Sometimes, life feels far more complicated than it needs to. It’s full of unexpected difficulties and stresses, and it’s all too easy to allow even the smallest of things to create feelings of stress and overwhelm, particularly when we are responsible for homes, jobs, partners, children and grandchildren. By simplifying our lives, we’re more likely to reduce our stress levels and be able to sit back and take some much-needed time for ourselves.
It’s easier than you think!
Here are some small ways to make life more simple:
Adopt a Positive Mindset
While this may seem quite a difficult idea, particularly if you have adopted a negative mindset for quite some time, making the choice to start the day and approach different areas of your life with a positive attitude really does make all the difference.
Say “Good Morning!” to passers-by. Try to smile at others when you are talking to them. Look for the silver linings in potentially challenging situations. Stop complaining. This may not necessarily be an overnight change, but will have a positive impact on not just yourself, but on those around you too!
Let Go of the Things You Don’t Need
The minimalism movement has become increasingly popular over the years. Whether it is material possessions and collections, digital items or mental baggage you may be carrying around with you, letting go will allow for feelings of freedom. Throw out old and broken items, create a capsule wardrobe, give items in a good condition to thrift stores, sell items on eBay and delete messages you won’t read again and multiple copies of digital images from your phone.
Remember that it is all too easy to romanticize the past and hang on to things you have outgrown because they provide you comfort, and by hanging onto these items, whatever they may bar, you are preventing yourself from moving forward with your life.
Avoid Multitasking and Do One Thing at a Time
Multitasking is pretty much impossible for the human brain, so why try? Focus on one thing at a time and don’t try to juggle too many things at once – you’ll get much better results and will be considerably less stressed out trying to complete tasks! I find that the easiest way is to create a list or a tracker and work down the items on that list, ticking them off when they are completed.
Get Rid of the Perfectionist Mindset
Nothing is perfect and having extremely high expectations of something or someone (including yourself) is not only exhausting, but will leave you feeling disappointed and exhausted. By letting go of the idea of perfection and adopting an attitude of gratitude you are more likely to have a more positive (and far less stressful) lifestyle.
Stop Worrying About What Other People Think
There’s the fantastic quote that always makes me smile: “What other people think of me is none of my business.”
This is a difficult one to change, particularly if you are a people pleaser, but most people pleasers will openly admit that their efforts are often futile – you’re never going to be able to please anybody but yourself.
What others think of you and what you do is their own opinion to deal with and should wholeheartedly be ignored at every opportunity. Focus on doing what you love and indulging in what makes you happy.
Ask for Help
It can be incredibly difficult to ask someone else for help, particularly if we are the ones that assume responsibility and are used to doing everything alone. By asking someone for help will not only ease the pressure on yourself, but it will speed up the time that something may be completed, or will give you the space to move onto something else.
Asking for help can include creating a cleaning chart for the family, asking a friend to carpool, asking advice on a challenging project from a colleague at work. Remember that you don’t (and shouldn’t) have to do everything by yourself.
Spend Time with Positive People
Happy, positive people are much more enjoyable to be around in situations where socializing can sometimes feel like a chore. When you surround yourself with positive people, it is more likely that they will lift you up too!
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that we are the ones who are in control of our own lives, and we have the power to make changes when we want and need to. Ultimately, a simpler life is removing as many complexities of life as possible, adopting a positive attitude, focusing on yourself and being able to spend more time with the people you love, doing the things you enjoy.