Many people, and perhaps this is your case, are too demanding of themselves. Competitiveness in work and the pursuit of professional success are essential parts of our material development. The problem begins when in this “race” to achieve success, key elements of life are put aside: emotional, spiritual and psychological health. To avoid this trap, always lurking, it is possible to resort to voluntary simplicity, or downshifting.
In English downshifting literally means “downshifting”, or more simply “slowing down”. Applying this method can be very useful in different fields of life, including personal relationships and, of course, work. In this way, it will be possible to reduce stress day by day, obtaining several very positive effects on the level of physical and mental well-being.
What is voluntary simplicity?
Voluntary simplicity is about questioning the modern way of life, motivated by material desires and ambitions. This movement began to spread in the mid-1980s in the United States. Its main goal is to restore more conscious control over life by making decisions consistent with one’s priorities, even if it means giving up some luxuries or better-paying jobs.
This “new” way of seeing and understanding life was suggested by some senior executives who, while occupying high-profile posts and earning large sums of money, noted that their quality of life was significantly deteriorating.
The time devoted to the family was less and less, as was the time to cultivate one’s personal interests. Over time, this perception has spread to all professional levels, affecting even simple employees who felt trapped in everyday life and victims of work stress, moreover without an exorbitant salary.
Guidelines for putting downshifting into practice
We can follow several guidelines to put downshifting into practice. It won’t be easy to adjust your lifestyle at first, but over time and in the long run, your patience will be rewarded.
The main positive effects will translate into more free time, fewer worries, better experiences and emotions. In addition to this, it will be possible to avoid the classic moments of crisis, as he will enjoy emotional stability, which will give the feeling of being consistent with personal desires and concerns.
If we have managed to awaken your curiosity and you want to take advantage of the multiple benefits of voluntary simplicity, here are some actions you can start doing:
- Don’t buy with credit cards. Keep your expenses under control and manage your budget wisely. If you always pay in cash and from a single bank account, it will be easier to do so.
- Save money by taking advantage of tricks, tips and practical knowledge that you can draw on simply using the internet. For example, how to do certain chores around the house or repairs that will save you a lot of dollars.
- Reduce the amount of products consumed, recycling as much as possible, repairing instead of always buying something new.
- If you have a car, try to use it as little as possible. Alternatively, use public transport or cycle around. If you know other people interested in downshifting, you may want to share your means of transportation.
- Live close to the workplace. This will save you a lot of time, money and allow you to eat at home. In some cases, even taking a nap.
- Compare prices and only buy what is essential and necessary. As far as possible, forgo all unnecessary expenses.
Voluntary simplicity to escape work stress
In a more concrete way, you will be able to practice voluntary simplicity to escape work stress, which in turn will reduce the anxiety levels that often permeate all levels of the day.
A first step will be to try to live as close to the office as possible. By no longer having to travel to work, you will have a lot of free time to devote yourself to your family, to your favorite hobbies, also reducing the cost of gasoline, bus passes and avoiding possible accidents. This aspect will also be particularly important if you live in a big city. where the distances are certainly very large and spending many minutes at the wheel only serves to increase stress and a tired mind.
Imagine how your life could change without traffic and without having to jostle with crowds of people to get on the bus or get off the subway. Reducing the stress generated at work will make you have more fun, allowing you to end the day less tired and with more energy to do everything you love.