We all live in a busy world where “fast” is equal to efficient and productive. On the other hand, we usually relate “slow” to the right opposite. However, the term slow living is here to prove otherwise. But what do we mean when we talk about slow living and how could slow living have benefits for your life?
Back where I come from, we use an expression. I could translate it as: “You are gaining more life while walking slowly”. This expression is mostly used to describe people who are always late and care little about their obligations. It also shows some jealousy towards those carefree people who walk slowly and hurry less than most of us do.
When I first read about the term of slow living, this expression came into my mind, but this time differently. Yes, those who walk slowly gain more out of their lives. They are stress free and pay attention to the everyday beauty we all usually leave unnoticed.
But slow living does not mean that you choose to live life in slow motion. Let’s have a closer look at what slow living is and how it benefits your life.
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Table of Contents
- What is Slow Living?
- How Slow Living Benefits Your Life
- Final Thoughts on How Slow Living Benefits Your Life
What is Slow Living?
The term Slow Living is related to the Slow Food movement, which started in Italy in 1980. This movement emphasizes on how much healthier and richer food is when is prepared slowly with locally grown ingredients compared to how unhealthy “fast food” is. Slow food means that preparation, cooking and eating include joy shared among those who eat, family, friends, etc. Food is a celebration of food and life itself and not another necessity for survival.
Slow living is taking time to value life for what it is and what is more important to you. Carl Honore, the author of “In Praise of Slowness” defines slow living as “It is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about maximizing quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting to sex.”
Slow living has nothing to do with the speed of things but with setting the right priorities. It means to identify what is more important each time and value the time you offer for it. It is about doing everything as best as possible and not doing as much as possible.
Slow living does not mean that you quit your job or move to a deserted island. The concepts of slow living can be implemented by everyone and everywhere. Slow living means you focus your attention on those things that matter the most and you do those things as good as possible.
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How Slow Living Benefits Your Life
1. Better Mental and Physical Health
When you decide to live a slow life, you no longer feel the need to rush from one thing to the other. You do not care to do everything, which results in less stress and anxiety and consequently to better mental health.
When stress levels are low automatically your physical health becomes better since there is less tension, no high blood pressure, fewer headaches etc. Living a slow life means also that you appreciate yourself and decide to take breaks when you need them instead of burning out yourself. By appreciating yourself more, you take care of him by watching your diet and getting some exercise, which both contribute to the improvement of your physical health.
“Slow living provides an opportunity to step back, pay attention, and question the ways we use technology, to recalibrate our relationship with the constantly switched-on, logged-in world.”Brooke McAlary, SLOW
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2. Deeper and More Meaningful Relationships
By deciding to live a slow life, you take time to appreciate your relationships with those who matter the most in your life. By doing so, you value the time you spend with them by offering them your foul attention and actively listening to what they have to say.
When you slow down your rhythms instead of trying to fit everything in a small time frame, you can communicate better with your loved ones and connect with them in a deeper and more meaningful way.
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3. Increased Productivity
Although there was a time when multitasking was considered an asset, studies have proven that humans are extremely bad at multitasking. The accuracy in performance decreases when somebody attempts multitasking.
The choice to live a slow life means that you know how to better prioritize your tasks and work on each one fully focused. You value the time you spend for each task by being self -discipline, more creative and productive.
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4. Better and Deeper Experiences
When you live a slow life, you pay more attention to whatever you do each time and experience everything to the fullest. You are more present in each moment of your life, thus you can feel each one of them more deeply.
5. Let Go Of Expectations Of Others
Deciding to live a slow life means that you decide to live life according to what is meaningful to you. You relief yourself from other people’s expectations and you let go of this image inside your mind of how things and life should be. What you decide is to live a slow and simple life in which you are grateful for what you already have.
You understand how meaningless it is to compare yourself with others while you set yourself free to explore new options. Once you are no longer trapped in a rat race, you are free to get that job you really enjoy doing, although it does not pay you as much as others.
Slow living offers you the chance to explore yourself and what is that you truly want for yourself. In other words, it offers you a way to explore your own path to happiness and your definition of success.
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6. Become Happier
Once you live a slow life, life is no longer meaningless. Life is no longer a race where you try to do as much as possible as fast as possible. You no longer feel stressed. Your life is a life where you can enjoy each experience and interaction with other people.
The gift of time is offered to you and you decide to keep your energy for the things and the people you most care about. You can pay attention and nurture the important relationships of your life.
