Prozac. Zoloft. Xanax. These are common prescriptions known to Americans that help them cope with their chaotic lifestyles. However, across the Atlantic, Germans are slowing down their daily routines to preserve their mental health.
A new trend in Germany teaches people to decelerate their lifestyles in order to maintain mental and physical health — the Germans call this “Verlangsamung.”
Universities across Germany have implemented classes to help students rethink how they perform daily tasks.
In these classes, students perform tedious exercises that teach them to perform tasks slower.
Sina, a German university student, said slowing down helps Germans to be happier and healthier.
“Americans have no time to sit and relax and enjoy themselves,” Sina said. “That is not healthy.”
She said one reason this trend has grown in popularity is because Germans believe that a healthy worker produces better work.
Germans have made deceleration a priority and many think Americans should, too.
The new trend is a way of life so that one’s mind can be at rest in the workplace and helps produce higher quality work.
Dr. Melissa L. Wigginton, assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences at California Baptist University, said that deceleration should be a top priority in American society.
“People need to be more realistic — they are not invincible,” Wigginton said. “(They should) start making better health choices now before they have a disease and it’s harder to reverse it.”
She explained that countless diseases are the byproducts of stress and chaos that Americans willingly welcome into their lives.
“(We are) constantly going and doing, but not enjoying any of it,” Wigginton said. “That is a sad life.”
Mallory L. Poole, junior behavioral science major, said she spaces out her relaxation and homework time in order to avoid stress and exhaustion.
“It has been helpful to hear something and just let it sit in my mind for a while, and that has been helpful for me to formulate original thought, like writing a paper,” Poole said.
Poole concluded that when she makes relaxation a priority, she is happier throughout the semester.