It seems that life today is all about more – we want more stuff, more money, more time, more joy. But could it be that the secret to having more is actually having less? Without all the clutter, the white noise and the unnecessary distractions, we can be happier, minimise stress and have more time to spend on the things that really matter.
But in our fast-paced society, how can we go about simplifying our lives? There are a number of easy steps we can take:
- Declutter your possessions: The attitude today is that we always need the latest and greatest. This means we are constantly acquiring more items, which cost more money, use up more time and take up more space. So, start by sorting through what you already have and getting rid of the things you don’t need. This doesn’t mean a drastic cull of everything you own – we all have items we need and love. But if you declutter your home and organise your storage you will find life is easier and less stressful.
- Clear out negativity: Studies have shown that negative thoughts feed negative emotions which in turn heightens anxiety. Letting go of negative thoughts can lead to an improved mood and reduced stress levels. Feelings of hate, jealousy, bitterness and resentment towards another person seldom have any impact on their life – they just make you feel bad. Try letting go of these destructive emotions and keeping your own thoughts and speech positive, avoiding harmful gossip and damaging behaviour. Reiki, meditation, kinesiology and pellowah can assist in helping you release these negative emotions.
- Value your time: Most people today have lives that are cluttered with commitments that take up all of our time. This then leads to multi-tasking, which studies have shown only lowers our productivity levels and increases our stress. Sit back for a moment and take stock of your current commitments. Make a list of which ones are non-negotiable (work, family, etc.) and which ones are perhaps more optional; then think about ways you could cut back on non-essential activities to give yourself more time. Remember that it is ok to say no; you don’t have to accept every invitation you receive. Eliminating task by using services that save time is always a smart option. For example, you could save yourself 40+ hours by having your dry cleaning picked up and delivered as shown on this fun infographic.
- Be aware of time wasters: A 2016 survey conducted by R UOK? found that the average Australian spends about 46 hours per week looking at screens – in other words, eight times as long staring at a computer, tablet, smart phone or TV as they will spend interacting with their loved ones. Many people today struggle to switch off, worried they will miss something vital if they do. In doing so, they are losing the ability to connect with the real people in their lives. Who wants 10,000 social media followers if you don’t have someone you can call when you’re feeling low? Why not make a conscious effort to reduce screen time and spend more time with friends and family?
- Set attainable goals: Many people have so many goals that they struggle to achieve any of them. After all, if you’re trying to get a promotion at work, spend 15 hours a week at the gym and simultaneously increase the time you spend with family, then you’re actively working against yourself. Instead, evaluate what is really important in your life and then set one or two attainable goals to focus on. When you’ve achieved these goals, you will get a sense of accomplishment that will encourage you to set new goals. In this way, you are always moving forward, without feeling like you’re supposed to be running in 12 different directions.
The key to simplifying your life is pausing for a moment and evaluating where you currently are, and where you want to be. By reassessing what is really important, and setting achievable goals for improvement, you will be able to gain simplicity and enjoy the many benefits this style of living can bring.