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SLOW LIVING: WHEN SLOWING DOWN IS GOOD FOR BODY AND MIND

Downshifting is a slow approach to life which restores peacefulness to body and mind.

Slow living: when slowing down is good for body and mind

We are often dragged into the vortex of tightly packed days brimming with commitments and deadlines. Even children are in a rush, weighed down by a diary as full as an adult's. We run the risk of not having enough time to appreciate our surroundings.

Faced with such break-neck rhythms, there is increasing support for coping strategies. Downshifting is a slow approach to life which restores peacefulness to body and mind.

Rediscovering slowness is the key concept of this philosophy, which invites us to slow down the rhythms of an excessively hectic lifestyle. The idea of taking things slower may seem scary: we fear losing out on important occasions. However, according to slow living, being in a rush is what causes us to miss out, as we fail to perceive the wonderful things happening around us.

Do less, feel more

Taking time out does not mean losing time. Consciously slowing down is about re-assessing even the smallest of gestures, to make the most of the here and now: it is not so much about what you do, it's about how you do it. Even the simplest experiences can become extraordinary occasions.

The benefits for body and mind

The body, constantly solicited by a multitude of stimuli, is the first to benefit from "slow living". The idea is to pay attention to signs from your organism and try to restore your very own physical rhythm. The same goes for the mind: often we concentrate on what will happen next, or the idea of how things might be. Instead, our attitude needs to shift and focus on the present: each moment is worth living to the full.

Guidelines for slow living

There are two golden rules for embracing a philosophy of slowness. Firstly, avoid doing two things at the same time: in order to fully enjoy an experience, you must truly focus on it, free from the distraction of other activities. Selecting healthy foods is the second rule. In the kitchen, slow living recommends we return to seasonal ingredients, to the pleasure of cooking simple recipes that are easy to share at the table.

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