Reduce stress until you forget about it: rediscover well-being with slow living

slow living girl in desk reading with glasses in sardinia home relocated


Are you constantly overwhelmed by a sense of pressure, crushed by a routine that seems relentless? You’re not alone. The frenzy of modern society compels us to live at an ever-increasing pace, often at the expense of our health and well-being.

In this continuous race toward success and progress, it’s easy to feel stressed, anxious, and tired. The constant pressure to do more, be more, and achieve more can lead to a sense of disorientation and alienation. It’s important to recognize that this isn’t the natural way of living and that it requires a conscious effort to regain balance and restore our mental and physical health.

But don’t despair, there’s a way out, one possible solution is to slow down the frantic pace of life and embrace slow living.

Slow living isn’t a passing trend, but a philosophy of life aimed at reclaiming our time and living more consciously. It means slowing down the pace, savoring the small daily pleasures, cultivating deep relationships with loved ones, and reconnecting with nature.

The benefits of a slow lifestyle are numerous.

Research shows that slowing down reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleep, increases creativity and productivity, and strengthens the immune system. Furthermore, slow living allows us to live more sustainably, reducing our environmental impact.

A study by the Mayo Clinic reveals that Chronic stress can have detrimental effects on both your physical and mental well-being.

In today’s fast-paced society, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by the demands of daily life, whether it’s managing a heavy workload, financial responsibilities, or family obligations. These stressors trigger our body’s natural response system, causing us to feel constantly under attack. However, it’s important to recognize that we have the power to regain control and prevent stress from ruling our lives.

When faced with a perceived threat, our brain’s hypothalamus activates an alarm system, signaling the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol from the adrenal glands. These hormones prepare our bodies for a fight-or-flight response, increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels.

While this response is beneficial in the short term, chronic exposure to stress can lead to a range of health issues, including anxiety, depression, digestive problems, and heart disease.

Various factors influence how we react to stress, including genetics and life experiences. While some people may have a more resilient response to stress, others may be more susceptible, especially if they have experienced trauma or neglect in the past.

Fortunately, there are numerous strategies we can employ to manage stress effectively.

These include maintaining a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise, and sleep, practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, engaging in hobbies, fostering social connections, and seeking professional counseling if needed. By taking proactive steps to address stressors in our lives, we can cultivate peace of mind, improve our overall well-being, and enjoy a higher quality of life.

Regarding sleep improvement, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insists on the importance of good sleep habits (sometimes referred to as “sleep hygiene”), because they can help you get a good night’s sleep and consequently a good quality of life.

How to Start Living Slowly?

So back to the main discussion, to live a quieter lifestyle and away from stress, it’s not necessary to upheave one’s life overnight.

Small changes can make a difference. Here are some tips:

Dedicate time to yourself: carve out moments of quiet to read, meditate, do yoga, or simply relax. Reading can be a great form of escape and relaxation. Choose a book that excites you and give yourself time to immerse yourself in its pages. Meditation can help reduce stress and find calm and mental clarity. Even just a few minutes a day can make a difference. Yoga not only promotes physical well-being but also mental well-being. Its breathing and relaxation practices can help reduce anxiety and stress. Here are some practical yoga breathing exercises that can help reduce anxiety and stress:

Abdominal Breathing: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on your chest. As you inhale, allow the hand on your abdomen to rise while the hand on your chest remains still. As you exhale, gently contract the abdominal muscles to fully empty the lungs. Repeat for a few minutes, focusing on deep abdominal breathing.

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing): Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. Close your right nostril with your thumb and inhale deeply through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your ring finger, release your right nostril, and exhale through it. Continue alternating nostrils. This exercise helps balance brain activity and calm the mind.

Complete Breath: Sit with your back straight and your legs crossed. As you inhale, bring the air first into the abdomen, then into the chest, and finally into the upper lungs. As you exhale, release the air in the opposite direction: first from the upper lungs, then from the chest, and finally from the abdomen. Repeat for a few minutes, focusing on the fluidity of the complete breath. These yoga breathing exercises can be practiced daily to reap benefits in reducing anxiety and stress, improving concentration, and promoting mental and physical well-being.

