Home > Keywords > Downshifters


The word 'downshift' refers to slowing down the pace of life and shifting to a more comfortable lifestyle. Instead of downshifting gears in a car, in this sense, 'downshift' means to shift down a gear in life. In other words, 'downshifters' are people who choose voluntarily to switch to a way of life that brings contentment in spite of both lower consumption and lower income, to switch to a simpler and happier lifestyle by quitting a stressful job even if it means a pay cut, or to escape from the rat race and deemphasize career advancement. Specific actions that 'downshifting' applies to include reducing work hours, increasing time spent with family, volunteering and participating in the local community, moving to a smaller house or to a rural area, and striving to consume less in order to live a more eco-friendly life. The movement has spread principally from places like the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, but 'downshifters' leading this type of life can be found throughout the world. In recent years, the concept of 'downshifting' has begun to spread in Japan, especially in response to the Japanese film "Oriteyuku Ikikata" (slow life down).

Page Top