These days most of us spend so much of our time on auto-pilot, running from one responsibility in our busy lives to the next, living in a monotonous rat race of work, school, chores, and family that we don’t see our lives slowly slipping by.
Many of us constantly feel our achievements make us who we are, the material things we can show off to our family and friends when in reality, that just isn’t true. It is time we all learn how to slow things down a bit, take time to truly see what matters, and be present where it matters most. We can all benefit from living a slow life.
What is a Slow Life?
A slow life may sound a little boring to some when you aren’t familiar with it. It may seem unproductive or even irresponsible. However, it can be the most amazing and freeing thing you have ever done for yourself.
A slow life is a lifestyle and state of being that promotes a slower-paced way of living. This slow living movement is believed to have been started over in Italy, when they promoted a slow food movement, placing tons of attention on how slow-made, home-cooked meals are much better for you and your health than fast food.
The same idea goes for the slow life movement. Taking time to enjoy life, do things properly, and breathe is much more beneficial for your overall well-being.
Keeping your life organized, simple, and free from chaos will give you the time and energy that you need to live your life and be the person you were placed on this planet to be. Finding your place and your true destiny will give you the inner peace for a more successful life.
Easy ways to interpret slow living:
- Slow living is a state of mind and being.
- A slow life is a holistic approach to life that’s based on wisdom and spirituality.
- A slow life is all about giving purpose.
- Having a slow life is about being consistent and steady.
- Enjoy slow living by taking time to enjoy the small things.
- A slow life is stepping back and looking at the big picture.
- Slow living is deep and fulfilling.
- Slow life means doing it right, not fast.
- Slow living encourages you to look at life long term.
- A slow life is about finding yourself.
- A slow life is about relaxing.
- Slow living is all about living life and loving it.
Top 5 Benefits of Slow Living
While there are more benefits to slow living than we can count, we can sum up most of them in five main categories.
- Better health
- Less stress and anxiety
- Stronger relationships
- More time for the things you enjoy
- Increase in overall happiness
The truth is, you only get one life to live, and right now, that life is slipping away while we are all rushing to get through our checklists. It is time for you to start living a slow life.
1. Healthier Life
Taking things at a slower pace is going to be beneficial to your physical health. Think about the things you would love to do daily if only you had the time. Does walking outdoors, bike riding or tips to the beach come to mind?
When many of us think of a peaceful, happy, and slower lifestyle, we tend to imagine ourselves outdoors, enjoying nature in all of its beauty.
Getting out and about will increase your heart rate, improve your mood and energy, and that beautiful sun is going to provide you with all of the Vitamin D you need. Vitamin D is essential for our bodies as it provides antioxidants to fight illness, is powerful in strengthening our bones, and is necessary for our circulatory and nervous systems.
Breathing in the fresh, clean air fuels us with the oxygen we need to clean our blood, regulate our sleep patterns, and help us focus and concentrate on all of our daily tasks.
Nature plays a massive role in health and well-being; that is not the only reason a slow life is good for your body. Living slow will allow you to take time to make better, healthier choices, such as preparing more well-balanced home-cooked meals and skipping the drive-through.
2. Less Stress
It seems like everyone struggles with some form of stress, anxiety, or depression at one time or another, but more people now than ever before experience these mental illnesses long-term, and they can play a negative role in your life.
Those who follow a slower way of life tend to breathe more, feel more relaxed, and feel less rushed. Finding time to enjoy what is around you is a great way to decompress mentally and leave the tension in the past.
While there is no way to escape from life and some of the stress it tends to bring, living slow gives you more room to see each situation in a different light and allows you to tackle one issue at a time.
When we feel rushed and overwhelmed, we overthink, overreact, and poorly multitask to get everything done on time.
If you can slow down just long enough to make a better plan of action, you will have more time to relax and think clearer.
3. Better Relationships
It’s no big surprise that (according to statistics) divorce rates are extremely high. Although we can’t change some relationship issues, changing the dynamic of a broken relationship can lower those rates and improve the way you connect with everyone.
Stress and anxiety can put a huge strain on any relationship, whether with your spouse, a child, a coworker, etc. All of these relationships have to work well together for you to feel balanced and happy. When you are stressed or anxious, you have trouble concentrating, controlling your emotions, and even being reasonable.
When we are living our lives to accommodate a time frame, a deadline, or many goals, we are missing out on the important things that mean the most to us. Hitting the stop button from time to time will help you communicate better and connect with your loved ones.
4. More Time for Enjoying the Things You Love
Have you ever said to yourself, “This summer, I am going to finally take that weekend get-a-way I have been planning for years,” or, “Next week, I am going to sign up for that art class I have been wanting to try out”? Then fall comes, winter slowly sweeps in, and it hits you that it never came to fruition?
This life is your one shot, and it is yours to live it, to spend it however you want. Why keep missing out on those get-a-ways or hobbies that you could learn to love?
Taking time to do something for YOU is one of the most essential parts of living a slow life. Finding yourself, loving yourself, and forgiving yourself when it is necessary.
