109 Slow Living Quotes to Inspire a Simpler Life

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If life often feels overwhelming to you, you’re not alone.

The world seems to move faster every day, with greater expectations and a constant need for more, well, everything. But you don’t need to sign up for living life this way.

The concept of slow living offers refuge from this hustle and bustle, with less overwhelm as a result.

Whether you’re looking to declutter your mind, reduce stress, or simply enjoy life more, slow living might be the answer.

So let’s dive into what slow living is all about and explore some inspiring slow living quotes that will encourage you to embrace a simpler, more intentional way of life.

a book placed on a wooden surface with dried lavender on

What is Slow Living?

Slow living might sound self-explanatory, but it doesn’t actually have to mean living life at a snail’s pace.

In fact, slow living is more about taking a step back and savouring life’s little moments. It’s a lifestyle choice that does encourage slowing down, yes, but is more about being mindful, getting rid of unnecessary busyness, and focusing on what truly matters to you.

That might mean spending more time with loved ones, enjoying nature, or practising present-moment awareness throughout your day.

However you choose to practice it, slow living invites you to live more intentionally and less chaotically. Sounds good, right?

People like Brooke McAlary and Carl Honoré have championed the slow living movement, emphasising the importance of breaking free from the “cult of speed” and embracing a more meaningful, deliberate pace of life. (As such you’ll find several quotes from them in this post!)

So if you’re ready to say no to constant rush and yes to more fulfillment in your life, keep reading to be inspired by some of my favourite slow living quotes for a simpler life.

109 slow living quotes to inspire a simpler life

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55 Slow Living Quotes to Inspire a Simpler Life

Ready to get inspired? Here are 109 slow living quotes to inspire you to embrace a simpler, more intentional life.

(P.S. Many of these inspiring quotes are pulled from these wonderful books about slow living, so make sure to give those a read if you want to feel even more inspired!)

Anti-Materialism Quotes

These slow living quotes are all about embracing a life with less and not getting sucked into the trap of materialism and the chase for more.

  1. “The more you are, the less you have.” — Karl Marx
  2. “The best things in life aren’t things.” — Art Buchwald
  3. “Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have.” — Unknown
  4. “The things you own end up owning you.” — Fight Club
  5. “He is richest who is content with the least.” — Socrates
  6. “You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need.” — Vernon Howard
  7. “Less is more.” — Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
  8. “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.” — Plato
  9. “Abundance makes me poor.” — Ovid
  10. “Ask anyone what makes them truly happy, and they won’t say their stuff.” — Peter Walsh
"happiness isn't having what you want. it's appreciating what you have" slow living quote
  1. “When you acquire less stuff you will actually get more of what you really want – more money, greater security, peace of mind, more time, more energy, and deeper relationships.” — Peter Walsh
  2. “Once you learn to detach happiness from acquiring and owning things you can focus on what truly makes you happy – and actually achieve that.” — Peter Walsh
  3. “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris
  4. “While you are alive collect moments not things, earn respect not money, and enjoy love not luxuries.” — Aarti Khurana
  5. “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” — Marie Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  6. “The aim should be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption. The cultivation and expansion of needs, is the antithesis of wisdom. It is also the antithesis of freedom and peace.” — E.F. Schumacher
  7. “Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.” — Benjamin Franklin
  8. “Joy comes not through possession or ownership but through a wise and loving heart.” — Buddha
  9. “Material goods rarely alter our levels of happiness, unlike emotional experience. Having can never replace being.” — Ilsa Crawford
  10. “It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.” — Henry Ward Beecher
  11. “We need more. Not more stuff or money, opportunities or challenges. We need more authenticity. We need more peace.” — Meg Meeker
  12. “Minimalism is not that you should own nothing. But that nothing should own you.” — Joshua Becker
  13. “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” — Charles Spurgeon
"minimalism is not that you should own nothing. but that nothing should own you." quote by Joshua Becker

Anti-Busyness Quotes

These slow living quotes will remind you that busyness doesn’t equal productivity, and is often a fast road to burnout. Sometimes it’s better to slow your day down – doing less, but better.

