Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How To Create a Peaceful, Simpler Life F” as Want to Read:
Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How To Create a Peaceful, Simpler Life F
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How To Create a Peaceful, Simpler Life F

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  442 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
“Age-old wisdom presented in a practical, easy to understand manner that can be utilized by everyone.”
—Bernie Siegel, M. D., author of Love, Medicine & Miracles


Newly revised and updated to address the increased stress of our modern times, Slowing Down to the Speed of Life by bestselling author Richard Carlson (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff and D
ebook, 240 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Slowing Down to the Speed of Life, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Slowing Down to the Speed of Life

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Ironically, perhaps, I read through this book very quickly.

I really like the basic idea---that through mindfulness and in-the-moment living, we can bring back the balance between our analytical and non-analytical thought processes, thereby derailing the circuitous train of thought that often leads us in a circle of stress, confusion, and overwhelm. The chapter on parenting was an especially good reminder for me, particularly the section about having compassion for our children's moods, even when
Sean Goh
Reread in March 2016.

No matter where you go, you always take your thinking with you.
Without thinking, there would be no experience.
Thoughts and feeling are inseparable.

Analytic thinking works best when we have close-to complete information.
Using it for matters of the heart will lead to negative emotions arising.
When trying to force answers instead of letting them unfold, we end up rushing around frantic, confused and frustrated.
Such negative feelings are an emotional compass that something is u
Dec 26, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really helpful. I totally get that the stress I feel is dependent on my perceptions more than the events and people around me. I feel myself implementing the ideas in this book and my life is already changing. On the whole, the book can be repetitive...arguably just applying the same principle to a bunch of different areas of one's life. Still, at times it was helpful to have specifics. I recommend it to nearly anyone, but even more so to the busy, overworked, perfectionist types (like m ...more
Dec 11, 2009 Phil rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Scanned/read it as a reference from another author (Leo Babauta) that I admire on the same subject. Mostly useful for the tools that they give you, in dealing with stessors. Probably pretty standard "psycho-therapy" treatment in book form. I scanned probably 60% and read the rest (relationships, children). Good reference. There are better, more up-to-date works out there, now, on the same subjects.
Mar 20, 2010 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stacy by: Ken
Shelves: non-fiction
I liked the content of this book. I definitely can get on board with the idea that most of our stress is a direct result of our thoughts. I am only giving the book three stars, however, because I thought is was poorly written and presented. But as long as you look beyond all the awkward sentences it was pretty insightful.
Mar 17, 2009 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
In this book Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey teach you how to create a more peaceful, simpler life from the inside out. It all starts by changing our thought patterns. A great read for anyone who wants to improve not only their life but the lives of those around them.
Eh. I got almost halfway through when I decided that "change your thoughts to change your feelings" just doesn't often work for me, and I lost interest.
Jul 14, 2011 Lia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: healing, simple-life
Okay, I've finished and updated my review. If you are wondering about reading this book, read my review to get the concepts, and you can probably skip the book.

From the book: "Given that thoughts and feelings are one and the same ..."

Something kept bugging me about the approach in this book, and I think this is it. I don't think thoughts and feelings are one and the same. That's not a given for me. So, their premise keeps tilting back and forth as it wobbles on this problem. Just prior to this
Jan 28, 2017 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Everyone should read this book. Whether you think you need this book or not, you do. It should be mandatory reading in schools, and standard business practice in workplaces. The middle is a little bit repetitive, but with good reason, the concepts are worth exploring in multiple life contexts. Keep reading though. I found the best thoughts in this book were kept to the last few chapters, a rarity for books generally devoted to a single important principle.
Lora Shouse
Apr 03, 2016 Lora Shouse rated it it was amazing
I noticed that some of the other reviews were down on this book because they said there were better books on the psychology of mind. That is possible, but I have not read any of them.

The authors talk about the difference between the analytical or processing mode of thought and the free-flowing, in-the-moment mode of thought they equate with mental health. The analytical mode, they maintain, is the best mode to use when trying to solve specific, defined problems where all the variables are known
Apr 25, 2016 Clara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no doubt that the principles in this book are helpful. The concept that our feelings are preceded by thoughts and that the better we become at recognizing the thoughts and the stories behind them the better off we'll be is an excellent one. The less we are stuck in our self-generated stories, the less stressed and more self-possessed we are able to be.

The newer idea is that in this serene state we are better able to take in useful information and make better choices. Slipping into this s
Gordon Gatiss
Many people do not read books, but they too have problems and issues in life. If you are not a normal book reader and you are asking questions about how you could change your life ... then this book could be a book you will enjoy and get a lot from.

For those of you who have read a lot of self-help books, and think you know a thing or two, then you may find this book telling you what you already know. However, if you don’t know what you don’t know, then try reading this book. It is clear and well
Aimed at those feeling rush, harried, stressed or if you ever feel like you can never get enough done (so that'd be all of us, nowadays!) this book explains how you can achieve a calmer state of mind on a day-to-day basis.

I'm a big fan of Richard Carlson's books since I discovered them, and like his other books, "Slowing Down to the Speed of Life" delivered some great wisdom that in itself caused me to slow down and reflect on how we have more leisure time than ever, but seem to be less satisfie
A friend recommended this book for me...hinting I may want to slow down because I am always so busy. Self-helps are hard for me to read because I feel like the information is common sense. I know I should/could be doing things to simply and de-stress my life, yet I fall off the wagon and go back to my daily routine of craziness too often. There was no new ground breaking information, but sometimes we all need a nudge or reminder to do those things that are good for us - for our health and relati ...more
Richard Jespers
Nov 09, 2014 Richard Jespers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book because it dovetailed with my own therapy and meditation practices. I will want to reread it at some point, to keep certain points in mind.

