The Subtle Art Of Downshifting Life (5 Surprising Benefits)

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In this post we are going to explain what downshifting life means, and the subtle ways you can begin doing so.

Here we’ll explore several reasons one may opt to downshift, and 5 surprising benefits that come as a result. 

If you are ready to see the impact downshifting can have on your mindset, well-being, and overall life, then this post is for you!

Let’s get started.

What Is Downshifting?

You may be familiar with the popular quote that simply states ‘less is more’. 

Well a great way to truly understand that quote, on a deeper level, is through the act of downshifting life.

Downshifting is the intentional process of downgrading one’s lifestyle in order to upgrade its quality in other areas.

Downshifting puts an emphasis on peace, well being and a simpler way of life, as opposed to overextending ourselves in exchange for the outward trappings of success. 

Most often this concept refers to cutting back time at (or leaving) a stressful & demanding job in order to pursue more uplifting and soul nourishing activities

In other words, it’s the shifting of priorities; by downshifting work-life balance takes care of itself.

Downshifting psychology puts a focus on less stress, less consumption, less materialism in exchange for more family time, more slow routines, and more enjoyment of the simple things in life.

In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.

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Downshifting life is about slowing down time, slowing mindless consumption and slowing down our overall pace in life as a means of uncovering true fulfillment, well-being and peace.

With all this talk of slowing down, you might be wondering: What does slow living look like? Or maybe asking yourself: How do you transition to slow living?

Slowing living and downshifting go hand in hand. In order to transition to a slow living lifestyle, you begin by downshifting.

How To Downshift Your Life

A great way to begin the downshifting process is by first performing a true cost-benefits analysis.

What is your current lifestyle really costing you?

For your career this might look like taking an account of everything you pay in order to work your job. Things such as childcare, travel costs, dining out, as well as the time and stress expense, should all be considered. 

Having a clear picture of the true cost of working, along with the right mindset and attitude, makes the downshifting process much more appealing, as well as achievable.

Also, you can apply this simple cost-benefit analysis to any area of your life.

Start by taking a look at where you spend the majority of your free time, as well as your money, and determine if you are truly getting the best return on your investment.

This is especially important in regards to your sense of peace, fulfillment and well being.

If you’re not satisfied with your return, you might consider making some changes.

And downshifting life could help. 

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How do you downshift a career? 

Whether you plan to downshift your career or a specific area of your life, here are a few downshifting examples for some direction and inspiration. 

Downshifting Career: 

  • Make a plan to cut back working hours, and say no to overtime
  • Arrange your schedule to avoid driving during rush hour traffic
  • Seek out a job closer to home to cut your commute time
  • Consider remote work or a work from home option
  • Look into freelance / contract work for more flexibility 

Downshifting Life:

  • Examine your budget and cut out any unnecessary / mindless consumption
  • Be intentional with your time and energy: Say no to over-scheduling
  • Incorporate slow living activities / Establish healthy AM/PM routines
  • Find hobbies that bring you into the present moment, and do more of them
  • Determine what your true priorities are, and be vigilant about upholding them

There are many paths we can take to downshift and slow our overall pace in life, however these are just a few ideas to get you pointed in that direction.

You will likely know what’s best for you and your specific situation.

Getting clear on how you will make it happen and knowing it’s possible is one thing, but understanding the benefits can help put you in the right frame of mind for taking action.

how to downshift your life

5 Benefits of Downshifting Life

There are many benefits that come as a result of downshifting, some that are obvious, while others more subtle.

In any case, when you make this practice a priority, you can truly begin to see a new way of life for yourself. 

You start to see all you’ve been missing out on, and all that can be gained, from this simple act of downshifting.

Listed below are 5 Benefits of Downshifting Life that truly make the process worth the effort.

1. You realize abundance comes from time, not money

It’s common to think of abundance in terms of financial fitness, but downshifting puts the meaning of abundance in a new perspective.

You realize it’s not about a full time job and part time life, but the inverse.

Time is our most scarce and precious resource, and downshifting helps to bring this to our immediate attention.

We can begin to experience true abundance as a result of being intentional with our time, making an effort to slow down, and re-prioritizing how we live each day. 

2. You begin to see that stress is optional

If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the fast paced, need to do more, hustle more, acquire more culture, we may be fooled into thinking that chronic stress is just a part of life.

However, downshifting shows us that stress is largely self-induced, and we can simply opt out at any time, if we so choose.

Downshifting life lifts a weight we didn’t even realize we were carrying, and provides us an alternative way of existing. 

We can prioritize peace, we can prioritize our relationships, and we can prioritize our health if we shift our approach from trying to do it all towards one of doing what’s best for our well-being. 

3. You notice & appreciate the little things

There are so many little moments within each day that are worth our attention and appreciation, yet often go unnoticed. 

The simplest of pleasures are easily discarded and overlooked when we feel rushed, stressed or pressed for time. 

Things such as actually tasting and savoring our morning coffee, the sound of laughter, a sunrise, the smile of a stranger, there are truly so many little things worth taking in each day.

When we begin to slow our pace and downshift life, the simple things that were present the entire time begin to capture our attention, and are brought more clearly into focus. 

4. You discover who you are

Without taking time to explore who you are and what you’re about (outside of corporate titles or job descriptions) it’s difficult to really get to know you.

Downshifting life makes this possible. 

By freeing up precious time and energy, you can pursue what makes you feel alive, take on creative hobbies, and engage in activities that interest you.

When you have time to explore, get creative, and learn more about who you are, you can start designing your life in an authentic way. One that aligns best with who you are at the core.

Downshifting can open you up to this way of living, and allows you to give the very best of yourself to what matters most. You begin to pay yourself first, rather than with leftover time and energy.

5. You don't have to postpone retirement

Retirement is commonly seen as something we strive for in our golden years. We typically plan to work and grind for decades in order to achieve this feat at the end. 

Downshifting life, however, provides a way for us to enjoy some of the perks retirement has to offer without the wait.

By making strides to slow our consumption, shift our priorities, cut out unnecessary excess and embrace simplicity, we can experience the good life today. 

Downshifting encourages us to reject the concept of ‘work hard play hard’ and instead embrace a lifestyle of working (and living) within the means that best support our mental and physical well-being.

Final Thoughts

Downshifting life is not about what you’re giving up, but on what you gain as a result.

The increased quality of your relationships, health, mindset and overall well-being is something worth the effort.

Whether you’re downshifting careers for a more fulfilling life, or simply opting to slow down your overall pace in exchange for more peace, downshifting is truly an opportunity to get more life out of your days.

What about you?

What are some ways you plan to downshift life? 

Let us know in the comments below..

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