Downshifting to Escape from Stress

January 7, 2019

Are you one of those people that perhaps demands too much of themselves? Professional competition and the pursuit of professional success are essential things for some people. However, the problem arises when, during this race to succeed, we forget to tend to our emotional, spiritual, and psychological well-being. To help us fight this problem, a new movement known as downshifting has emerged.

We can apply this new lifestyle to any area of our life, from our personal relationships to our work environment. It will help us reduce day-to-day stress. Additionally, we’ll reap several positive physical and mental health benefits.

What is downshifting?

Downshifting consists of questioning the modern way of life where material desires and ambitions take precedence. This movement began in the mid-1980s in the United States. Namely, its main goal is to help us regain conscious control over our lives. Therefore, it’s about making decisions that go hand-in-hand with our priorities. According to downshifting, sometimes it’s even necessary to give up some luxuries or better-paid jobs for our well-being.

This lifestyle began with important executives. Although they earned significant amounts of money, they believed they didn’t have a good quality of life due to their workload. Their jobs didn’t allow them to spend time with their families or invest time in their personal interests. Nowadays, there are employees who also feel trapped in their day to day work stress even though they don’t have extravagant salaries.

A woman stressed out from work.

Downshifting guidelines

At first, it won’t be easy to change your lifestyle. However, with time, your patience will be rewarded. For example, some of the things you’ll benefit from include more free time, fewer worries, and more positive emotions. In addition, you’ll enjoy greater emotional stability.

If you’re interested in downshifting, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Try not to buy things with credit cards: Keep track of your expenses and your budget. Also, always try to pay in cash and use a single bank account.
  • Learn things that may help you save money: For example, use all the information that is available on the Internet. This information may be about how to make home repairs or improvements. Consequently, you’ll save money on things that someone else would charge you for.
  • Reduce the number of products you consume: Recycle your products or repair something instead of throwing it away and buying another.
  • If you own a car, use it at least as possible: As an alternative, use public transportation or commute by bicycle. Additionally, if you know other people who are interested in downshifting, don’t hesitate to carpool with them.
  • Try to live as close to your job as you can: This will save you a lot of time. As a result, you may have more time to cook homemade meals or do other things that you like.
  • Whenever you make a purchase, don’t hesitate to compare prices and only buy whatever’s essential and necessary: In other words, give up all superficial expenses as much as possible.
Downshifting began with high executives who realized they were spending too much time at work.

Downshifting to escape from work stress

As we mentioned above, trying to live as close to your workplace as possible may help. By not having to spend so much time commuting to work, we can enjoy more free time we can use to practice our hobbies. This is especially important if you live in a large city.

On the other hand, not having to devote so much time commuting to your workplace will also mean you’ll endure less traffic. It may also help you avoid the crowds of people on the subway or buses. Either way, you’ll live a less stressful life.

Reducing the stress that commuting to our job generates may help us enjoy it more. This will allow us to finish the workday less tired and with more energy to make personal plans.