  1. “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” — Socrates
  2. “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” — Henry David Thoreau
  3. “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau
  4. “There is more to life than increasing its speed.” — Mahatma Gandhi
  5. “Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” — Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living
  6. “Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” — John De Paola
  7. “Don’t be busy, be productive.” — Unknown
  8. “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.” — Will Rogers
  9. “There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living; there is nothing harder to learn.” — Seneca
  10. “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.” — Dave Hollis
  11. “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.” — Albert Einstein
  12. “Real luxury is not working like a maniac to take an expensive vacation—it is living a life you enjoy every day.” — Kathy Gottberg
  13. “The world is run by worn-out people, and our soul is often lost beneath the piles of our everyday life.” — Emily P. Freeman, The Next Right Thing
  14. “We’re so caught up in trying to do everything, experience all the essential things, not miss out on anything important… Life is better when we don’t try to do everything. Learn to enjoy the slice of life you experience, and life turns out to be wonderful.” — Leo Babauta
  15. “Slow down, you’re doing fine, you can’t be everything you wanna be before your time.” — Billy Joel, Vienna
"slow down you're doing fine, you can't be everything you wanna be before your time" billy joel lyric about slow living
  1. “It doesn’t matter how fast you move as long as you are headed in the right direction.” — Unknown
  2. “Take your time; nothing good comes from haste.” — Proverb
  3. “Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.” — Mae West
  4. “Slowing down is sometimes the best way to speed up.” — Mike Vance
  5. “We’re a species that rushes through everything, then complains that time flies.” — Steve Maraboli
  6. “Doing a huge number of things doesn’t mean you’re getting anything meaningful done.” — Leo Babauta, The Power of Less
  7. “We need, above all things, to slow down and get ourselves to amble through life instead of to rush through it.” — Alan Watts
  8. “It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.” — Brené Brown
  9. “Shifting the mind into lower gear can bring better health, inner calm, enhanced concentration and the ability to think more creatively.” — Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness
  10. “Do not do more today than you can completely recover from today. Do not do more this week than you can completely recover from this week.” — Greg McKeown, Effortless
  11. “We may feel productive when we’re constantly switching between things, constantly doing something, but in all honesty, we’re not. We’re just distracted.” — Leo Babauta
  12. “When things happen too fast, nobody can be certain about anything, about anything at all, not even about himself.” — Milan Kundera
  13. “By abolishing the chance of being bored, we have lost the time we used to have to think and process.” — Greg McKeown, Essentialism
"it takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol" burnout quote by brene brown

Simplicity and Intentional Living Quotes

These intentional living quotes will remind you of the power of simplicity and getting rid of unnecessary noise and clutter from your life.

  1. “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” — Coco Chanel
  2. “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” — Hans Hofmann
  3. “Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.” — Charles Warner
  4. “The more simple we are, the more complete we become.” — Auguste Rodin
  5. “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.” — John Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are
  6. “Living simply makes loving simple.” — Bell Hooks
  7. “Slow living means shedding the unnecessary to focus on what gives life meaning.” — Unknown
  8. “Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest.” — Leo Babauta
  9. “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.” — Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
  10. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci
  11. “The simplest things are often the truest.” — Richard Bach
"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" intentional living quote by John Kabat-Zinn
  1. “Live simply so others may simply live.” — Mahatma Gandhi
  2. “Escape from complicated life! Take refuge in simple life! You will find three treasures there: Healthy body, peaceful mind and a life away from ambitious fools!” — Mehmet Murat ildan
  3. “A person who knows who they are lives a simple life by eliminating from their orbit anything that does not align with his or her overriding purpose and values.” — Kilroy J. Olster
  4. “One must learn to be simple, anyone can manage to be complex.” — Amit Kalantri
  5. “When the living gets unburdened with needs and desires, the life becomes simple and easy to carry.” — Shashi
  6. “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.” — Lin Yutang
  7. “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
  8. “If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.” — Dalai Lama
  9. “Be a curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left only with what you love, with what’s necessary, with what makes you happy.” — Leo Babauta, The Effortless Life
  10. “Slow living is about intention, spending more time on things that are important and less on things that aren’t.” — Brooke McAlary
"Slow living is about intention. Spending more time on things that are important and less on things that aren't" quote by Brooke McAlary

Cherishing the Moment Quotes

Slow living allows us to live a richer life because we’re more present for it. These quotes about cherishing the moment will remind you of that!

