The Power of Simple Living: A Zenful Guide
In today’s world, where so many people are overwhelmed with titles, material objects and all things social media—it can be easy to forget how to take a step back, and how to practice simple living .
However, more and more people are starting to discover just how much their life can change when they get back to the drawing board, stop making things so complicated and start living more simply.
While it may seem rather… simple (pun intended) to approach life in this way, it likely takes more effort than you would assume. Here’s how to get started.
What is Simple Living?
Before you can try to start living more simply, it is important to know what simple living is. Well, there is no blanket definition. Living simply can mean different things to different people.
Living a simple life looks different for different people but in can all come down to owning less and doing less. It is all about owning fewer material objects and slowing down to take on less things so you can focus on what matters.
This can look different for different people.
Maybe, it means living simply in your home, and not worrying about having a big home or high-end furnishing. Maybe it means living in a small apartment, tiny house or just a home well below your means.
Living simply can mean eating simply and focusing on clean, organic, simple meals. It can mean decluttering the home, getting rid of excess material possessions, or anything in between.
No matter what living simply means to you, you can do it and you can change your life for the better.
Living a Simple Life
One of the biggest challenges with living simply all comes down to the changes that we need to make in order to abandon the more complicated and overwhelming lives we live. There is a lot you will need to stop doing in order to live your life this way.
However, it is important to not lose your perspective and remember what you need to be actively doing to live more simply, instead of what you need to avoid. Remember, you need to start living your life in a way where you focus on what really matters. This means less attention on material objects and consumerism and more attention on yourself, your loved ones and your family.
3 Simple Living Quotes I Like
Sometimes, the best way to stay on track with your simple living efforts is to have little tools and guides that can help you through the day. One of my favorite things to do in order to help me stay focused on living simply is to carry some of my favorite quotes around.
Whether I leave them on a sticky note on my computer screen, or set a reminder for these quotes to pop up on my phone—I love having little daily reminders to help keep me focused.
These are three of my favorite simple living quotes.
“If it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life.”
“One day you will realize that material things mean nothing, all that matters is the well being of the people in your life.”
“Minimalism is not about having less, it is about making room for more of what matters.”
The Benefits of Simple Living
Why is living simply so important? And why are so many people starting to focus on a simpler way of life? Well adopting this type of lifestyle actually comes with a number of proven benefits.
Simple Living Can Reduce Stress
If there is one thing that people who live simply will likely tell you, it is that they are far less stressed with their lifestyle. You will find you are less distracted, less overwhelmed and feel less bogged-down by the stressors of your everyday life.
Mostly, because you have learned to let go of these unimportant stressors that tend to get you down.
Stress reduction can help your sleep, your heart health, your general disposition and your health.
Simple Living Allows You to Focus on What Matters
One of the biggest reasons so many people recommend living more simply is because it helps you refocus your time, attention and priorities. Simple living can help you focus on what matters most—and for the average person this means paying more attention to the relationships and experiences in their life instead of on things.
Simple Living Can Help You Accomplish More
Having less stress and fewer distractions around you, will help you get more done. Less clutter can help you become more creative, and less stimulation can help you concentrate better. Just try it for a week—declutter, hide all of those material possessions that weigh you and your work space down, and see how much you can accomplish.
Simple Living Is Good For Your Health
Even without changing your diet or work out, you can improve your health by living more simply. People who live more simply, are known to have less issues with high-blood pressure and cholesterol. They tend to maintain a healthier weight, they get more sleep and they deal with less stress.
Test yourself for a month—and you may be surprised to find just how much your health is changing and how good you start to feel both inside and out.
5 Ways to Simplify Your Life
Are you ready to start actually living a simpler life? It will take some time, and you need to be patient with yourself. Don’t try to overhaul your life at once—like in the movies, where the family picks up and leaves town for a change.
Instead, start implementing these five easy approaches to simplifying your life. They are easy approaches that can help you start transitioning to a better and simpler way of life.
Learn to Say No
This is perhaps the most difficult, but one of the most important tips for those who are looking to simplify their lives. You must learn how to say “no.” So many people get bogged down in their lives because they take on more than they can handle.
Learning to say “no” will help you create boundaries and force you to recognize your major priorities and learn what doesn’t need to be part of your life. Next time a proposition comes your way that you think is going to complicate your life, say “no.” You may be surprised by how liberating it feels.
Declutter Your Wardrobe
Take the time to declutter your wardrobe. It may not seem like the most important thing to do when attempting to simplify and improve your life—but trust me, it will go a long way in helping you.
This is one of the easiest ways to get started in decluttering the rest of your life. Get rid of things you don’t need, what you don’t wear and what you won’t use. After all, is it more important to own the right clothes for you, not more clothes.
Step one: your closet. Step two: the rest of your home.
Spend More Time Alone
It is important to spend more time alone. Solitude can really help you put your life in perspective. Spending time alone can also help us really hear and listen to our own stress and anxiety in a clearer and more focused manner.
Establishing a routine is a great way to put your life in perspective and in focus. Establish a routine for yourself that highlights the most important parts of your day. Perhaps this is going to the gym, taking your kids to school, cooking dinner, going to work.
When you establish a routine and follow that routine every day, you will make sure that you are hitting the most important things to you. You can also clear off time for your favorite hobbies or past-times to make sure they become part of your day.
Make a List of the Most Important Things
One of the easiest ways to put your life into perspective, is to make a list of the most important things in your life. When you sit down and think about what is really most important to you—chances are your list is going to includes a lot of people and experiences. It isn’t going to include a lot of material objects.
Use this list when you need to refocus on your efforts to live more simply. It will help remind you of what you need to be focusing your time and attention on—instead of those other things that get in the way.
If you are ready to start living more simply, there is no better time than the present to begin trying these approaches and tactics to embracing your simpler life. Depending on how much you rely on technology and material things, it may be a relatively big transition. However, if you give it time, you will start to see the benefits of your simpler, and more focused lifestyle.