View random article

Ten Ways to Simplify Your Life

In our increasingly busy, noisy, bustling, multitasking life, it's easy to
allow our lives to become overcomplicated. Here are Ten Ways to Simplify Your Life starting now:

1. Be present.

The easiest way to simplify your life is to live entirely in the moment. Dwelling in the past will only cause ill-feelings, and the future is mostly unpredictable and uncertain. Living in the present, minute by minute, is a great way to simplify.

2. Unplug.

Turning of the music, disconnecting from your laptop, silencing your cell phone, and snapping off the television is an instant way to simplify your life. Take five minutes, five hours, or even go all out and take 5 days, and breath a sigh of technology freedom and feel simplicity pour into your life.

3. Be thankful.

German philosopher Meister Eckhart summed it up with his words: "If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice." Remaining constantly thankful is difficult, especially in the more trying times, but vitally necessary in order to simplify your life. Though experiences can be positive or negative, being thankful for all of them is an empowering way to turn your overcomplicated life around.

4. De-clutter.

The extra and primarily unnecessary stuff in our lives can wreak havoc on our existence. The more possessions we own, the more responsibility we take on. One of the easiest ways to simplify your life is to trash, donate, or sell any non-essential items clogging up our closets, attics, and storage units. Unloading and de-cluttering our homes, working environments, and other spaces will transfer complication into simplicity.

5. Detox.

One of the easiest ways to flush out complications is to cleanse our habits, diets, and relationships of toxins. Detoxifying in small doses, like abstaining from alcohol, eliminating over-processed food, exercise, and avoiding "toxic" people will dramatically simplify your life.

6. Use time as a measuring device.

As there's no guarantee we'll live another minute, we need to be certain we're living well. Using time as a measuring device is an effortless way to simplify. Weigh every action against: "will this matter in 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks, or 5 years?" and live accordingly.

7. Be honest.

Often the hardest and most difficult aspect of simplifying your life is connecting with inner honesty. The practice of honesty challenges us to face the discomfort of truth. In that challenge, by applying hard work, vigilance, patience, and tenacity, we grow. Refraining from pretending and blaming, attempts to avoid embarrassment, distracting ourselves, attempts to decrease conflict, or shirking responsibility are all steps we can take to eliminate dishonesty and feel unburdened from complication. As a bonus, once we are honest with ourselves, it's easier to be honest with others.

8. Disarm fear and suspicion.

We all live suspicious of one another, in mistrustful little shells with glaring eyes expecting the worst from people. The problem is, most of the time, what we put out comes back. So drop the suspicion, disarm fea, suspicion, and all preconceived notions, and make small changes in all future interactions. Most people are receptive to grace in the form of goodwill so while checking out at the supermarket, offer a small compliment or neutral observation to the cashier. Searching for or acknowledging the good in all people (even seemingly the not so good sort) rarely has an adverse effect. Maintaining adequate boundaries and not engaging with anyone who makes you feel threatened, while avoiding unsafe situations, is key. Unnecessarily risky behavior compromises our personal security, but disarming our fear and suspicion paves the way to simplicity.

9. Reduce expenditures.

Money is burdensome necessity. As it makes little difference worrying if you have too little or too much, the easiest way to simplify your life is to create a clear budget, pay in cash (who really needs credit cards smoggering your mail box and spilling out of your wallet?) and stick to it. Resist the urge to make any new, nonessential purchases and wait for at least a month to really evaluate potential financial expenditures. You'll reap the awards of simplicity very quickly.

10. De-stress.

If you find you're ready to blow a gasket, take action. Deep breathing, walking, narrowing your focus, break your to-do list into smaller pieces, reschedule an appointment, save 30 minutes of time daily for yourself, or go all out and take a mental health day to do nothing but care for yourself. The rewards will hugely accelerate the simplification process.

Featured in Life