Downshifting (lifestyle)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The term downshifting in the English language refers to the act of reducing the gear ratio while driving a vehicle with manual transmission. This title or term has now been re-purposed and applied to describe a social behavior or trend in which individuals live simpler lives to escape from what critics call the rat race.

The long-term effect of downshifting can include an escape from what has been described as economic materialism, as well as reduce the "stress and psychological expense that may accompany economic materialism". This new social trend emphasizes finding an improved balance between leisure and work, while also focusing life goals on personal fulfillment, as well as building personal relationships instead of the all-consuming pursuit of economic success.

Down-shifting, as a concept, shares many characteristics with simple living. However, it is distinguished as an alternative form by its focus on moderate change and concentration on an individual comfort level and a gradual approach to living.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Downshifting (lifestyle)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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