Monday, August 09, 2010

What is downshifting?

While many are seeking to climb the material ladder in life, others have reached the upper rungs and found out it's not all it's cracked up to be; choosing to set a different course - downshifting.

Even if you haven't reached (what is generally considered) the upper rungs to discover this, if you're struggling in this economic climate to keep up with all the "gotta haves" that perhaps you really don't need; step back, take a deep breath, separate from the pack and consider downshifting. The environment will certainly benefit from you doing so.

Downshifting, a term currently used most often in Australia and the UK, is the concept of living in voluntary simplicity; usually with environmental sustainability in mind although not necessarily the focus or primary motivator. People who take the downshifting route are also called "post materialists".

While some have been making these changes for years, it's only relatively recently that downshifting has acquired the label. An Australian Institute survey in 2004 found that nearly a quarter of Australian adults aged 30-59 have chosen to downshift over the previous 10 years.

People downshift their lives for mainly 5 reasons:

a) A desire for a more balanced life with less stress
b) Clashes between personal values and those of the workplace
c) Wanting a more fulfilling life
d) Ill health
e) Environmental concerns/rejection of consumerism

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