Slow Life 101: The what, how, and why

We live in the best time this planet has ever seen. Most of us live in a safe environment, have more food than we can eat and have beautiful homes to keep us warm.

Thanks to the internet, we have all the information that exists in our hands at any time.

The first world, as they call it, means it good with us. However, all the privileges come at a tremendous cost. The sheer speed we have developed our society has started to make people sick.

Burnout is spreading like wildfire. About two-thirds of full-time workers experience burnout on the job. (Statistics)

An illness that probably nobody has heard about 20 years ago. Our “always more” lifestyle makes us sick. Why don’t we just slow our life down a bit?

What does slow life mean?

Slow living is a lifestyle, a chosen way to approach everyday life.

The goal: Happiness.

Living slow means resisting the constant pressure and the fast-paced “always more” cult of the society.

With the slow life approach, you reduce speed and stress in your day to day life which keeps you sane and healthy.

And ultimately brings more happiness into your life.

Slow Living is on the rise

All over the world, people start to rebel against the status quo of the world and join various movements.

Slow living has many faces.

  • Slow Food Movement
  • Minimalism
  • Marie Kondo
  • Tiny House Movement
  • Slow Fashion
  • Slow Travel
  • Slow Cities

All those movements have one thing in common:

They question the “normal” way of living most of us learned as kids.

„It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.”

-Seneca

Life’s goal is not about getting rich. It is about being happy.

Many studies confirmed that money only brings more happiness to a certain point. After this, there is no correlation between money and happiness anymore.

Why you should slow down your life

Most often people discover this alternative way of life for one of two reasons:

Reason #1: Because they suffer health problems

Reason #2: They ultimately can’t ignore all the weird things going on in our world anymore and start a (silent) rebellion.

Most people in western society are in a constant hurry. They jump out of the bed in the morning and are already too late.

Junk-breakfast (if any), commute through rush-hour, only to find their place in a cubical and sit there for the rest of the day.

Our modern society celebrates growth and money. You are worthy when you’re busy. Being slow is translated to being lazy. And because we want to be accepted and loved, we do what others do.

We want to be worthy. We want to be valued. So we keep up with the fast-paced society, to be a part of it. To belong. The result: We value money more than time.

Two problems arise – Problem #1: It makes people sick. (hello burnout!)‍ Problem #2: It is completely dumb.

Stop prioritizing money over time

It is dumb because money is infinite and can be printed out of thin air. Just see what FED, ECB, and other central banks are doing since 2008.

Your time, on the other hand, is very limited. Statistically, around 80 years for men and 84 years for women.

Even the busiest people won’t get more years like the average. More often than not, the opposite is the truth. Because the fast-paced society makes them physically and mentally sick.

80 years to live. That’s it.

And then you’re dead.

What are you doing with your time?

The “last day” experiment

Imagine today is your last day.

What would you do today?

  • Would you do the things that are on your to-do list for today?
  • Would you schedule the important work for “tomorrow”?
  • Would you surround yourself with the people you are with today?
  • Would you fear to say the truth?
  • Would you go to work?

If you’ve answered more than one question with “No”, you should consider making changes.

Common misconceptions about slow

When you live a slow life, you still need to make enough money to buy food and to keep sheltered.

To live slowly you don’t have to lie on the couch in french linen and posting photos with white filters on Instagram.

Examples: How a slow life looks like

  • Taking long walks through nature
  • reading a good book
  • reducing the time for work meetings by 50%
  • sitting at a fireplace and watching the fire
  • Having deep conversations with family and friends
  • Putting the iPhone to flight mode
  • Delete social media apps from iPhone (at least put it on the second screen)
  • set clear boundaries between work and life
  • blocking time in your calendar for spontaneity
  • walk or bike instead of driving with the car (or at least use the bus or train)
  • Repair broken stuff instead of replacing it
  • Stop Consuming news on television and the internet
  • Activities like wandering, playing table games, grill on a fireplace
  • Recognize and appreciate the little things like the sound and smell of rain, the hug of a loved one, the quiet time when you’re all alone by yourself