40 Slow Living Quotes to Inspire a Better Life

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These 40 slow living quotes will provide food for thought as you embark on a slower, more intentional lifestyle.

If you are committed to living a slower, more present life this year, you may also enjoy these slow living hobbies, quotes about simple living and our favorite simple living books.

slow living quotes

What would a world look like without burnout, anger, anxiety, and stress? It would almost certainly look slower. Our rapidly developing world leaves little time to enjoy the small, simple things. Slow living focuses on a more balanced life that allows us to tune into ourselves and our true wants and needs to feel more fulfilled.

Slow living is a long-term view on life. There is not one singular change to encapsulate this lifestyle but many individual changes. The slow movement mainly focuses on these important things:

  • Being present, mindful, and reflective
  • Being connected with yourself
  • Being connected to your community, your food, and what you buy
  • Rejecting the idea that being busy equals being productive

A central tenet of the slow philosophy is that a slow, modest life allows us time to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves. Looking to adopt a slower pace in life? Here are some great quotes from slow living philosophers and thinkers to help inspire you.

the great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections carl honore slow living quotes

Slow Life Quotes about Being Present and Mindful

We are told so often by social media what we need to buy, and where we need to go. Sometimes, who we are and what we want gets lost in the shuffle. When we live at the right speed for us, we can tune into ourselves and appreciate the little things so much more.

“The great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquility to make meaningful connections–with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds” 

Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed

“Practising this ritual of mindfulness brings you completely into the present moment. It teaches you how to be grateful for even the most mundane of tasks and opens your mind to the beauty of doing one thing wholeheartedly.” 

Brooke McAlary, Destination Simple

“The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”

Moliere

“Drink life one sip at a time. This moment is brand new. Let it pour it’s newness into you.” 

Hiral Nagda

“When I slow down, I can dive deeper—and that’s how I prefer to live.”

Cait Flanders

“Take it in. This might be as good as it gets.” 

Meik Wiking, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living

“Spending more time with friends and family costs nothing. Nor does walking, cooking, meditating, making love, reading or eating dinner at the table instead of in front of the television. Simply resisting the urge to hurry is free.” 

Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed

“Mindfulness is a state of mind you only can get to if you slow down.”

Geir Berthelsen

“Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.”

Shakespeare

“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.”

Pico Iyer

“What if we spent less time shouting into the void and being washed over with shouting in return – and more time talking in rooms to those for whom our words are intended?”

Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

slow living quotes

“We are doing ourselves no favors when we look to the crowd to tell us where we are.” 

Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path

“Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.” 

John Mark Comer, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World

“Productivity is not about doing more, it’s doing what’s most important.”

Tonya Dalton, The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less

Slow Living Quotes to Encourage Sustainability

We often use time (or a lack of time) as the basis for unsustainable decisions. Quick takeout coffees, online clothes shopping, superstores, delivery pizzas. But fifty years ago, none of these modern habits existed. When we take a step back from immediacy, we make healthier choices for our bodies and the environment. 

Here are some of my favorite quotes that reflect how slow living and sustainable living are intertwined. 

Learn more about living a sustainable life here.

“Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are

“Collect moments, not things.” 

Paulo Coelho

“Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.” 

Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

“Hygge is humble and slow. It is choosing rustic over new, simple over posh and ambience over excitement. In many ways, hygge might be the Danish cousin to slow and simple living.” 

Meik Wiking, The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living

“The idea of the modern has been superseded; the challenge today is to return to the small scale, the hand made, to local distribution – because today what we call ‘modern’ is out of date.”

Carlo Petrini

quotes about slowing down celeste headlee

“The truth is, productivity is a by-product of a functional system, not a goal in and of itself. The question is not whether you are productive but what you are producing.” 

Celeste Headlee, Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving

“Remember that all you’re committing to is slowing down and asking yourself what you really want, rather than acting on impulse. That’s it. That’s what being a “mindful” consumer is all about.” 

Cait Flanders, The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

“Slow Food unites the pleasure of food with responsibility, sustainability and harmony with nature.”

Carlo Petrini

slowing down quotes cait flanders

Slow Living Quotes About Self-Care

Slow living encourages us to rethink the notion that self-care means indulgences, pampering, and splurging. Real self-care means taking the time to enjoy what we love. There’s no extra cost associated with taking a long walk, a hot bath, or spending an afternoon immersed in our favorite hobby. Here are some of the best quotes for embracing self-care with slow living.

“Self-care means giving yourself permission to pause.”

Cecilia Tran

“When we become kinder to ourselves, we can become kinder to the world.” 

Haemin Sunim, Love for Imperfect Things: How to Accept Yourself in a World Striving for Perfection

“We live in a world where hard work is rewarded and having needs and limitations is seen as a source of shame. It’s no wonder so many of us are constantly overexerting ourselves, saying yes out of fear of how we’ll be perceived for saying no.” 

Devon Price, Laziness Does Not Exist

slow living quotes

“It’s about loving being alive so much that you can step back and say, ‘Yes, this is what I want to be paying attention to.’ And no matter what your profession or task or job is, you are the boss of your body and you are the boss of those decisions.” 

Marlee Grace, How to Not Always Be Working: A Toolkit for Creativity and Radical Self-Care

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

Eleanor Brown

“Life meanders like a path through the woods. We have seasons when we flourish and seasons when the leaves fall from us, revealing our bare bones. Given time, they grow again.” 

Katherine May, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

lao tzu quotes

Quotes About Slow Living To Encourage You to Be Less Busy

Living slow means rejecting the glorification of a busy life. A busy life thrives on instant gratification and distractions as a way to combat anxiety and stress. Sometimes one of the best things in life is to have simply nothing to do. Only then can we notice the beautiful things for what they are, and enjoy deeper, meaningful connections and a higher quality of life.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

Lao Tzu 

“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast — you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.”

Eddie Cantor

“What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?” 

Greg McKeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Mahatma Gandhi

“You were not just born to center your entire existence on work and labor. You were born to heal, to grow, to be of service to yourself and community, to practice, to experiment, to create, to have space, to dream, and to connect.” 

Tricia Hersey, Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You don’t have to always be creating, doing, and contributing to the world.” 

Tricia Hersey, Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto

“I don’t do hurry I don’t do worry.”

Karen Salmansohn

“After a while, I wasn’t saying no because I was so busy, I was saying no because I didn’t want to be so busy anymore.” 

Courtney Carver, Soulful Simplicity: How Living with Less Can Lead to So Much More

living a slow life quotes

“Your job is just one tiny part of your life. We talk so much about choosing jobs or selecting careers. But what if we chose a life instead?” 

Emily Ley, Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating Joy

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest.” 

Nanette Mathews

Pin graphic that reads slow living quotes to inspire a better life

I hope these quotes help inspire you to embrace the slow, simple life and all the good things that come with it! I’d love to hear which one of the above is your favorite slow living quote, and how you embrace the slow living movement in your daily life.

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