Downshifting. How To Live Better With Less


Today we tend to overextend ourselves due to the large number of responsibilities and personal ambitions. Job competitiveness and the pursuit of professional success are essential parts of people’s material development.

The problem begins when in this race to achieve material success we lose other important things along the way: emotional, spiritual and psychological health. Based on these, a movement has emerged that has gained strength in recent years.

This movement responds to the name of DownShifting.

What is downshifting?

How to live better with less

Downshifting is essentially questioning the modern way of life, which is driven by material desires and ambitions. This movement began its formation in the mid-1980s in the United States and its main objective is to be greater masters of our time, this even if it is necessary to give up some luxuries or better paid positions.

This style of seeing life began with important executives who, yes, earned significant amounts of money but saw their quality of life deteriorated due to the workload, sharing less with the family or investing less time in their personal interests.

Over time, this perception spread to all job levels and echelons, with employees who, even without a significant salary, also felt trapped in day-to-day work and job stress.

A couple of examples of radical downshifting we have in Mark Boyle and the Scrublands, who practically live on the fringes of the consumer society.

How can we practice downshifting?

Downshifting.  How to live better with less

There are several ways to stick to downshifting, at first it will not be easy to adjust our lifestyle but over time and in the long term, if you have patience, you can begin to notice the positive changes in your life: more free time, less worries more experiences and emotions, among others.

First of all, it must be clarified that talking about downshifting can scare those people who have very tight budgets since they are not in the capacity to “sacrifice” some of their salary for a little more free time. However, downshifting can be practiced on many levels without being extreme and still achieving some improvements in quality of life.

Next, we will share some tips to start practicing downshifting:

  • First of all, if possible, eliminate credit cards and keep one exclusively for emergencies. Keep track of your expenses and your budget and try to always pay in cash and from a single bank account. You can use them to make picks for guitars.
  • Get knowledge that means you save some money, for this you can support yourself on the internet. We are talking about knowledge about how to do some repairs or improvements in your home, which you would otherwise have to pay someone else to do.
  • Incorporate the four ‘Rs into your life : products must be  reducedreusedrepaired  and  recycled.
  • If you have a car, use it as little as possible and try as far as you can use public transport or use the bicycle. If there are other people interested in downshifting, feel free to share the ride with them.
  • Do your best to live close to work, this will save you a lot of time and you can even have lunch at home. Stop smoking and lose some weight, manage your work so that you can complete it in about 4 days.
  • When buying, do not hesitate to compare prices and only buy what is essential and necessary. That is to say, as much as possible waive those superficial expenses.

These are just a few recommendations that may sound difficult to carry out, but with dedication and patience you can greatly reduce your stress levels. Try it!

“Live more simply so that others can simply live.”  – Mahatma Gandhi.


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