Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Simplify your life beyond the summer

During the summer months there is a tendency to live more simply than we do the rest of the year. Spending more time outside, when the weather is fine and the evenings lighter, makes us feel more satisfied and able to cope with less ‘stuff’. What can we take from our summertime living habits that would help us live a simpler life all year round?

Simplifying life helps to reduce stress by creating less reliance on material things. The ability to simplify life comes from an inner sense of well-being, a satisfaction with what we have already and an appreciation of what / who we have around us.

Start as you mean to go on

To make sure your day is simpler, you must start as you mean to go on and that means creating a morning routine that impacts positively on the choices you will then make throughout the day. Mindfulness techniques or practising gratitude can create a feeling of calm that will then emanate throughout your day. Just five minutes in the morning can set you up for the whole day.

Cut complaining

Making a conscious decision to complain less can help to simplify your life too. Often, we focus on things that lie outside of our control and these can occupy our minds, creating unnecessary chaos in our thinking – this could include things such as rising cost of living. There’s nothing we can do about the economy, but we do have control over what we use. Set yourself a challenge not to complain for the next two weeks – thinking only about those issues over which you have some control. You’ll soon see how this can help create a sense of peace.

Ditch the distractions

Electrical devices are a great way of helping us to access information when we need it and are a useful organisational tool. However, have you noticed how much time you waste? Distracted by non-essential activities on these very devices. Want a simpler life? Ditch the devices. Your mind will thank you for it and you’ll feel calmer and more centred as a result. Given how much time we all spend on our gadgets, a total device ban may seem daunting. If that’s the case for you, start off small – have an hour free one week, and increase the time by the hour until your mind starts to rest.

Cut down on choices

Have you noticed that the number of choices you have at any one time is just overwhelming? Even simple decisions, like which milk to buy, are met with numerous choices, which can lead to confusion and dissatisfaction. This Huffington Post article looks at the power of limiting our choices. It considers how much simpler our lives would be if we cut down on the choices we have to make on a daily basis. Give it a try.

If this post has inspired your to start living more simply – why stop there? We look at the benefits of living a minimalist life in a previous post – it includes tips on how to declutter and learn to live with only those things we need.

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