Lying Flat: An Exploration and Reflection on a New Attitude Towards Life

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

What kind of lifestyle 生活方式 (shēnɡ huó fānɡ shì) do you prefer? A high-quality yet busy life, or a relaxed yet ordinary life? In this rapidly evolving society, it seems that we have to accelerate our pace to work, in order to achieve a higher quality of life. However, in doing so, we often lose a lot of time for relaxation, leading us to sometimes question ourselves: "Is this really the life I want?" Nowadays, more and more young Chinese people are beginning to embrace a novel way of life - "lying flat." Imagine, in the scorching summer heat, a casual breeze brushing past one's face, bringing a rare sense of peace and solace to those worn out by the hustle and bustle of the city - this is the feeling that the "lying flat" trend offers them. But do not misunderstand, "lying flat" does not mean completely giving up on efforts and idling away. It is more like a wise choice, a gentle resistance to the modern high-pressure life. This article will introduce you to this phenomenon.

生活方式 (shēnɡ huó fānɡ shì), noun, lifestyle

Examples:

  1. I like the free lifestyle.
    我喜欢自由的生活方式。
    wǒ xǐ huɑn zì yóu de shēnɡ huó fānɡ shì 。
  2. What kind of lifestyle do you prefer?
    你喜欢什么样的生活方式?
    nǐ xǐ huɑn shén me yànɡ de shēnɡ huó fānɡ shì ? 

The Essence of "Lying Flat"

The term "lying flat" may sound passive and resigned, but in reality, it represents a profound and positive shift in attitude towards life among modern young people. It is a thoughtful response of modern individuals to the fast-paced life. Imagine, in a world where everything is pursued for efficiency and competitiveness, everyone seems to be in a continuous race. The emergence of the "lying flat" concept is like telling us: occasionally, we can choose to pause, not always needing to keep up with others' pace.

The Rise of the "Lying Flat" Phenomenon

The "lying flat tribe" shares similarities with the UK's "NEETs," Japan's "Hikikomori," and the US's "Boomerang Kids," all being responses of young people to life pressures in specific socio-economic backgrounds. In China, as days pass by swiftly, work becomes more demanding, and expenses seem to rise, many young individuals start to ponder: is the pursuit of "success" we've always chased after the sole good path? Does happiness only come through material possessions? Having a big house, a luxury car, or a high position may not necessarily bring true satisfaction and joy.

For these individuals embracing "lying flat," it is more like saying: "Hey, I'd rather live a simpler and happier life, even if not as materially affluent, I don't want to push myself too hard." They may value personal happiness more, seeking to regain balance in life, not wanting to be solely defined by material possessions or professional competition. Thus, they choose to "lie flat," indicating their unwillingness to be led by these pressures 压力(yā lì), preferring to live at their own pace, even if it means no longer pursuing high-income or high-status jobs.

压力(yā lì), noun, pressure

Examples:

  1. Today's young people are under pressure from all sides.
    如今年轻人承受各方的压力。
    rú jīn nián qīnɡ rén chénɡ shòu ɡè fānɡ de yā lì 。
  2. He was under strong pressure to resign.
    他承受着要辞职的巨大压力。
    tā chénɡ shòu zhe yào cí zhí de jù dà yā lì 。 

A New Lifestyle for Young People

For young individuals joining the "lying flat tribe," happiness is no longer the luxury office space in a skyscraper, or the growing numbers in their bank accounts, but having time to read a good book, leisurely enjoy afternoon tea with friends, or simply relish a weekend free from work interruptions. They believe that true self-worth lies in understanding their inner needs, pursuing mental richness and tranquility, rather than adhering to externally imposed standards of success. "Lying flat" also advocates for a return to a simpler way of life, meaning that in today's materialistic and desire-driven society, we should look back at the simple yet authentic pleasures of life - the warmth of family, small gatherings with friends, a good book, or a leisurely walk. Such a lifestyle helps us break free from busyness and stress, allowing our minds to truly rest and be nourished.

New Thinking Behind the "Lying Flat" Phenomenon

Behind "lying flat" is a wise awakening to life, encouraging us to think deeply about what truly brings us happiness, and bravely pursue that unique source of happiness. "Lying flat" also reminds us that the definition of success is varied, and the origins of happiness for each individual are unique. Some may find fulfillment at the peak of their careers, while others may find the purest joy in a simple life. The key point is that everyone should seek out the path that genuinely brings them happiness and peace. By doing so, each person can confidently and calmly move forward on the path of their choice. If you feel tired or overwhelmed, then perhaps slow down your pace and pursue your own happiness.

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