Increasing Our Happiness by Slowing Down the Pace of Life this Summer

by: Kiana on 07/15/2016

In a world that is becoming increasingly fast-paced with the struggle of keeping up, finding those moments of inner peace can be difficult. Why not celebrate more simplicity this summer with the book Less is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness  by Cecile Andrews and Wanda Urbanska.


Learn more about how with less stuff and less stress can come more freedom and more joy.


Research has shown that in the pursuit of more, our society is becoming less happy. Happiness has declined as our affluence has increased. Can’t we all relate to this? The novelty of buying a new t-shirt for ourselves everyday wears off quickly, while a new shirt on occasion can truly be enjoyed.


Jeremy Rifkin was one of the first to raise questions about the desirability of speed in his 1987 book Time Wars.  Quoted in Less is More, Rifkin says: “we have quickened the pace of life only to become less patient. We have become more organized but less spontaneous, less joyful. We are better prepared to act on the future but less able to enjoy the present and reflect on the past”.


German environmentalist Wolfgang  Sachs believes “speed is an under-recognized factor fueling environmental problems. ”  Unless we make the effort to slow down, we will continue to experience the aftermath of the collision of the modern scale of time with the slow scale of nature and the earth.” (So let’s get outside and slow down!)


As author Ezio Manzini says, we have the privilege of “designing” our lives, rather than following the speed of life happening around us. Many projects all over the world are underway to increase sustainability, both for humans and for the planet. 



A doctor, Matthew Sleeth, has taken drastic steps to reduce his ecological footprint after he was unable to save a little girl suffering from air pollution intoxication.  His family’s cup began to run over “when we stopped living a life dedicated to consumerism”.


We all have the choice to slow down at some point in our daily routines.  While this may not be possible at work or in raising kids, we can take action (or non-action) elsewhere in our schedules.  It might mean clearing a time on your calendar for a daily meditation or prayer, or scaling back on your budget by going fishing or gardening on Saturdays instead of the weekly shopping mall trip.


Slowing down means finding our way back to the true meaning and joys of life, and creating better, healthier relationships with ourselves and others.


With so many inspiring stories about people’s own reasons for slowing down, you will surely find your own in the fantastic read Less is More.


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