There is no longer pressure to do everything and please everyone. Money is not what you wish to chase anymore. You decide to live a happy life within your means while you let go of all the materialistic unnecessary needs. Your deeper needs and desires become your priorities, which lead you to a happier and more fulfilling life.
“Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.”LEO BABAUTA
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Final Thoughts on How Slow Living Benefits Your Life
Slow living is more like an adoption of a whole new philosophy to approach life and yourself. Among the benefits of slow living are your improved physical and mental health, deeper and more meaningful interpersonal relationships, and increased productivity in whatever you work on.
Through slow living, you experience life in a better and more deeply manner and you no longer are a slave to other people’s expectations from you. Because of all the above, you live a happier and more fulfilling life.
“The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections–with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds”Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
Further Reading on Slow Living
Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
Brooke McAlary, Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World
Haemin Sunim, The Things you can See Only When you Slow Down
Can you think of more benefits of slow living?
I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
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61 thoughts on “This is How Slow Living Benefits Your Life”
This is such an important message, Eri. Everyone seems to be racing through life at breakneck speed these days. No-one has patience for anything. I have been trying to cultivate patience instead of getting worked up when I have to wait for anything. It’s a good habit to get into but it isn’t easy.
Thank you Michelle. Yes, patience is something you have to try to learn nowdays.
I love the idea of slow living and then mainly setting the right priorities. Taking the time for each action as they require.
Important message to share and people should really try to slow down a bit more.
We all need to slow down a bit. Thank you so much for reading and commenting Benny!
I concur wholeheartedly! Probably because I’m wired that way, coming from the Carribean. I did try and embrace fast living but soon realised it’s a soul sucking merry-go-round, unsustainable at that.
Soul sucking says it all Rudian!thank you for commenting ❤️
Agree, it’s what I liked about the early days of the pandemic… being forced to slow down and rethink priorities. Great post x
Thank you Sarah 😘
I agree, having slow living is good to be more productive than rushing things up.
Thank you Frank!
Great post. I’m not a slow living sort of person; I’m always on the go, doing things, wanting to go somewhere. I would like to reign that in a bit and start trying to be a bit slower in some aspects of life though!
I think it would be nice for all of us to slow down just a bit Jenny. Thank you for commenting!
Your quote reminds me of when I use to live in Japan, one of the people I worked with over there on the ship said “if you notice the Americans here will rush rush rush, while the locals will sit in coffee shops and slowly enjoy their coffee.” It was big different between the Americans off time, and theirs, and so the next time I went to a coffee shop I got my coffee and sat down and chilled. It was nice and relaxing. It was a small thing he said, but if he didn’t say it I don’t think I would have slowed down enough to notice.
That and leaving the military is one of the reasons I don’t rush anymore, I don’t like to do and doing things on my time is better for me. I feel like this way I am more productivity, and happier.
I understand what you say Tiffany. I found things are similar in my country for those who live in big cities compared to those who live away from them. People who live in the cities are always in a rush.
Same standa for me also. Ever since I decided to slow down I am far more productive and happier.
Thank you ❤️
I like the idea of slowing the pace. Everything seems to be a major rush these days.
Yes, everything and everyone is in such a rush.
I can definitely relate to this blog. When I think of slow living i think of the southern states and the Caribbean countries. In comparison to NYC when it is very fast pace, slow living lends to better mental health and as you wrote better and deeper experience. Thanks for sharing.
Exactly Kevin. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
I haven’t heard of the term slow living, but it is interesting where it comes from. Thank you for defining this and sharing where it started. It sounds like there are many benefits to using this practise. Thank you for sharing.
This was so informative and something I definitely connect to; I generally try to live slowly and appreciate the moments I have. This was a lovely reminder about why I should protect that and embrace it more (without feeling like I always need to be “productive”).
I am glad you found it a good reminder to slow down a bit Molly. We are all usually in this race of trying to prove ourselves and how “productive” we are.
I love the slow living philosophy. When I was in the corporate world, I was definitely 100% about fast living. I was on the go all the time. I excelled at being a multi-tasker and seeing 10 steps ahead to make the right move. Now, especially since becoming a parent, I have slowed way down. There’s too much time to treasure to rush past or through it. I am all about keeping the noise and chaos out of our lives and relishing the quiet. I am now in full agreement that slowing down life allows you to more fully enjoy and experience it.