Take a nature walk: contact with greenery has a calming and regenerating effect on the body and mind. Contact with nature, especially in less industrialized areas like southern Italy, particularly Sardinia, offers numerous benefits for physical and mental well-being. The presence of natural areas, sea, and mountains allows you to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking, and horseback riding, offering a rejuvenating and calming experience for the body and mind. According to WWF Italia, urban green areas contribute to the health and safety of people, offering benefits such as improving air quality, absorbing pollutants, and mitigating temperatures.

Several studies highlight the mental health benefits of contact with nature, including stress and anxiety reduction, cognitive improvement, increased self-esteem, and general invigoration.

Being in green spaces, even without leaving home, has great benefits: it reduces stress, agitation, and pain, increases attention capacity, and promotes sociability. Gardening and horticultural therapy, which can also be practiced on a terrace or in small spaces, improve psychological and physical well-being, so much so that they are used as support in people with psychological and physical problems.

Eat healthily and consciously: take the time to cook healthy and tasty meals, savoring every bite. Sardinia offers a wide variety of foods derived from ancient recipes, handed down from generation to generation. These dishes are created with care and wisdom, using the best condiments and natural remedies for better digestibility.

Traditional Sardinian cuisine is known for its use of local ingredients and the preparation of healthy dishes. These dishes often include a variety of vegetables, legumes, fish, and meat, providing important nutrients for physical well-being. Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet, to which Sardinian cuisine is closely linked, is associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and increasing overall well-being.

The Mediterranean diet is based on an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, legumes, and olive oil.

The contact with nature and the uncontaminated environment of Sardinia offers not only high-quality foods but also a culinary experience enriched by the awareness of the natural origin of the ingredients. This mindful approach to food is reflected in the preparation and consumption of meals, encouraging taking the time to cook and savor each dish.

Therefore, combining the pleasure of enjoying traditional foods with the natural context of Sardinia can offer a complete and unique experience for your well-being.

Cultivate deep relationships: dedicate time to the people you love, listening to them attentively and without haste. Cultivating deep relationships is a long-life elixir. This is a precious gift that enriches both lives and too often we realize this richness when it’s too late. Family, in this context, plays a fundamental role as the main and founding nucleus of the principles that will accompany both men and women throughout life.

It’s no coincidence that Sardinia is one of the five “Blue Zones” in the world, areas with the highest concentration of centenarians. One of the secrets to this exceptional longevity is the strong sense of community that permeates this land. People help each other, children learn from their grandparents, and life flows in an atmosphere of solidarity and mutual support.

Here are some tips for cultivating deep relationships:

1. Dedicate quality time to the people you love: Listen to them attentively, without distractions, and try to put yourself in their shoes. Investing quality time in relationships with loved ones is a precious gesture that brings lasting benefits. One key to establishing and maintaining meaningful bonds is active listening. When we take time to listen to others attentively and without distractions, we show our genuine interest in what they have to say and their experiences. This not only strengthens the emotional bond between us and them but also allows us to better understand their perspective and emotions. Putting ourselves in others’ shoes helps us develop empathy and compassion, essential elements for building healthy and fulfilling relationships. Moreover, when people feel truly listened to and understood, it creates a space of mutual trust that fosters open and honest communication. Therefore, dedicating quality time to loved ones and practicing empathic listening are effective ways to cultivate loving and meaningful relationships that we will never regret.

2. Be present and show interest in their lives: Ask questions, share your experiences, and offer your support when needed. Being present and showing interest in the lives of loved ones is a powerful way to nurture emotional bonds. Providing genuine attention and actively participating in the lives of others creates a sense of connection and closeness that strengthens emotional ties. Asking open and sincere questions allows for a deeper mutual understanding and the discovery of new details and nuances of the life experiences of those around us. Similarly, sharing our experiences honestly and openly promotes reciprocity and mutual sharing, creating an environment of trust and mutual understanding. Offering support when needed demonstrates a willingness to be present and supportive in times of need, helping to strengthen the bond and consolidate the relationship over time. Ultimately, showing genuine interest and offering active support are meaningful gestures that contribute to building deep and satisfying relationships with loved ones.

