The phrase “simplifying your life” can mean many different things to many different people. On the whole, however, living a simple life entails making changes so that you can feel more alive and get the most out of life. It requires a dedication to looking at all areas of your life and determining how you can make them more enjoyable and enriched. For some, living a simple life can be as extreme as living off the grid and disconnecting from the noise and fast pace of modern society. For others, they merely need to simplify the areas that cause stress and keep them from living life to the fullest.
There are many benefits to be gained when simplifying different areas of your life – here are some of the common areas:
You may have celebrated that large promotion or increase in salary, but when a job continually causes stress or denies you time with family or vacations, you have paid a heavy price. A simple life isn’t about how much you make, it concerns what is left over when the workday is done. Many people are downsizing so they can afford the reduced salary of working for themselves or taking a job that is less stressful, so that they can spend more time with their families, on hobbies or traveling or even enjoy a romantic relationship to the full with a new loved one.
If you feel stuck or trapped in your job, are overwhelmed with debt concerns or consider shopping a fulfilling activity, simplifying your life in these areas is what you need most. To simplify, you need to first learn to want less and find fulfillment in things that don’t have monetary value. Many people buy “stuff” to self soothe – but when you reflect on your life someday, your happiest memories won’t be about a flat screen television, they will be about special people and fun times you had. Many people liquidate their assets and all of this “stuff” to give themselves a fresh start so that they aren’t financial prisoners anymore.
No one is truly trapped in their jobs, but if they insist on having the large house, two vehicles, credit cards, expensive vacations and other unnecessary items, then it is easy to see why they feel this way. Imagine a better life where you buy only the home (even if a mobile home) you can afford, or you rent a little cheap house in the country. The cars you have, even if older, are paid for in cash. There are no more credit cards to tempt you to go on a shopping spree when you’re feeling blue. Now you have the freedom to work at a job or pursue starting a business without the stress of debt – and a lot of free time to find joy and pleasure in life, creating memories that matter.
Aside from living in a home that takes all of your earnings and chains you to your desk, never underestimate how much work is involved in owning a house. Many people spend all of their free time focusing on lawn care, repairs and cleaning. If they hire others to do these tasks, they are taking on huge financial burdens each month. Some people downsize or find an affordable rental to be a huge relief. Homes have often been associated with status, but be unconventional and relieve yourself of the time and money vampires that owning homes can be.
When you work full time, volunteer at your child’s school, care for ailing parents, provide emotional support to a friend, join a gym and are on the HOA board in your subdivision, you have allowed yourself no time to stop and see all that you are missing. Trying to do it all is a common problem in today’s society, and it can cause both mental and physical health problems if you don’t reverse the dynamic.
Review all obligations you currently have, eliminate those that aren’t necessary, set boundaries for others so that you aren’t completely drained by a friend’s two hour phone call each night. Delegate tasks to others to help carry the load. If you have many serious obligations that are permanent in nature, then you need to start thinking of bigger ways to simplify, such as downsizing, so you can afford more free time.
Many people not only avoid taking time to smell the roses, they are moving through life so fast they never saw the flowers in the first place.
A lot of individuals and families are moving to simplify their lives, because they are beginning to see that they are missing out on so much joy in their daily life.
People are tired of feeling continual stress and anxiety, staring at the calendar and counting days until the next annual vacation. When you reduce stress and obligations, you give yourself the gift of precious time and a healthier mind, body and spirit to make the most out of it.