Do you want to live a happier life? Slow living can help you to achieve that. Here’s how to live a happy life through the art of slow living.
Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
Throughout the past years, I’ve discovered that many of my life decisions and internal thoughts revolve around ideas that were imprinted on me by society.
“You have to hustle 24/7.”
“Rest is for losers.”
“Only lazy people work less than 8 hours a day.”
Our culture tries to make us believe that we only are good enough if we are productive throughout most of our time awake. However, it is this mindset that almost caused me to end up feeling burnt out at the age of 26.
Thankfully, I know better now and there is one particular lifestyle that helped me to live my happiest life; slow living.
In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know to get started with slow living as a highly sensitive person or empath.
Here’s What You’ll Learn
- What Is The Art Of Slow Living?
- Why Is Slow Living Valuable For The Highly Sensitive Person?
- How To Start Slow Living
- 5 Slow Living Ideas For A Happy Life
- Mindset Tips To Maintain A Slow Living Lifestyle
- Some Final Remarks
What Is The Art Of Slow Living?
While there are many definitions circulating the internet of what slow living is, it comes down to this; slow living is all about learning to consume less and start taking a slower approach to life.
Instead of rushing from milestone to milestone, memory to memory, or purchase to purchase, you start living more in the here and now. It is all about learning to approach your daily life at a slower pace.
Before I learned about slow living, I’d easily schedule 3 or 4 appointments in one day, focusing on using my time as efficiently as possible. However, as a highly sensitive introvert, this approach exhausted me!
After becoming a slow living enthusiast, I learned that my time only can be spent once and that I should spend it on things that align with my values.
And that is what slow living is all about; living your life with meaning. More meaning and less stress and rushing. It includes letting go of the idea that you have to be productive 24/7. It involves not scheduling every minute of your day, but rather going with the flow. Also, it means to let go of the idea that you only are good enough if you are doing. Rather, it is all about being.
Why Is Slow Living Valuable For The Highly Sensitive Person?
This lifestyle can be very beneficial for a highly sensitive person. After all, highly sensitive people are well-known for the fact that they seek a higher purpose in life in order to feel happier.
Our sensitive nervous system needs downtime. In order to function properly, the highly sensitive person needs to relax and slow down.
Slow living is all about living your life more slowly and with more meaning. For the highly sensitive person, this means to be conscious about how you spend your time and who you spend it with.
Applying this lifestyle in your daily life is a wonderful way of honoring your needs and becoming more present in the here and now.
Moreover, the slow living lifestyle reduces stress, which is highly beneficial for your overall health and well-being. Therefore, make sure to consider living this lifestyle for a while to see what it does for you.
How To Start Slow Living
Living a slow life can feel challenging at first. After all, you may be so used to the fast way of living, that it can be hard to let go of the hustle mindset.
I get it, as I faced the same struggles a couple of years ago. It is easy to stay in your comfort zone. However, your future self will thank you for daring to choose the slow-living lifestyle.
With the right mindset, it is possible to learn how to practice slow living. Rather than trying to change your life drastically, try applying the slow living lifestyle step by step.
For instance, begin by looking at your social obligations. What is the ideal amount of times you’d like to meet up with friends per month? Or how often would you like to go to parties? What are your social boundaries and how good are you listening to your boundaries right now?
After mapping that out, try to see how you can apply changes to your schedule to create a more slow lifestyle. What helped me, was to clear all social appointments and talk with my friends.
I expressed that I felt the need to live more day by day rather than filling up my schedule weeks ahead. Thankfully, my friends were very compassionate in this process and they actually felt a sense of relief to live that way too!
After clearing my social schedule and mastering slow living there, I made more changes within my career, household, and finances to be more aligned with the slow living lifestyle.
Slow living should not cause you any stress. Therefore, start applying it to one area of your life first. Once you master that, move on to the next aspect, to see how you can live a slower, more happy life.
5 Slow Living Ideas For A Happy Life
Here are 5 slow-living tips for beginners. These slow living tips are ideal for the stressed soul and can be applied no matter where you live – whether it be in the countryside or in the city.