I used to be on the go also. I totally understand what you mean. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
This is a wonderful post! Weirdly it has come at the perfect time. The other day I had just this discussion with my boyfriend about him being very fast paced to life and always rushing around whereas I am more slower paced and I like to appreciate my surroundings and life more. It definitely has benefits like you mention for my mental health and body it just relaxes me a lot more than “living life in the fast Lane”. Thanks for sharing xx
I am glar to read you already benefit yourself from slow living Gemma. Thank you for commenting 🙂
I like this concept. Maybe, I am having a slow living right now, with a focus on my poetry and blogging. There’s a lot less stress now. I know I will chase work and money shortly. I am enjoying this phase.
I am in a similar phase too Nithin and I also enjoy it!
I really enjoyed reading this post! I take things slow because there’s so much peace in that. I like the idea of building meaningful relationships by living the way I do. It’s a lot healthy to live this way. Thanks for sharing
Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
I love this. I have cut so many extra obligations out of my life in the past couple of years and now I get to (mostly) just focus on the things I love. Your writing is great, and there are so many great quotes in this piece.
Thank you Colleen!
Ever since this endemic, I also started to feel the benefit of slow living. Slow living is not about being lazy. You still can work hard with slow living. I just have to know your boundaries.
It is amazing how it took something sohuge to understand we were living in crazy rythmes Fadima. Thank you!
What a great article. I’m so glad I found your blog.
Fascinating as I’ve been living slower without meaning to in a lot of ways; and so informative– I need to read this again.
Thank you Giulia!
I feel the speed with which people rush along. They all want to get everything done and be finished for the day. That little bit of time in the evening is precious and soon gone.
A slower approach to living, both in the physical and mental sense, gives me the pacing I need to enjoy every moment of the day without losing perspective due to bustle. 🙂
Releasing expectations is huge Eri. Slowing down the mind allows us to be present. Being present removes expectations, judgments and fear. Excellent post. I live slowly more often than not 🙂
Releasing expectations is definitely huge Ryan. Thank you for commenting ❤️
This is my dream–to live a slow life. But it’s hard when you’re in an society that encourages the opposite. I love the way I behave when I’m on vacation–take time for conversations with loved ones or strangers; appreciate my surroundings, etc. as I always leave feeling refreshed and happier.
Crystal | http://www.amazingbaby.app
I know it feels strange when everyone around is in a rush to be in a slower mode. Glad to read you do enjoy it during vacation through. Thank you for reading and commenting!
I love this! It’s really interesting that it has origins of being used in slow cooking but has evolved to this. I definitely think I could do with slowing down a lot – I feel like it would improve my experiences a lot, which will then improve my happiness! Thank you so much for sharing.
I am glad you found it interesting! Thank you 💞
I love this post Eri – and it’s so true! I’ve always done things quite slowly because I’m prone to stress/anxiety. But the expectation in society is do it all and do it all at a super fast paced. No wonder there is a rise in the number of people suffering with anxiety and depression. Thanks for sharing.
The expectations are extremely high and they will continue being so. It is our reaction and how we will deal with everything that can make a difference. Thank you for your comment!
I love posts like this because it shoes there are people like me out therez who aren’t only interested in making money and being a workoholic. Slow living is the way, I 100% agree 🙂
Thank you Miriam 😘
Totally agree. I now work in flow with the universe, and take a more stoic attitude on life. It will happen when it happens. As such, anxiety dropped, depression minimalised, stress down and smile turned upwards. It works.
Glad to read so Zac. Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Great reminder to slow down. Thank you 🙂
Great blog post. We could all benefit from applying slow living into our daily lives. Thank you for sharing ❤️
Thanks for posting this – such a good reminder!
I’m someone who is always on the go, but I’d like to learn the art of slow living! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
Most people nowdays are always on the go Lucy. Thank you!
This is a great post, and we definitely agree that slower living actually increases productivity. We recently finished reading a book that got us thinking about how busyness is not always productivity. Sometimes, taking the time to slow things down clears the mind and helps in determining what tasks are the most important and must be done. Thank you for sharing!
Definitely agree that busyness is not always productivity. Thank you for commenting!
Slow living has been something I’ve been working to incorporate into my lifestyle for a while now. It’s challenging for me to master it as a business owner and someone who works from home. But when I do find myself prioritizing it, I see such a massive difference in my life and demeanor. Thanks for all of these fabulous reminders!
Glad tou liked it Stephanie. Thank you!
I love this post, well written! I’ve always been a fan of slow living but hated the assumptions made about me that I live an uneventful or unproductive life. I think it’s a great lifestyle to adapt, and like you mentioned, it has so many positive benefits and not an indicator of inefficiency or unproductive life! I’ve started to notice my friends are slowly coming around to the idea of slow living when they feel very overwhelmed with their own schedules and feeling stressed out around the clock.
Glad to read you already benefit from slow living!