What is slow living

What is slow living? (Guide to slowing down for a better life)

A popular trend today is slow living. But its main points emphasize cutting back on consumption and living more slowly. Breathe magazine is piled high at grocery store checkouts, demonstrating how widely slow living is accepted. The popularity of Marie Kondo’s tidying up has led to an increase in donations to charity shops.

Numerous apps allow us to meditate and spend less time online, and fast food restaurants now provide vegan menu options. Everyone seems to be aiming for a more straightforward, sustainable, and fulfilling life.

The emphasis is on simplicity, whether it is through decluttering or streamlining your travel plans. With social media posts revolving around the slow living movement. They highlight the modest pleasures of life that should be savoured. And perhaps they will encourage you to put down your smartphone.

What is slow living? (let’s dig in a little deeper)

The key to slow living is to consume less and move more slowly through your day. And slow living can involve everything from planning your vacation to eating thoughtfully.

Faster isn’t necessarily better, according to this set of values. Slow living is not a luxury reserved for those without jobs, family, or obligations. It’s not just for people who can afford country cottages. The slow food movement, which prioritises regional and traditional cuisine over fast meals, gave rise to the slow living movement.

slow living reading

In 1986, a group of Italian activists protested the proposed McDonald’s location at the Spanish Steps in Rome. To oppose the historic site’s commercialisation, they hosted a big pasta feast. They also produced a manifesto, which later served as the basis for the slow living movement.

However, despite its increasing appeal, slow life is sometimes misinterpreted.

The 7 Principles of Slow Living

The philosophy of slow life equates to better living, not faster living. It does not equate being busy with importance or success, either at work or at home. The guiding principles encourage daily self-care as well as doing more of what you enjoy while leading a morally upright life.

Despite the fact that you can discover a range of slow living principles online, I’ve compiled and condensed seven principles here so you can get a sense of how to live a slow lifestyle in line with the slow living movement as a whole.

1. Slow Living in Everyday Life

We are always encouraged to work harder and move more quickly in today’s culture. It can seem like there is never enough time in the day to get everything done, whether it be due to expectations from our work, from school, or even from our personal social life. While some people may benefit from this strategy, others can feel exhausted and lacking in a sense of accomplishment. It can easily become very stressful!

Therefore, the slow living movement advises that you adopt a new way of living that involves decluttering your life and altering your perspective. Put a stop to overbooking your calendar. Quit believing that you must be active constantly and stop saying “yes” to everything. and move more slowly through your day-to-day activities.

Make a life for yourself where you can enjoy your daily routine, one that makes you happy and makes you content. Create a morning routine that makes you excited to face the day; create day routines that provide you time for rest and calming relaxation; and create evening rituals that allow you to drift off to sleep knowing that you have lived well!

2. Connection to Community

“Slow and steady wins the race,” as the adage goes. There are numerous approaches to living a life that is less stressful and more attentive. Slow living is a way of living that focuses on what one is doing right now, in that particular instant.

Spend some time becoming involved in your neighbourhood by volunteering or planning a community event. You become more serene and connected as a result of this type of exercise and the connections you build.

slow living connection to community

A key component of the notion of slow living is taking things more slowly and strengthening your ties to your neighbourhood. This lifestyle has numerous facets, but its basic tenet is to set aside time for introspection and to defy the fast-paced society we live in today. You can become more aware of what you put into your soul and how it influences your life by slowing down.

Enjoy the activities that are offered in your neighbourhood. This might be a secure and enjoyable location. You can usually find folks who are similar to you and with whom you may share interests. You might make fantastic, significant relationships that significantly impact your life. The slow life movement includes this.

3. Live in the present and practice mindfulness.

Is it feasible to be present and mindful every day? Absolutely! Whatever you do, if you can manage to live each day in the present, you’ll discover that life gets easier, more fulfilling, and less stressful. The secret is to deliberately try to live more thoughtfully and in the present.

It is simple to lead a life of disorder and distraction in today’s technological age given the constant stream of information you are exposed to. It’s possible to feel so stressed out that you stop paying attention to the present. Many people use mindfulness and meditation as a means of escaping the chaotic cycle and beginning to live a more straightforward, purposeful life in order to overcome this. You might want to think about using mindfulness meditation or finding other methods to escape the chaos.

Enjoy the moment and what is in front of you. You can go towards slow living and life simplification by adopting this straightforward mentality. Be unconcerned with the past and the future. Pay attention to what is happening in this moment in your life.