No one should ever get to the end of the road thinking, “I wish I would have”. When that day comes, you should have millions of memories to go back and relive and have the ability to say; I am glad I got to do those things.
5. Increase in Overall Happiness
It is obvious from all the information listed above that living a slow life promotes an overall sense of happiness and well-being.
Just having the option of pacing yourself and not feeling obligated to go from one task to the next will help aid in happiness and guide you to a more productive and successful life.
Tips for Living a Successful Slow Life
It is easy to explain what living a slow life is, what it means, and how it benefits those who practice it. Living it can be a little more difficult, though, especially when starting.
So many people are used to go-go-go it can be really difficult to let go. In a time full of obligations, modern technology, and the ability to stay connected to everyone at every moment, we tend to feel like failures if we turn it all off for a while.
Many of us like to show off all of our achievements to feel accepted; we feel productive and important if we rush from one obligation to the next. Many times, we find a way to fill in an empty spot on our calendar just because it feels wrong to take a breather.
Well, it is time for all of that to stop. Learning how to live a slower lifestyle helps you recognize what is important as the ones you are filling your time with that don’t make any sense.
1. Clear the Clutter
The first step to a slower, easier-to-manage life is to have easier-to-manage homes. When your house is cluttered, messy, and full, your mind is going to feel cluttered, messy, and full. You are going to feel overwhelmed even when there isn’t anything to overwhelm you.
Now is the time to get rid of the stuff you don’t want, need, or use. When your home is only full of important and useful items, find a place for every item.
When each item has its place, putting it away after every use makes cleaning up much simple and quick, allowing you to spend your time on other things.
2. Start Your Day Off Right
No more waking up, jumping out of bed, grabbing a cup of coffee, and running out the door to get to work on time. Take it slow, even if that means setting your alarm for 20 minutes earlier. Wake up, stretch, meditate, or take your dog for a walk.
First thing every morning, you should start your day off on the right foot, allowing yourself the time needed to feel relaxed and happy.
A great addition to starting your day off doing something you enjoy is by preparing yourself a healthy and nutritious homemade breakfast.
3. Connect With Nature
Go for a walk, tend to a garden, take up bird watching; there are so many ways you can get out and connect with nature, and everyone should do it.
When you make your way outside, you will start to notice how natural everything flows, how the trees, plants, animals, even the ponds are not rushed. Nature lives a slow life, preparing for the future so as not to be rushed in the present.
There is a lot to learn from being outdoors, plus it is a great way to spend some time with your thoughts, breathe in the fresh air, and have time to appreciate all our earth has to offer us.
Yes, we have all heard it so many times before; electronics are a huge factor when it comes to stress. However, most people cannot get away from them for too long because they have become such an important part of our everyday lives.
While we cannot just toss our phones and smash our computers, we can put them away for a short amount of time each day.
Modern technology has provided a way for people to instantly get from one task to another without needing any downtime while waiting for a letter or the mail or a file to be hand-delivered.
Learn to take a quick break now and then from all screens, whether it be the t.v., cell phones, computers, turn them all off, and spend an hour doing something you enjoy. Draw a portrait, play with your pets, or go for a walk.
5. Learn to Say No
If you take nothing else away from this article, please keep this one in mind. It is okay to SAY NO. Many of us want to be people-pleasers, over-achievers; we want to be known for always saying yes and being that go-to person.
Unfortunately, more times than not, you aren’t getting the recognition you deserve for always saying yes, and you are accumulating so much extra work and stress that you do not need.
Everyone has their limits, and that is okay; it makes us human. When you start to say no to all those random requests, you free up some time to do the things that make you happy.
Now, we are not saying you should never help anyone; just recognize when you are doing too much or even being taken advantage of. Nothing is more upsetting and stressful than being that go-to person yet, never really being appreciated for it, or even worse, putting your needs to the side.
Slow Life for Life
It is important to recognize that slow living isn’t just a fad you should try for a month here and there, nor is it a detox or a weekend cleanse. Living a slow life is a way of life. It will be an adjustment for those who are used to living fast-paced day-to-day, but it will be worth it.
Understand that slow-living will look different for everyone. Never put yourself into a situation that is too hard to stick to or makes your living situation uncomfortable. Find a way for this new look on life to work for you.
If you cannot take an hour out of your day for you, take 30 minutes. If you can’t, carve out time for cooking homemade meals every day, meal-prep on the weekends, or partner up and assign days where you are each responsible for providing a healthy meal. If you cannot set your phone down at all during the week, turn it off just for Sunday.
There are so many ways to make this work for you; there is no reason not to give it a try.
Summing Things Up
We gave you a lot of information in this article, but one thing that shouldn’t be too difficult to understand is the importance of slowing things down. A healthy mind, body, and soul must take your time and live life the way you want to live it. Enjoy the things that make you happy, and find peace, harmony, and tranquility in everything you do.
A fast-paced life is stressful, creates anxiety, and is harmful in every way. Learning to take time for yourself is key to a well-balanced, healthy, and fruitful life.