DEFINITION of 'Downshifting'

The act of reducing one's standard of living for an improved quality of life. Downshifting assumes a tradeoff between standard of living, such as level of wealth, and quality of life, which relates to well-being.

BREAKING DOWN 'Downshifting'

People who downshift are looking to improve their personal lives. These changes could take the form of more spare time, a reduced workload or a lower stress level. To achieve these goals, the person must be willing to give up his or her current standard of living and look to reduce the cost of living. For example, someone may attempt to downshift by reducing monthly expenses, moving to a smaller house or selling unnecessary possessions.