4. A Promise to Reduce Consumption and Minimize It

Living a minimalist lifestyle involves limiting one’s possessions to those that are absolutely necessary. A commitment to minimalism and consuming less by organising your house, editing your clothes, and reducing your expenditures are all parts of a slow living lifestyle. These actions encourage simplicity.

To reduce their consumption and live a more straightforward, meaningful existence, a growing number of people are adopting a minimalist lifestyle. What is the cause of this pattern? It’s because a culture that places a high importance on material goods can occasionally generate unhappiness or emptiness. By just purchasing what they actually require and refraining from squandering money on unnecessary stuff, becoming a minimalist can help people avoid debt and live on less money.

Additionally, one of the primary causes of environmental issues is excessive consumption. However, a lot of individuals are unaware that they may alter their own lives in order to affect the world. To simply consume less, which entails having less material possessions, spending less money, utilising fewer natural resources, and creating less trash.

Take pleasure in a straightforward mindset and simple ways of living that promote slow living. Both you and the rest of the world will benefit from this!

5. A Promise to Live Purposefully

I try to live a purposeful life every day when I get out of bed. Even if it’s occasionally difficult, this work is crucial. You need a purpose in life and to embrace your passions if you want to be happy.

You can live with purpose in many different ways. For instance, you can strive to develop personally or professionally, assist those in need, or provide service to your community.

slow living with purpose

Living with purpose is lot simpler when you make the commitment to determining what you want from life and venture out into the world to get it, despite the fact that it may initially appear scary. Think about your interests, your passions, and what your spirit truly desires. What actions can you take to feel content? Have you developed a passion that offers you a sense of direction?

A beloved activity or unique interest should be a part of your daily routine if you lead a slow lifestyle. You can enjoy yourself and advance personally by engaging in a hobby or unique interest. It facilitates social interaction, gives you meaning, and makes you happy.

Enjoy a pastime or a niche interest that provides you meaning. It provides you with a regular opportunity for relaxation while also fostering a sense of value that supports your slow living way of life.

6. Relationships and social connections are important.

Do the relationships and social connections that are most significant to you mirror how you spend your time? Many people seem to be more preoccupied with their technological devices than they are with communicating with the people in their lives.

One study indicated that 66% of those who check social media will do so while eating, and almost 90% of those who do so will pick up their phones during one-on-one conversations. Yikes! (I may occasionally be guilty of doing this!)

People are finding it harder to uphold personal relationships as we live in a time of quickly shifting societal norms. It has gotten easier to interact with people online rather than in person as a result of the development of social networks and technology.

This can result in less interaction with friends you have in real life who share your interests and values, which erodes genuine friendships. Although using technology to expand one’s horizons has its advantages, it’s still crucial to keep close relationships with people who share your values and interests. Because of this, it’s crucial to prioritise interpersonal connections and face-to-face social interactions.

Authentic relationships and social connections that genuinely uplift and inspire your spirit should have a place in your life that you like developing, sustaining, and appreciating. Keep your brain and habits clear of technology’s misdirection, complexity, and confusion.

7. Make a commitment and promise to slowing down

People frequently persuade themselves and others that once they reach a particular age, they will begin to slow down. The age can vary, but the underlying idea is typically that as we age, we should become more laid back and less self-critical. People are beginning to believe that we should slow down now rather than later, though.

But when life is in full gear, it can be challenging to slow down. In the end, there are a lot of things that need to be done, including work, laundry, health, and family. All of these obligations offer valid justifications for why maintaining a fast pace is vital.


Most individuals overlook the fact that the race will finally come to an end. The next question is, how much can be done in the short time that is left? What plans do you have for the race?

The majority of individuals do not desire to live in chaos. They select a life of peace and joy over one filled with disorder after taking the time to learn about and consider their options. However, as we’ve covered in this post, slowing down and making changes require dedication.

Enjoy what is sincere and true. Don’t let life’s craziness interfere with your relaxed way of living or your dedication to tranquilly, contentment, and peace. It’s time to let go.

What are the benefits of slow living

While there are several advantages to slow living, we can categorise the majority of them into five basic groups.

  • improved health
  • less anxiety and reduced stress
  • stronger connections
  • More time for your favourite activities
  • a rise in general contentment

The truth is that each of us only has one life to live, and as we race to cross things off of our to-do lists, that life is slipping away. It’s time to calm down your pace of life.

The majority of individuals do not desire to live in chaos. They select a life of peace and joy over one filled with disorder after taking the time to learn about and consider their options. However, as we’ve covered in this post, slowing down and making changes require dedication.