3. Create opportunities to spend time together: Organize morning coffees or evening aperitifs or dinners – any excuse is good to go out and have a pretext simply to converse. Creating opportunities to spend time together is essential for strengthening emotional bonds and building relationships. This way, precious memories are built together with loved ones. Dinners can become moments of conviviality and sharing, where delicious dishes are prepared and enjoyed while exchanging stories and laughter. Outings can be an opportunity to explore new places, engage in outdoor activities, or enjoy cultural events, thus enriching the shared experience and stimulating curiosity and enthusiasm. Even informal conversations at home can be precious moments to deepen emotional bonds and promote mutual understanding. During these occasions, thoughts, feelings, and future plans, even more intimate ones, can be shared, creating a safe and welcoming space to express oneself and feel understood. Ultimately, creating opportunities to be together allows for cultivating meaningful bonds and fostering a sense of belonging and sharing within interpersonal relationships.

4. Celebrate important moments together: Celebrate birthdays, weddings, births, and any other significant occasions. Celebrating important life moments together is a precious way to strengthen emotional bonds and create lasting memories. Every excuse is good to share joy, happiness, and gratitude with loved ones. During these special occasions, parties, gatherings, or dinners can be organized, creating a festive and engaging atmosphere where everyone can feel involved and appreciated. Celebrations also represent a moment to express affection and mutual support, showing loved ones how important and meaningful they are in our lives. Furthermore, celebrating together allows for consolidating family and social ties, creating a network of support and solidarity that accompanies us in times of joy and difficulty. Finally, these occasions also provide an opportunity to reflect on our experiences and achievements, celebrating successes and appreciating the journey we’ve traveled together. In conclusion, celebrating important moments together is a precious way to cultivate meaningful relationships and make life richer and more fulfilling.

5. Be patient and understanding: Deep relationships require time and commitment from everyone. Being patient and understanding is essential for cultivating meaningful and lasting relationships. Deep connections do not develop overnight but require time, commitment, and reciprocity from both parties. It is important to understand that everyone has their own pace in building relationships and that there may be moments of difficulty or uncertainty along the way. Therefore, being patient means respecting the timing of others and giving them the space they need to open up and share themselves. At the same time, understanding involves being empathetic and accepting individual differences without judging or criticizing. Everyone has their own experiences, emotions, and viewpoints, and understanding and respecting these diversities are essential for building authentic and solid bonds. Furthermore, patience and understanding create an atmosphere of trust and security within relationships, allowing people to feel free to be themselves and express their needs and desires. Ultimately, being patient and understanding is a sign of emotional maturity and genuine love for others, which contributes to establishing meaningful and lasting bonds based on trust, respect, and mutual gratitude.

6. Disconnect from technology: Limit the use of smartphones and computers to live in the present more fully. Disconnecting from technology is a fundamental step for living in the present more fully.

Technology has undoubtedly improved our lives in many ways. It allows us to communicate with people all over the world, access unlimited information, and perform many activities more easily and quickly. However, excessive use of smartphones and computers can have negative effects on our mental and physical health.

Here are some tips for disconnecting from technology more easily:

Set limits. Decide how much time you want to spend per day in front of a screen and stick to this limit;

Create “screen-free” zones. For example, the bedroom or dining table could be areas where electronic devices are not used;

Find alternatives. Engage in physical activity, read a book, spend time with friends or family, play board games like Monopoly, Risk, chess, etc.;

Turn off notifications. It’s not necessary to be always connected. Turn off notifications from social media and apps that are not urgent;

Plan periods of disconnection. Take time for yourself and disconnect completely from technology. You could go for a walk in nature, go camping, or simply relax at home without a phone or computer.

As you can see, we have touched on many interesting points to help you reclaim a more serene and settled life full of experiences that truly deserve to be lived with the people we care about.

Slow living is not a magic recipe but a journey to be undertaken gradually and consciously.

It is an invitation to rediscover the value of time, to live more intensely, and to find happiness starting from the little things.

In this blog, you will also find practical advice in this regard, inspirations, and stories that can help you embrace slow living and create the life you desire.

Don’t live someone else’s life, build a life of your own.

We hope to have provided you with a valuable contribution that can help you on a path of improvement.

Join us on a journey towards a healthier and happier future!