Slow Living: The Art of Deceleration

Increasing productivity plays a central role in both private and professional life. Stress is preprogrammed. The Slow Living life concept can help.

Live a mindful and enjoyable life? Think faster, read faster, work faster is the motto instead. No wonder then that Burnout has become a widespread disease and the old familiar "I have stress" is part of good manners. To Pressure to perform at Professioncome Deadlines and a busy schedule. Private e-mails are scanned during lunch and answered directly.

Scrolling through social media channels, however, an opposite movement is emerging. Hashtags like #slowliving #slowlivingmovement or #slowlivingrevolution propagate a Lifestyle away from rush, stress and excessive consumption.

Books and studies about the decelerated lives promise more time, happiness and success. We have taken a close look at lifestyle and show you how you can put it into practice.

What is Slow Living?

The concept of Slow Living comes from the English language and literally means 'slow living'. People in hammocks, people making themselves comfortable in a sparsely furnished apartment and drinking tea for hours on end, appear before your inner eye.

Slow Living does not mean withdrawing from society.

Cultural studies scholar Wendy Perkins and political scientist Geoffrey Craig have joined forces in their analysis "Slow Living. Slowness in Global Everyday Life", Wendy Perkins and the political scientist Geoffrey Craig have examined the significance of the movement. Although deceleration plays an elementary role, much more important Perception of everyday life and the present:

 "For us, it is much more a careful and attentive approach to everyday life - including its speed and complexity, its thrill and routine - an attempt to cope with the different tenses we experience every day. But above all, it is an attempt to lead a meaningful, sustainable, considered and enjoyable life in the present."

How did the Slow Living movement come about?

Slow Living is an extension of Slow Food movement. The latter was created in Italy in 1980. Slow Food developed as a counter-movement to fast food, and to this day against the oversupply and the fast pace of life in the global food industry.

The Slow Food movement, on the other hand, supports regional gastronomy and trade. Fairly produced products play just as important a role in this context as enjoyable and attentive food.


How does Slow Living work in practice?

The aim of this lifestyle is deceleration and thus the possibility to consciously experience routines, to enjoy everyday life and to organise it "thoughtfully". Simple in theory, difficult in practice. Perkins and Geoffrey see the problem in society's value system.

"Anyone who acknowledges that slowness at work or in private or public life is something valuable, takes a position that is contrary to the prevailing value system of today.

Many people find it particularly difficult at work, to consciously avoid stress. To work faster and faster and without errors with increasing workloads does not work in the long run. And yet it is expected. After all, the goal of an intact economy is to produce as much as possible, as quickly as possible, as cheaply as possible. So how do we manage to lead a decelerated life without getting under pressure?

Changing beliefs and mindset

In order to sustainably decelerate the hectic pace of everyday life, it is important to first to question values and beliefs and to change. Beliefs are in your Anchored in the subconsciousdetermine your thinking and your decisions.

They already arise during your childhood and are both through your own experiences and Influence of parentsand relatives, teachers and educators. As you get older, the media, politics and employers have an essential part in what you think and how you act.

There is positive beliefsthat will advance you in life - both in your professional and private life. Negative dogmas on the other hand, hinder you in your development. They make you feel down and make you feel that you are not successful in many things. Be it to lead a happy, stress-free life, to be successful in your job or to have a fulfilling Relationship to lead.

In order to decelerate our everyday life and thus to lead a stress-free, enjoyable life, it makes sense to ask the following questions first:

  • What exactly stresses me out in everyday life?
  • Which situations in my professional and/or private life trigger negative feelings in me?
  • What could I do differently?
  • What prevents me from changing something in my everyday life?

Write down everything you can think of on a large piece of paper. Instead of a list or a text describing your experiences, you can also write down your train of thought in a Mind-Map hold on. In this way you can identify negative beliefs step by step. This process can take several hours or even days and is an important step to identify your  Mindset to change permanently.

11 dogmas that cause hectic and stress in everyday life

Beliefs that prevent you from putting Slow Living into practice and living a self-determined, stress-free life are often linked to money and performance. So let us look at which beliefs are stress factors in everyday life:

  1. No pain, no gain.
  2. I have to work hard to make money.
  3. To make money, I have to do something that doesn't fulfill me.
  4. If I've worked hard, I can afford something.
  5. You can't make something out of nothing.
  6. I'm not good enough.
  7. Money doesn't grow on trees.
  8. I don't/never have enough money.
  9. If I won the lottery, all my problems would be solved.
  10. I'm looking forward to the weekend again.
  11. I can't make any mistakes.

