We live in a world today that is obsessed with external success and yet our internal contentment is diminishing rapidly.
As the world races ahead in every area of living, the happiness and satisfaction levels of humans are decreasing worldwide. I have a few ways that you can simplify your life to increase joy and wellbeing.
In a world that has become so fast, people move so quickly, that they leave themselves behind. Slowing down is the greatest antidote to this and can bring a level of relaxed contentment to your life.
The first place to start with slowing down is with your breathing. Correct breathing is tantamount to a feeling of calmness which in turn allows the body to relax and reduces stress levels.
Three slow conscious breaths, deep in the belly, have been said to bring one into the present moment and reduce stress. Our body breaths automatically and yet we forget to connect to the most important life force within us. When you are going about your day, remember to stop and breath. This one simple practice will bring immediate calmness to your day and body.
In this fast world, we can rush around doing twenty things at once, getting nothing done effectively and increasing our stress levels minute by minute. Prioritise what is important and leave the rest. Find out what is important to you and prioritise that. Learn to say 'no' to phone calls, messages or invites that you don't want to go to or don't have the time to attend and are only going for the other person. Remember we have to look after ourselves first before we can look after the world. I have heard people say that they have a whole pile of ironing to finish and that they are exhausted with all the chores, yet ironing is not a necessity to live well. A few crumpled pieces of clothing never hurt anyone. We have to get very frank with ourselves and question what we are doing and what is really important to our happiness and prioritise that first.
Take time recharging your batteries so that you are not running on empty. Get outside in nature. It is a natural energy giver. It feeds the body, mind and soul and ten minutes in nature can give us the boost we need to recharge our depleted energy levels. If you're busy in the city, find a nearby park and listen to the birds. You will feel the better for it and be able to function more effectively in work afterwards.
"....attachment for the material is the greatest entanglement of the spirit soul." Bhagavad-gita 10.20
The second area for simplifying your life is reducing and minimising your material objects so that the things you have in your life hold meaning for you and get used regularly.
The less things you are attached to the happier you can be. Our attachment to things can cause huge amounts of stress in our lives. Reducing your clutter is an effective place to start.
Spend time moving stuff on and freeing up space in your home. You'll be amazed at how peaceful and organised it will make you feel.
Reduce impulse buying:
We have all done it, seen something and wanted it straight away, getting a quick high with the purchase, only to realise weeks later that you don't really need it.
It's helpful to take a note of something you think you want and come back to it in a few weeks. If you still want it, ask yourself do you really need it and will it make you happy. If the answer is no just leave the purchase. Your bank balance will thank you for it. I also cut up my credit card over a decade ago. If I don't have the money I don't buy it. It frees the stress of being in debt constantly and aids a simple, low waste life.
Use what you already have:
This is particularly relevant in the kitchen with food. Most of the time our cupboards and fridges are so full we don't even know what we have. Years down the line the out-of-date tin of beans is left sitting in the back of the cupboard, never to be found. Buy what you need in the shops and use it up. Too much food is wasted by over buying produce and letting it spoil.
There is technology overload in our present society. Never has it been easier to connect with someone from around the world at the click of a button.
Social media, phones and television:
Social media has a high price tag with anxiety increasing in particularly with young people. Its' constant barrage of 'a perfect life' which the public are trying and failing to keep up with, is not attainable and stress levels are increasing as people try to keep up appearances on an hourly basis.
I stopped using facebook years ago and have deleted the twitter app from my phone. This has freed up space in my mind and brought more happiness to my life. I just use instagram and limit my time spent on it.
Why is it that we will be in the middle of doing something important and stop everything if we get a text or call. Hours can pass replying to texts or scrolling on social media. It's the antithesis of getting things done and being organised. Leave your phone in the bedroom or cupboard in work and only use when you need to. Limit yourself to specific times for social media use.
We have no television in the house and I must say it is the one thing that has really worked to avoid the constant bombardment of adverts and noise. If you have a TV, try leaving it off and only use for a specific programme in order to avoid the constant flicking of channels and hours of wasted time.
We need very little to live well, yet marketing companies will tell you that you can't live without the newest gadget or technological device. Ask yourself if what you are about to buy will increase your peace and happiness in life or are you being sucked into the illusion of a perfect life, with marketing teams getting paid big bucks to ensure you buy their product. In the kitchen, buy appliances that can do many functions and that you actually use and brings benefit to your life. My grandmother was delighted when the washing machine went on sale as it freed her up to do other things. A tumble dryer on the other hand is not as important as you can easily air dry your clothes. So pick and choose what's a necessity for you and leave the rest.
Newspapers and information:
Information is everywhere and not all of it is of any use.
I stopped reading the news and limit the intake of useless information you can find online. I found the news was mostly negative and it was draining my energy and causing stress. If there is anything major happening in the world I always find out by proxy.
Sometimes the information overload can make it harder to make decisions and keep a clear head. Everyone is telling us something we need to be buying or doing and it can get so overwhelming we don't know where to look. Keep it simple. More choices in life does not equal a better more fulfilling life.
In conclusion slow down, prioritise and plug out. Focusing on these in even small amounts can bring a greater sense of peace and harmony, freeing you up to live a happy, joyful life devoid of stress and anxiety.
Thanks for reading
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