Friday, March 8, 2013

5 Ways To Live More Simply

In a world that is becoming increasingly more complex, do you long for a simpler, more satisfying life?

Extravagance is often gaudy. We overfill our homes and our lives with so much clutter that it robs us of our ability to appreciate true beauty. Simplifying our surroundings gives us a new lens through which we view the world. A simpler life is just plain better!

Letting go of the unnecessary physical, as well as emotional clutter in your own life leads to less worry, lower expenses, and more free time. It will likely also lead you to experience improved emotional and physical health, greater clarity and focus, and increased spiritual connection.

Here are 5 ways to reap those benefits for yourself by living more simply:

1. Determine the areas in your life that are too cluttered
Upon reading this tip, most people think in terms of their material possessions. While that is a part of it, it is certainly not the whole picture. Minimalism also applies largely to relationships and obligations. Be on the lookout for ways to streamline everyday tasks that are time-consuming and not particularly gratifying. Some activities you will find that you can let go of completely, or at least spend less time on.

Relationships that are a constant source of stress and negativity may also require an honest assessment of whether you really want them to continue moving forward. Do these relationships cause you to doubt yourself or worry? Life is too short for that, my friend. Read my post below titled "What's in Your Backpack?" for more on this.

2. Stop buying things you don't need
Try to find ways to be more complacent with less. How often do you shop when you are bored, only to regret being broke later on? This tip on living simply means that you should find healthier ways to spend your time and money. None of us need more regret. And remember, when it comes to simple living, less really is more!

3. Stop overworking yourself
How consumed are you with what you do for a living? Many of us seem to claim that "who we are and what we do are two different things", but do we practice this theory? Given the time frame that most of us generally work (8 or 9 until 5 or 6), the best hours of the day are gone by the time we’re done. There isn’t much left to do but eat and sleep. This can’t be life, right?

Time will never be money. You will never be able to buy more of it. That should make the management of our life a top priority. Life does not last long enough to spend too much of it doing things we don't like. It's that simple. There are quite a few upsides that a shorter work week would produce: more leisure time, time with family, lower stress levels, better sleep patterns, and thus better overall health and an improved - more simple - quality of life.

4. Slow down and do less each day
Don’t fill your day up with things to do. You will end up rushing to do them all. If you normally try (and fail) to do 7-10 things, do 3 important ones instead (with 3 more smaller items to do if you get those three done). This will give you time to do what you need to do, and not rush.

Slow down. Try to enjoy whatever you’re doing. Try to pay attention, instead of thinking about other things. Be in the moment. This isn’t easy, as you will often forget, But find a way to remind yourself. This might be the most important step overall to living simply.

5. Find time for simple pleasures everyday
Knowing what your simple pleasures are, and putting a few of them in each day, can go a long way to making life more enjoyable. What are some simple things that make you feel good?

Remember that you don't have to drastically change your life in one 24-hour period. Take things one step at a time, and you will instantly feel the benefits of this lifestyle. Ask yourself, what is one thing I can do this week to simplify my life? These benefits are available to all of us. All we have to do is make a choice to live a simpler life. :)

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