My journey to a simpler life started with some everyday decluttering and took off from there. I read a book (The life changing magic of tidying up) about how to better organize my stuff and started to realize that I had way too much shit. I started asking myself questions like why do I have this or why do I want that thing, when I have something that serves the same purpose.
We can get into the habit of buying things because it feels good, you go to the store buy something shiny and new and get a rush for a couple of hours or if your lucky a day. Eventually you realize you have a ton of objects that are taking up space in your home and mind and that you might actually be better off without most of it.
It started with clothes and house hold brick a black but I didn’t stop there. I started looking for other ways to simplify my life. What activities or habits was I doing that were making my life unnecessarily difficult, what patterns had emerged that I could completely discard because they didn’t serve a purpose in my life anymore. I was able to find a whole list of areas in my life that could be improved by simplification. Once you’ve taken inventory of your life and shed the stuff that’s getting in the way you can start bringing in new habits and new activities that will better serve the person you want to be today.
When we hold onto old stuff we hold onto who we used to be, maybe that thing reminds us of a good part of our life, but when we cling to old ways we don't want to change and change is unavoidable. We become anxious or fearful because we’re stuck, stuck in the habits and beliefs that used to benefit us. Behaviours that worked for us in a particular part of our life don't always transfer into the next stage of life, so the better we become at letting go and realizing that that was just a behaviour and not who we are, the better off we will be. If you look at some of the most successful and influential people in the world they are constantly reinventing themselves and embracing change.
Simplicity to me is determining what is valuable and enjoyable in my life right now and then getting rid of the rest. This could mean physical things, habits, activities, behaviours, even beliefs. The simpler my life is the more time and attention I'm able to give to the things that matter to me, and the more that my life is able to give to me. If you have a hundred things that you want to do and a finite time to do them in, how effective do you think you will be? likewise if you have only a handful of things to do you'll be way better at focusing and you'll be able to enjoy each activity because you won’t be thinking about a hundred other things.
I’ve noticed a huge reduction in my stress levels and anxiety since simplifying my life, we don't realize how much the little things in our lives are taking up mass amounts of mental energy.
There’s no one size fits all for simple living, there are many different ways to live simply in many different environments. How could the life you're living now be a little bit simpler? There might be an easy way to simplify the life you're living now, or maybe you want to completely change things up. What activities are causing you more stress than they’re worth, what stuff do you own that causes you stress, what relationships are draining you? Choose a category and start simplifying, you’ll surprise yourself by how good you feel after. It can be hard to let go, but it’s even harder going through life and trying to become a better version of yourself with all of your old baggage dragging behind you.