Keep Calm, Slow Down and Open Yourself Up to Life’s Little Pleasures [REVIEW]

Cyclists relaxing

Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer knows all kinds of ways we can relax. She shares them with us in her new book, 1,001 Ways to Slow Down. (Photo by Björn Söderqvist, Flickr)

Author Jane Austen once said, “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” This comes from a woman who was born in 1775, long before the Information Age, which has whipped all of us into a frenzy, hurtling us through life at the speed of light. Cell phones. Twitter. The Internet. Twenty-four hour news cycles. It gets to the best of us, which is why I love the new book, 1,001 Ways to Slow Down: A Book of Everyday Calm. Here, bestselling author Barbara Ann Kipfer reminds us about all the many ways to unwind. 

Barbara Ann Kipfer's 1,001 WAYS TO SLOW DOWN

National Geographic

This is a list book which is compiled much like her previous bestseller, 14,000 Things to Be Happy About. But this time out, Dr. Kipfer joins forces with National Geographic in order to inspire us all and help the overwhelmed people of the world unplug and keep their cool.

One of the things I love most about this volume is that it is small enough to keep in my desk drawer as a ready reference for those days when my head starts to ache and my eyes cross from information overload. It’s moments like those that make us simply want to make a change.

Sometimes, that is easier said than done. That’s why Kipfer’s 1,001 suggestions are so helpful. They’re quick and succinct, but make so much sense, and they remind us that it is the simple things in life that rejuvenate us the most. Below are some of my favorites.

Man reading at coffee shop in Cardiff

Enjoy a good book. (Photo by gordonplant, Flickr)


Spend hours in a coffee shop reading.

Table conversation

Have meaningful conversations. (Photo by Long Mai, Flickr)


Take time for long, thoughtful conversations with interesting people. 


Give the waiter a break. (Photo by Connie Ma, Flickr)


Stop criticizing the too-slow waiter.

Smelling the roses

Take the time to smell the roses. (Photo by Liam Wilde, Flickr)


As you cut and arrange flowers, ponder nature and how she takes her time creating these beautiful gifts. 

Making bread

Knead a little dough. (Photo by Karen Sabin, Flickr)


Bake homemade bread. 

Couple taking pictures at Venice Beach

Let the waves lap at your toes. (Photo by Chris Goldberg, Flickr)


Watch the waves at the beach.

See what I mean? Each of these remedies provide us with those “Aha!” moments Oprah always talks about, all designed to keep us centered, relaxed and rejuvenated. It’s also why this book is now on my personal list of favorite things.

Barbara Ann Kipfer’s 1,001 Ways to Slow Down should be on everyone’s must-read list. It also makes the ideal gift for all those harried people in your life who never seem to have a moment to catch their breath. Packed full of humor, whimsy, insight, practical wisdom and easy-to-follow advice, this should be mandatory reading for everyone, particularly anyone in high stress situations. It is the kind of book that reminds us we don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on psychiatry bills to chill out. Sometimes all we have to do is sit still and open ourselves up to life’s little pleasures.


Barbara Ann Kipfer

Barbara Ann Kipfer

Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer is the bestselling author of 1,001 Ways to Live Wild, The Wish List, The Order of Things, Self-Meditation, Instant Karma, and 14,000 Things to be Happy About, which has more than 1.25 million copies in print. She has also written more than 70 other publications, including list, happiness, inspirational and reference books.

A registered professional archaeologist, Barbara holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in Linguistics from the University of Exeter; a Ph.D. in Archaeology and an M.A. from Greenwich University; a Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies from Akamai University; and a B.S. in Physical Education from Valparaiso University.

Dr. Kipfer is Chief Lexicographer of Temnos. She has worked for, Ask Jeeves and, Bellcore (now Ericsson), and, General Electric Research, Google, IBM Research, Idealab and Knowledge Adventure, The Chicago Tribune, and WolframAlpha.

Visit her home on the Web at and follow her on Pinterest or Twitter.

By Barbara Ann Kipfer
320 pgs. National Geographic. $19.99

You may purchase this book at one of these fine online retailers: National Geographic, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

1,001 Ways to Slow Down is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

TLC Book Tours Tour Host

p.s. As you’re waiting for your copy of the book to arrive in the mail, watch the video below. It’s one of my favorite songs, here performed by yet another Babs, which reminds us of the beauty of slowing down.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Keep Calm, Slow Down and Open Yourself Up to Life’s Little Pleasures [REVIEW]

  1. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    Are you always looking for ways to fill your life with peace and tranquility? National Geographic and Dr. Barbara Ann Kipfer bring you 1,001 WAYS TO SLOW DOWN, a wonderful little list book that will inspire you to enjoy every minute of your life.

  2. If Jane Austen thought life was busy, our world today is HOPELESSLY busy! LOL

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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