As mentioned, slow living is all about being present in the here and now. Consequently, one might conclude that slow living and mindfulness go together very well.
Becoming more mindful through meditation helped me to learn to live a slower life. Every day, I try to meditate for at least 5 minutes to ground my energy and bring my mind back to the here and now.
Especially highly sensitive people – who oftentimes are overthinkers – can benefit from meditation. It helps calm the mind and thereby reduces stress and anxiety. Keen on getting started with meditation? You may want to try these meditations for beginners.
#2 Slow Cooking
Another way to apply slow living for a happy life is to practice slow cooking. Instead of purchasing microwave meals, try purchasing fresh ingredients and cooking your own meals from scratch.
It is slower, but that is what slow living is about, right? To not rush from one to do to the other and rather focus on a slower approach to life.
What helped me, was to find new, inspiring recipes that I always wanted to try but never took the time for. Trying new dishes is such a fun activity and the focus on using the right ingredients definitely grounds you in the here and now.
One of my slow living essentials is monotasking. Rather than doing everything at once, I focus on one task and reduce the noise around all the other tasks on my to-do list.
In the morning, I prioritize the tasks that are the most important. Then, each task gets my full attention. Rather than checking e-mails or notifications on my phone while working on a task, I turn off all distractions and devote my presence to that specific task.
Doing so, helps me to be more productive and be more present within each task. It also helps me to calm my highly sensitive nervous system and reduce stress.
#4 Unplugged Weekends
Another powerful slow living tip that I love, is to do an unplugged weekend every now and then. Our phones and computers oftentimes distract us from being in the here and now.
Many of us struggle with feeling bored and need to be entertained 24/7. However, our minds need the silence of the present moment.
Unplugging your phone and computer for a weekend can help you to calm your mind and practice slow living. You’ll be surprised to see how your weekend goes when you make little to no plans and don’t stimulate your mind through connection with the internet.
#5 Declutter Your Life
Finally, I highly recommend you declutter your life. In order to be more present in the here and now, it is important to get rid of all the things you actually don’t use or value anymore.
You’ll be surprised how many items in your kitchen or your closet you don’t use anymore when you start decluttering your home.
Also, decluttering can go as far as letting go of social connections that don’t serve both parties anymore, cleaning up your digital environment, and clearing your schedule.
By focusing your attention solely on items that you still use, rather than continuously being on the hunt for more, more, more, you’ll be more present in the here and now and live a more grateful life.
Mindset Tips To Maintain A Slow Living Lifestyle
Now that you’ve received these practical tips to start a slow living lifestyle, you may wonder how to embrace slow living. After all, it is easier said than done. Your mind is probably already trying to convince you that this is a bad idea.
“My work won’t allow this”.
“My friends will ditch me if I see them less”.
“I can’t live a fulfilled life without shopping all the time.”
I get it. Embracing the slow living lifestyle can be quite exciting. After all, it is a major life change. What helped me, were a couple of mindset changes, which I’ll happily share with you below:
You Can Only Create Impact In The Present Moment
The first mindset change that helped me to embrace slow living, was the realization that I only can create an impact in the here and now. The past is in the past and the future is not here yet.
I only have the power over the present moment. Therefore, it is so crucial to allow my mind to be present in the here and now, rather than drifting off into what I could have done better in the past, or what I could do in the future.
The here and now is what counts when you want to create change.
Does It Make You Happy?
Another important mindset change that I applied to live more consciously, was to ask myself “does this make me happy”? Before committing to a new project, a new friendship, a social obligation, or other to-do’s, I always ask myself, how doing that contributes to my happiness.
As an empath, I oftentimes committed my time to obligations because I had poor boundaries and wanted to please others. This resulted in me feeling burned out and exhausted.
However, after I started asking myself whether something makes me happy, I managed to be more conscious of what I commit my time to.
Some Final Remarks
Now that you’ve discovered how to live a happy life through slow living, I highly encourage you to start applying slow living in one area of your life!
Choose the area that you currently find the most exhausting and try to make the needed changes there.
Where will you start applying slow living?