with songs in our hearts and pure thoughts in our heads. But that’s usually not the case. If we’re in a rush, we’re concerned about traffic. We’re thinking about what we have to do next and frustrated at whatever is making us late.

Our minds, bodies, and souls are all connected. If our minds are calm, it can trickle down so our bodies feel calm as well. When our souls are settled in the peace of God, our bodies can loosen up, relieving those stress muscles. This also happens in the reverse. When our bodies have just finished a good workout session, our minds can think more clearly and generally be more positive.

This connection also applies to how we eat. It’s common to rush through meals. We eat distractedly because we are too busy rushing to our next appointment. We eat standing up, on the go. We eat in the car. Just as slowing down our days and reducing our overloaded schedules will help with mental stress, eating more slowly will help with our bodily stress.

We often think way too much about what we eat, when we will eat it, and what we will do while we are eating. But Jesus says in Matthew 6:25-27:

“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or rear or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you, by worrying, add a single hour to your life?”

Eating quickly is a form of stress. It deprives us of the pleasure of enjoying what we’re eating. Try slowing down.

Get your food of choice and set it up nicely at the table. Put out a nice placemat, light a candle, turn on some music and fully enjoy the food you’re eating. Take your time, and thank God you can enjoy this treat.

All our food is a gift from God, but we can only enjoy it if we aren’t stressing about it. “Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it” (Luke 12:29).

We can choose to not overload our time, slow down and make ourselves aware that our time and our food are from God and thank Him for it—savouring them appreciatively. This can also lead us to choose to fast from a meal (if our health allows it) and set that time aside to pray.

God has put our bodies together in an incredible way. Every part of us affects every other part. Slow down and breathe. Give your time to God, and enjoy the peace He offers amid this hurrying world.