Formulate negative beliefs positively

If you could identify one or more negative beliefs, the next step is to critically question them again. Ask yourself whether the belief really applies to you, whether it always applies to everyone and how your life would look like without it.

You can expose some beliefs as "nonsensical" with this method. Other negative beliefs, which still play an important role for you, you can formulate positively. It is important to avoid NOT - and NO - sentences when formulating them.

Negative: I have to work hard to make money
Affirmative: When I do what I love, success comes naturally.
Wrong would be: I don't have to work to make money.

manifesting positive beliefs

The final step is to internalize the new positive beliefs. A clear Step-by-step instructions on how to manifest new beliefs and get rid of negative beliefs, Moritz shows on his blog Strengthen self-confidence.

It takes a lot of Discipline and stamina to dissolve negative beliefs. To ban attitudes like "I have to work hard to make money" from your mindset can take quite some time. Here is Patience asked. But once you have managed to dissolve negative beliefs, (almost) nothing stands in the way of a decelerated everyday life.

Consciously create routines and allow boredom

People are creatures of habit. A routine everyday life is an important part of our life. Our mindset determines how we create routines in everyday life, whether we feel happy or depressed. The right mindset is therefore essential to decelerate our everyday life. A changed attitude towards work, money and overtime does not automatically mean, however, that we consciously take the time to go home earlier, for example.

The next step is to implement Slow Life in everyday life, work on deadlocked routinesdeliberately to create free space and new Establish habits. In this context, Slow Living can be applied to all areas of life-be it Nutritionthe private life or the workplace. In the following, we have put together some tips to help you decelerate your everyday life.


Slow Living: 22 tips to help you slow down

  1. Start the day relaxed.
  2. Take your time on the way to work.
  3. Try to see the special in every moment.
  4. Go for a walk regularly and pay close attention deliberately on your surroundings and the people who come to meet you
  5. Often the hectic pace and Oversupply in shopping malls. Therefore, shop more often in health food stores, a packaging-free supermarket or at the weekly market. In this way you do not only do something good for yourself but also for the environment.
  6. Try to make things yourself that you would normally finish buying. This could be soup stock from fresh vegetables, homemade cosmetics or a decorative item for your home.
  7. Prepare meals from fresh ingredients.
  8. Consciously take meals - without a computer, smartphone or television.
  9. Learn to say "no". This way you focus on the things that really move you forward. You reduce stress and increase your productivity at the same time.
  10. Always do the same time during working hours Breaks.
  11. If you're working on a particular task, close your email box and turn off push notifications on your desktop.
  12. Set a specific time for editing your emails - both at work and at home.
  13. Conscious use of social media channels: Follow accounts that offer you no added value.
  14. Separate yourself from everything you no longer need.
  15. Living concepts like Hygge or Minimalism provide more peace and quiet and comfort within your own four walls.
  16. Take up a meditative hobby such as knitting, Painting, Yoga or gardening.
  17. Take a break at least once a week when you are not doing anything useful at all and are just bored.
  18. Start with a DiaryA nice ritual to end the day without a smartphone. Write down in notes what made you happy and what you are grateful for.
  19. Why don't you try nothing to do at the weekendto get up and just do whatever comes into your head.
  20. Don't make too many plans when you travel. In a city, for example, just wander the streets aimlessly - you will certainly discover a lot.
  21. Time for you is important. So don't accept every invitation and appointment when you have a full schedule anyway.
  22. Gain some distance: Some relationships are a burden to you and put you under unnecessary stress. It's high time to give them up.

In order to implement our tips in everyday life and to remind you of your intentions in stressful times, the list is available here again for free download. Simply download the PDF, print it out or save it on your smartphone.

Slow Living: Three books for a decelerated everyday life

Want to learn more about Slow Living? These books will give you more food for thought and inspiration for a relaxed, stress-free life.

Slow Living. Slow in global everyday life by Wendy Perkins and Geoffrey Craig, Rotpunktverlag
The cultural studies analysis shows the role globalization plays in the Slow Living movement. Although not a guide, the study provides food for thought and a better understanding of the decelerated lifestyle. Perfect if you want to take a detailed look at the topic.

Slow. Einfach Leben by Brooke McAlary, Bastei Lübbe Verlag
The lovingly designed book with beautiful illustrations and food for thought for everyday life helps us to make room again, step by step, for what is really important.

Slow. The decision for a decelerated life by Winfried Hille, Gütersloher Verlagshaus
The chief editor of the magazine live more consciously shows how to allow slowness in life and consciously create freedom. Based on his own experiences and examples from Slow - Practice Winfried Hille provides inspiration and tips for a decelerated life.

Text: Natalie Grolig