What is Slow Living?

In this Article


Our lives have been speeding up.

Hustle culture has become the norm, and busyness has become synonymous with importance and personal value. This has led many to look for an alternative way forward, ultimately asking, what is slow living and what are the benefits of slow living?

Defining Slow Living

While the name suggests that it means living at a snail’s pace, it’s not about speed per se.

Rather slow living urges us to approach our lives with intention and purpose. Slow living challenges the mindset that life in the fast lane is the best way to live.

There’s no hard and fast definition of slow living, but it’s generally thought of as prioritizing living life according to your own values in order to connect with yourself and the world around you on a deeper level.

Carl Honoré, the author of In Praise of Slowness” put’s it like this,

“The central tenet of the slow philosophy is taking the time to do things properly, and thereby enjoy them more.” To him “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.”

Embracing Slow Living

In our busy worlds, there are always things we feel we should be doing. This also goes with the idea of how think our lives should look.

We have so many expectations that don’t come from our deep desires or needs, but rather from societal pressures.

When you start to embrace slow living, you start to break from the expectations that don’t fit your values. Releasing yourself from the burden of needing to fit anyone’s expectations aside from your own.

The reason it’s so hard to pinpoint the answer to “what is slow living?” is because slow living looks different for everyone.

However, there are five principles of slow living that tie the concept together: Intention, Connection, Balance, well-being, and mindfulness.

Infusing these principles into everything you do allows each of us to reap the benefits of slow living in our own way.

The Benefits of Slow Living

Stress Less

Who doesn’t want to stress less? This is one of the main benefits of slow living.

When you embrace a slow lifestyle, things that you considered stressful will start to melt away. You won’t have to worry about keeping up with the joneses or saying yes to things that you don’t actually want to do.

Showing stress the door will also help your health and well-being. Stress contributes to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

Renewed Purpose

Living through the slow principles you will find a sense of renewed purpose.

Since you’ll be living with intention and awareness you will start to understand what drives you on a deep level, giving you the chance to live your life closer to whatever it is that pushes you to get up in the morning. Living a life with purpose is thought to help us live longer, happier lives— which is a huge benefit of slow living.

Deeper Connections

As we slow down and become more present in our lives, we will start to connect deeper with the people around us. Not only because we will naturally eliminate some of the people that we felt obligated to keep around, but also because we will be more balanced in ourselves.

When you are balanced and thriving in your own self, people are attracted to it— I don’t mean attracted in a sexual way, but rather that they feel safe so they gravitate toward you. They will let down their guard and open themselves up. You’ll be able to connect deeper and more genuinely pushing past the surface level.

Richer Experiences

Similarly to connections another benefit of slow living is that we will be able to experience life to its fullest.

Every experience will be seen as an opportunity to learn and grow. Being fully present will allow you to fully immerse yourself into whatever you’re doing, or wherever you are, making sure you reap all that there is to learn.

More Creativity & Productivity(gasp.)

When we live slowly we have more time for our thoughts to marinate and our minds to make connections. This will not only increase our creativity but also allow us to be more productive. Our best ideas come to us when we aren’t trying to think of them— that’s why we get ideas in the shower, while driving or when we wake up. When we live slowly we make more moments for these ideas to come to us, ironically by spending less time trying to force them.

If you’re ready to get started on your slow living journey, but don’t know exactly where to start, try checking out one of these inspiring books on slow living— that’s what got me going, and I haven’t looked back since.

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