1. Mental Health
2. Living in the Moment
3. Process/Analytical mode vs. Free-flowing/Reflective Mode of Thinking
5. Free-flow thinking is for dealing with the UNKNOWN (like writing a story or novel)
6. Raise Our Level of Understanding
7. Healthy Thinking is Natural to All of Us (44)

1. Listening
Sarah Nietfeld
Feb 23, 2015 Sarah Nietfeld rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When this book was recommended to me, I assumed from the title it was some kind of new-age claptrap or fluff. Instead, I found it to be one of the best presentations of mindfulness I've read. I thought the message was delivered in a clear, direct, and unpretentious way, and was free of the dogmatic tone I found off-putting in similar books. Because of this, I found it hit home very effectively and it helped change my thinking and stress levels as I was reading it. Very glad I picked it up and ga ...more
Dec 14, 2009 Peggy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written by the author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. This book is that same message again with more direction on exactly how to accomplish that goal. The author says that all thought is divided into analytical thinking and flow thinking. Needless to say, we spend 95% of our time not flowing. It is another look at the "monkey mind" as Buddha labeled it. I never tire of reading about ways to help keep myself present in the moment, so I enjoyed this book. Others have written better on the ...more
Sep 16, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very yogic, without mentioning yoga - or religion at all - for that matter, while seeming complementary to any of the major religion's teachings. But I understand how to access this mindset better through this book than I have through any yogic text or religious writings I've read. Everyone's life would be enhanced by learning how to slow down a little more and take time to enjoy life, moment by moment.
Jan 19, 2011 Mel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Live in the moment and maintain perspective for a calmer life and less stress.
The book is good for introducing this to people that aren't aware they control they're reaction to something, but it's very repetitive and droll for those that get it in the first chapter.
There are chapters for dealing with children and work which some people may want to skip to if they just need a refresher or reminder on this.
Apr 28, 2015 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to figure out how to slow down their lives and live in the moment. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I've read several books and this was one of the best books, very inspiring and I have taken the lessons from this book to heart and am trying to apply them to my own day to day life.
May 23, 2012 Sai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book deals about how thinking affects our moods,life. The author advises to have a free flowing thought instead of analytic thinking and gives the steps to be taken to achieve it . Every aspect of life such as relationships , business, parenting are dealt in very good way . I think it is practically possible way also.
Tamara Albright
Jul 26, 2012 Tamara Albright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that I read again and again...when I need a tune up in slowing down, controlling my thinking and to get back to enjoying my life. A must read for anyone who wants to let go of their old pattern of thinking. Not your usual type of self help book. This really works and sticks with you...
Sep 22, 2016 Pauline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Some great info here but you'll have to work to distill it. Not an easy read (I found some of the concepts pretty abstract)... but worth it for some great nuggets. Oh, and some ideas are repeated, from different angles. The key points could be summarized in a much shorter format. Nonetheless, I did get value from this and will return to the notes I made.
Jul 20, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short, simple, and easy enough for an engineer to understand ('cuz we dun like no psychology or fuzzy sciences). This books is the only one that made me hopeful about handling stress. I'm buying one for each of my family members.
Jun 23, 2015 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I enjoyed reading this book. It is in the same vein as several other books I have read recently, although I didn't know that they all had this same theme or origins. The concept is appealing, and in some ways, seems very simple. I hope more people learn about this concept.
Jun 27, 2009 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Living from the inside out. Realizing that outer circumstances do not cause stress or disappointment etc. The way we think about outer circumstances creates the way we see and feel about them. Highly recommended.
Jun 08, 2010 Karena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health
OK, I can usually finish a book...and I'm usually pretty patient...but you'd have to be very mellow to read this book fully! There might be a few snippits of information which are useful, but there is a lot wading to get to them. Whoever can read this book probably doesn't need it. ;)
May 20, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book really recommending you stay present with your life and try to break things down so that you can achieve this. Although it does not provide exercises to help you solidify each concept, you get the basic idea at the end of each chapter. I would have liked some exercises though.
Feb 07, 2016 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book that clearly spells out how to slow down, de-stress and enjoy life. Perfect for me. The explanation of the two forms of thinking is the first I had every heard of it. Very informative.
Nov 25, 2013 ValeDeOro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: happiness
A great reminder of the importance to live the present moment.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter
  • Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better
  • World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down
  • List Your Self: Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery
  • It's All Too Much Workbook: The Tools You Need to Conquer Clutter and Create the Life You Want
  • On the Edge of Darkness: Conversations About Conquering Depression
  • The Power of Flow: Practical Ways to Transform Your Life with Meaningful Coincidence
  • The Joy of Simple Living: Over 1,500 Simple Ways to Make Your Life Easy and Content-- At Home and At Work
  • Slow is Beautiful: New Visions of Community, Leisure and Joie de Vivre
  • The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas
  • The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed
  • Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
  • The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them
  • Making Art a Practice: How to Be the Artist You Are
  • Don't Know Much About the Universe: Everything You Need to Know About Outer Space but Never Learned
  • Discovering Your Personality Type: The Essential Introduction to the Enneagram, Revised and Expanded
  • Taming Your Gremlin
  • Living a Charmed Life: Your Guide to Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary
Richard Carlson Ph.D. was an author, psychotherapist, and motivational speaker, who rose to fame with the success of his best-selling book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff (1997).

He met and married Kristine Anderson (Kris Carlson) in 1981 while he was a student at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

Carlson published his first book in 1985, but became famous when his Do
More about Richard Carlson...

Share This Book

“speaking, as your level of understanding rises, you will have the experience of deeper feelings such as gratitude, calmness, peace, hope, and joy.” 0 likes
“Mental health has commonly been called conscience, instinct, wisdom, common sense, or the inner voice. We” 0 likes
More quotes…