As life continues to add layer upon layer of activity, as life becomes more and more stressful, people are wondering how to simplify their lives. People are looking for more peace and quiet, more calmness and contentment. Are you one of these people? Here are three steps to help ease the pressures and demands of life and take you back to a simple existence.
1. Less is more. Have you looked around recently to assess how much “stuff” you have accumulated in your home and the amount of clutter that is created because of the “stuff?” Most people buy items because they believe the items will make their lives fuller. Ask yourself this question – “does the stuff in my house really contribute to my life or does this stuff weigh me down?” The truth about the stuff is that it generally adds more confusion, stress, and scattered thoughts versus peace and calmness.
Identify the material possessions you no longer want or need and then donate these items to a local charity. Two things will be accomplished by doing this; first, you will feel less cramped in your house and lighter; second, you will feel great about being able to give to people who will actually use the items.
2. Minimize your activities. It seems that all our lives are filled with one activity after another. Being active is a good thing but not if it leaves you stressed and tired!
Sit with yourself and look at what is on your calendar daily, weekly, and monthly. Do you really need to do all of them? Are they all your responsibilities or have you taken on other people’s responsibilities? Are you participating in activities that you no longer enjoy? Determine what activities or obligations that you can eliminate, then go ahead and do so! You may have to pare down gradually – that is okay!
3. Sit in silence. A simple way to begin to live a life of simplicity is to sit in silence, shut out physical “noise” of your busy, hectic life. Do this on a regular basis. Sitting in silence for even a few minutes per day can drastically reduce stress levels and leave you feeling refreshed, grounded, peaceful, and happy.
If you live in place that has natural surroundings such as a park, a desert, an ocean, take advantage of these surroundings. Nature, by itself, is a natural healer and peacemaker. Walk through nature, listen to the sounds of the birds, the trees, the ocean. Focus only on what you see and hear – let go of everything else during this time.
A simpler life has to do with slowing down, living only with material possessions that you “love”, doing only activities that bring joy and happiness, and learning to be “silent” on a regular basis throughout the day. Moving into a simple life will result in a more peaceful and joyful life!