  1. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Buddha
  2. “Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” — Mother Teresa
  3. “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” — Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step
  4. “The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn
  5. “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” — Abraham Maslow
  6. “Wherever you are, be all there.” — Jim Elliot
  7. “Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed.” — Corita Kent
  8. “Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.” — Buddha
  9. “Life is available only in the present moment.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
  10. “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
  11. “The only wealth is life.” — Saint Francis of Assisi
"Wherever you are, be all there." quote about cherishing the moment by Jim Elliot
  1. “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” — Emily Dickinson
  2. “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” — Emily Dickinson
  3. “Slow living provides an opportunity to step back, pay attention, and question the ways we use technology, to recalibrate our relationship with the constantly switched-on, logged-in world.” — Brooke McAlary, SLOW
  4. “Wisdom is not something we have to strive to acquire. Rather, it arises naturally as we slow down and notice what is already there.” — Haemin Sunim
  5. “Mindfulness is a state of mind you can only get to if you slow down.” — Geir Berthelsen
  6. “Slow living is all about creating time and space and energy for the things that matter most to us in life, so ask yourself what you stand to gain.” — Brooke McAlary
  7. “The central tenet of the slow philosophy is taking the time to do things properly, and thereby enjoy them more.” — Carl Honoré, In Praise of Slowness
  8. “It is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world.” — Alan Watts
  9. “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
  10. “There is no hurry, and in a way there is no future. It is all here — so take it easy, take your time, and get acquainted with it.” — Alan Watts
  11. “Slow down. Find peace in little moments. Learn what you love, fill your life with it, and watch yourself come alive.” — Sonya Matejko
"Mindfulness is a state of mind you can only get to if you slow down" quote by Geir Berthelsen

Cherishing Nature Quotes

Nature is one of our greatest teachers when it comes to slow living. These quotes will inspire you to cherish nature and use it to bring more presence and contentment to your life.

  1. “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein
  2. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” — Lao Tzu
  3. “The earth has music for those who listen.” — William Shakespeare
  4. “To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” — Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
  5. “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir
  6. “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  7. “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” — John Muir
  8. “There is pleasure in the pathless woods.” — Lord Byron
  9. “Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” — Katrina Mayer
  10. “People no longer live by sun and moon, by wind and stars, but by some slyly contrived conventions known as clocks and calendars.” — Matthew Goldman
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." slow living quote by Kristen Neff
  1. “The troubles of modern life come from being divorced from nature.” — Isaac Asimov
  2. “I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly; nor do I regret that I did not waste more of them in the workshop or the teacher’s desk.” — Henry David Thoreau
  3. “Give me a quiet life, give me trees, the wind through them, give me a sea and the song it sings. Give me heartbeats shared with those I love, give me peace and a long deep sleep.” — Tyler Knott Gregson
  4. “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
  5. “The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.” — Moliere

So there you have it – 109 powerful quotes to inspire you to slow down and embrace a simpler, more meaningful life.

Remember, slow living isn’t about doing everything slowly; it’s about doing everything deliberately and with intention. It’s an invitation to focus on what truly matters and find joy in the little things.

So, next time you feel the pressure to rush, take a deep breath and remind yourself of some of the wise words in this post. Life is too short to live in the fast lane.

Wishing you the best on your journey of intentional living!

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109 slow living quotes for a fulfilling life

Esther is the founder of Through the Phases, a wellbeing and healthy lifestyle blog dedicated to sharing mind/body/soul practices for self-exploration, healing, and fulfilment. She has a degree in Psychology, is yoga teacher trained (200hr), and is currently pursuing a Neuroscience MSc to further study the mind-body connection. Read more about her story here.

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