Enjoy what is sincere and true. Don’t let life’s craziness interfere with your relaxed way of living or your dedication to tranquilly, contentment, and peace.

1. Improved Health

The physical wellness of your body will benefit from moving more slowly. Consider the daily activities you would enjoy if you had the time. Does going for a walk outside, riding a bike, or going to the beach come to mind?

Many of us tend to picture ourselves outside, taking in the beauty of nature when we think of a calm, joyful, and leisurely way of life.

slow living for health

Going outside will raise your heart rate, boost your mood and vitality, and the lovely sun will give you all the Vitamin D you require. Our bodies require vitamin D because it strengthens our bones, fights disease-causing free radicals, and supports the circulatory and nervous systems.

The oxygen we get from breathing in clean, fresh air gives us the energy to focus and concentrate on all of our everyday chores as well as to clean our blood and control our sleep cycles.

A slow life is beneficial for your body for many reasons, not only the fact that nature plays a significant part in health and wellbeing. Living slowly will give you the time to make wiser, healthier decisions, like cooking more balanced meals at home and avoiding the drive-through.

2. Less anxiety and stress

Everyone tends to encounter stress, anxiety, or depression at some point in their lives, but more individuals than ever before suffer from these mental diseases over an extended period of time, and they can have a significant impact on your life.

People who lead slower lives typically breathe more deeply, feel more at ease, and feel less hurried. Making time to take in your surroundings is a terrific approach to psychologically and to relax and put the stress behind you.

Living slowly provides you more opportunity to view each circumstance in a different perspective and enables you to deal with one problem at a time, even though there is no way to escape life and some of the stress it tends to bring.

To finish everything on time when we’re pressed for time and feeling overwhelmed, we overthink, overreact, and multitask ineffectively.

You will have more time to unwind and think more clearly if you can slow down just long enough to develop a better course of action.

slow living for connection

3. Stronger connections

Statistics indicate that the high divorce rate is not particularly surprising. Although some relationship problems are unavoidable, altering the dynamics of a failed relationship can reduce these rates and enhance your ability to connect with others.

Any relationship, whether it be with your spouse, child, workplace, etc., can be severely strained by stress and anxiety. For you to feel balanced and content, all of these connections must function properly together. You struggle to focus, manage your emotions, and even be reasonable when you’re stressed or anxious.

We miss out on the crucial things that matter to us the most when we spend our lives to fit a time limit, a deadline, or a number of goals. You’ll be able to connect with your loved ones and interact with them better if you occasionally press the stop button.

4. More time for your favourite activities

Have you ever told yourself, “Next week, I’m going to sign up for that art class I’ve been wanting to try out,” or “This summer, I’m going to take that weekend getaway I’ve been planning for years”? When fall arrives and winter gradually sets in, do you realise that it never materialised?

You only get one chance in this life, so live it up and make the most of it. Why keep passing on those vacations or pastimes that you could fall in love with?

One of the most crucial aspects of leading a leisurely life is making time for YOU. Finding yourself, loving yourself, and, if necessary, forgiving yourself

Nobody should ever reach their destination and reflect, “I wish I would have.” When that time comes, you ought to be able to look back on a huge number of memories and say, “I’m glad I got to accomplish those things.”

5. A rise in general contentment

The evidence presented above makes it quite clear that leading a leisurely life encourages general happiness and wellbeing.

Simply being able to pace yourself and not feeling pressured to go on to the next task can make you feel happier and lead to a more successful and prosperous life.

Tips on how to start living a slow life

Here are some suggestions for leisurely living that you can start using right away, even if you’re pressed for time or reside in a bustling city.

1. Reduce your possessions

One of the main advantages of minimising your possessions is that it might facilitate a slower pace of life.

For instance, reducing the amount of unnecessary clutter in your house or office will lower the number of visual distractions that vie for your attention.

Fewer items compete for your attention, making it simpler to completely appreciate each moment and whatever you’re doing at the time.

You can also make other areas of your routine simpler by getting rid of extra belongings. For instance, having more time for stress-reduction hobbies like going for walks or listening to music instead of spending time organising a wardrobe full of clothes.

In the end, by getting rid of the things that make you feel burdened, you give yourself more time and room to enjoy the rich moments of life at a slower, more deliberate pace.

2. Visit your favourite outdoor areas more often

To manage the stress of living in a busy urban area, it’s essential to have a few outdoor spaces where you and your family may stop and take a breath.

Each of these locations provides something distinctive, whether it is a tranquil green area smack in the centre of the city, an oasis amidst the throngs of people, or continual traffic.

Woman relaxing on the library floor as an illustration of leisurely living
These locations may offer much-needed retreats when you need to take time off from your busy schedule, whether it’s finding a hidden garden oasis tucked away on a busy street corner or relaxing among old trees in a lush park while listening to birds sing in the distance.

They can nonetheless give some relief from the never-ending activity of city life, even though they might not offer the same opportunity for slow living as living in a rural region.

3. Get the day going slowly.

You know how crucial it is to start the day off calmly if you’ve ever found yourself rushing through your morning ritual in a frenzy only to feel like the rest of your day is a haze.

We set the tone for the rest of the day when we approach our mornings like a to-do list. Instead of taking the time to savour the present, we become hurried, stressed out, and irritable with ourselves.

When you allow yourself adequate morning time, everything changes. Every cup of coffee or tea, every bite of meal, and even a little meditation can be enjoyed (more on that later).

Because you’re not always racing around in a stressed-out state, you could even discover that you can do more during the course of the day. In order to live slowly and appreciate each moment, set up a leisurely morning routine for yourself.

4. Use single-tasking rather than multitasking

If you’re like the majority of individuals, you undoubtedly take pride in your ability to balance several activities at once. The reality is that multitasking is ineffective.

You run the risk of losing focus and making mistakes when you attempt to perform too many tasks at once.

Multitasking wears you out. Distractions result in poor decisions, painful blunders, and needless stress, whether at home or at work.

Contrarily, monotasking enables you to give one task all of your attention, which increases productivity and decreases error-proneness.

Turn off your email notifications, for example, if you’re working on a project for work to avoid being continuously interrupted by incoming emails.

Also, put your phone away while you’re with your kids so you can focus entirely on them.

Although it might seem like a simple adjustment, it can have a significant impact on both the calibre of your output and the depth of your connections.

Therefore, the next time your to-do list is making you feel overwhelmed, try slowing down and doing one item at a time. How much more effective you are might astound you.

5. Take a full lunch break.

It’s far too simple in today’s fast-paced world to have your lunch at your desk or in the school cafeteria. In actuality, 62% of American employees lunch at their workstations.

However, taking a genuine vacation can significantly improve your attitude and productivity. Therefore, if you are given an hour for lunch, use the entire hour.

You have the opportunity to unwind and come back to your work with renewed vigour by taking a short walk around the block or relaxing in a nearby park.

Additionally, you can provide your body with the nutrition it needs to get through the afternoon if you take the time to prepare and consume your meal mindfully.

6. Disconnect from TV, podcasts, and music to enjoy silence

I’ve had a hard time embracing silence in the past. I’ve always thought of silence as being dead and dreary, something to be avoided.

But I now see that taking the time to slow down and practise quiet has tremendous beauty and wisdom.

From the TV blasting in the background to the music pumping through our headphones, we are always surrounded by noise.

You can appreciate the little sounds that are frequently masked by background noise by making your room or home entirely silent. Included in this are sounds like your own breathing, the crunch of leaves underfoot, and the gentle murmur of a loved one dozing nearby.

Additionally, taking a peaceful dinner can be really gratifying. It can be wonderfully soothing to enjoy each bite without interruptions, chew noises and all.

In the same way, taking in the white noise of people in the middle of a busy city or listening to birds can help you appreciate the beauty of daily life.

We can reconnect with ourselves and perceive the world around us in a completely new way by removing ourselves from the continual cacophony.

Take a break from the noise the next time you’re feeling stressed out so that you may unwind and actually experience slow life.

7. Go outside for a manageable period of time each day.

Family time outdoors is crucial for slowing down and reestablishing communication.

There are various ways to appreciate nature, from taking the kids out to see new flora and animals to simply relaxing on your terrace at night to watch the stars.

Possibly one of the most enjoyable aspects of being outside is observing something new develop or blossom as it is being nurtured. Together, we can respond to the cycles of nature by tending to sunflowers or planting a small vegetable garden. These activities encourage wonder and enquiry and help us feel connected to our environment and one another.

Numerous health advantages have been linked to regular outdoor activities. Going for quick walks in the fresh air can improve your mood, give you more energy, strengthen your heart, and help you sleep better.

We may strengthen our bonds as a family and enjoy the physical and psychological benefits of slowing down, enjoying simplicity, and living mindfully in harmony with our surroundings by regularly spending time in nature together.

Spend some time together as a family in nature each day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. You won’t be sorry.

8. Set aside time to practise meditation.

Our days are filled to the brim with responsibilities and duties, and our minds are constantly buzzing with thoughts and diversions. Make time for meditation to offset this speed.

By meditating first thing in the morning, you can begin the day feeling relaxed and focused. As opposed to starting your day feeling hurried and agitated, doing this enables you to seize the day with clarity.

Similar to how taking a brief break at the start or conclusion of a busy workday can help you stay focused and complete things calmly and effectively.

Before a crucial meeting or presentation, you’re more likely to remain upbeat, grounded, and confident if you take a few deep breaths. On the other hand, if you enter crucial situations feeling flustered or angry, it may hinder your capacity to perform successfully.

You may pause in the midst of busy schedules, refresh your mind, and re-connect with nature when you find pockets of time for meditation away from work or school, whether it’s while sitting in your favourite park or on your porch.

In other words, you may slow down, appreciate life’s basic joys, and feel more equipped to handle whatever comes your way by finding little moments throughout the day to calm your thoughts.

9. Allow more time for yourself to arrive at work or school

Giving oneself more time in the morning is one of the simplest (but sometimes ignored) ways to live a more relaxed, mindful existence.

Taking the time each day to slow down and take in your surroundings, whether you are travelling to work or school, can significantly improve your overall quality of life.

You can take advantage of the chance to stroll and stop along the way, taking in everything from the fresh air and crisp fall foliage to the brilliant sun and busy streets, by giving yourself an extra 30 minutes or more each morning.

When possible, you should also choose to walk instead of taking a car because it is healthier for your physical and mental health.

By making these small changes, you’ll wake up every morning feeling revived and energised, ready to not only experience but also fully enjoy everything that nature and city life have to offer.

The joy of taking a moment to slow down just enough each morning before dashing off into the fray is indescribable, after all.

10. Develop the ability to say no, especially if you are a people-pleaser.

Anyone who wishes to lead a more tranquil, purposeful life must learn how to say no and create boundaries.

One benefit of clearly defining your time restrictions is that you can concentrate more on your goals and areas of interest.

It’s imperative that you make the time to focus on your goals, whether they are for your family or your personal vision for the future.

Saying no helps us protect vital time in our schedules, which is another significant reason why slow living is so important.

We succumb too frequently to peer pressure to participate in activities or commitments that take us away from what is most important.

We can make sure that we always have time for ourselves, our families, and our most important endeavours by taking charge of our schedules and establishing clear boundaries around what we’ll take and what we’ll reject.

The ability to say no and create boundaries allows us to be our best selves when we commit to anything, which is perhaps the most essential thing.

Setting clear expectations from the beginning about what we can contribute and when those promises need to be fulfilled will help to ensure that everything goes well, whether it’s volunteering at a charitable organisation or managing a significant business project.

After all, it’s challenging to offer something our best effort when we’re overextended.

Origin of the Slow Living Movement

According to Wikipedia, the slow food movement, which prioritised traditional and cultural foods as well as food preparation methods over the rise of fast foods in the 1980s and 1990s, was the precursor to the slow living movement in Italy. Activists protested against the construction of a McDonald’s close to Rome’s Spanish Steps. They even produced a manifesto that served as the foundation for the global slow living movement.

SLOW is an abbreviation that some proponents of slow living use to stand for the following four key concerns: S: sustainability (using materials with less environmental impact); L: local (using locally produced resources and goods); O: organic (avoiding mass-made or genetically modified goods); W: entire (avoiding processed foods or materials).

The idea of slow living is to appreciate life more, and you may achieve this by slowing down to prevent chaos in your life. Live in the present and take advantage of your surroundings’ sensory delights. The slow living movement, it should be stated, does not advocate placing restrictions on the development of the Internet, technology, mobile phones, or other such improvements.

The slow living movement has gone by many names throughout the years and in many different parts of the world. In addition, the movement has expanded to encompass all facets of life rather than just slow food. Simple life is also known as slow living, unhurried living, balanced living, intentional living, linked living, mindfulness, and purposeful living, among other titles.

Author and podcaster Brooke McAlary, author and speaker Carl Honore, and life coach and podcaster Rachelle Glendon are all leaders in the slow living movement. They provide a variety of publications on slow living, including books, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, and TED speeches. A further proponent of slow living is Carlo Petrini, who founded the International Slow Food Movement in Italy and organised the protests against McDonald’s in 1986.

The current slow living movement emphasises simplicity, minimalism, mindfulness, sustainability, and an overall slower lifestyle. It is based on the idea that speed isn’t always a superior measure of worth.

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