Guest post by Shannon Minnis
Life is chaotic. If you aren’t running from one appointment to another, there always seems to be a never-ending pile of activities clogging your to-do list. Though every day ends, the rushing begins once again the next morning. That fact alone makes simple living very attractive.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how you can take the time to breathe?
Simple living is easy to accomplish once you find what works for you. You can then sit back at the end of the day, feeling both accomplished and at ease. With some changes, you too can live a simple life.
7 Ways to Embrace Simple Living
First of all, you should recognize that what one person does to simplify life may not work for you. If full-on minimalism isn’t for you, it’s okay.
Take the time to examine your life and prioritize it. Once you know what aspects are most important to you, you can start cutting out or minimizing the unimportant.
If you’re having a hard time narrowing things down, it can help to look at what others have done. Though their methods may not mesh with your own, they can spark ideas for you.
However, living a simple life generally revolves around the same elements. That includes minimizing clutter, examining your thought patterns, and restricting what causes negativity.
Check out Zen Habits
If you haven’t heard of Zen Habits, now is your chance to discover them. Run by Leo Babauta, this website helps you to discover simple living.
He states that “living a simple life is about paring back so that you have space to breathe. It’s about doing with less because you realize that having more and doing more doesn’t lead to happiness.”
Babauta brings special attention to how our minds work and what mental habits cause us to make our lives more complicated. His points can help you to stay productive amid the chaos and let go of thoughts and objects that only add clutter.
Adopt minimalist traits
Minimalism is simply the practice of removing objects or activities from a life that distract from what’s most important. Because of this, minimalism is different for everyone. You can embrace simple living by adopting this practice in particularly stressful areas of your life.
For some, this entails removing items from their home that they don’t need or use. This can include clothing, junk drawer items, or souvenirs.
If you decide to sell unnecessary items, you can then put the money toward any lingering debt.
This form of decluttering can also include expenses you don’t need. These can include cable television, a data plan on a smartphone, or that gym membership you hardly use. By cutting out unnecessary expenses, you can put your money toward more important parts of your life.
Give meditation a try
Meditation, especially mindfulness meditation, is another great way to embrace simple living. It helps to fasten you to the present as you pay attention to your breathing.
While this sounds easy, you may find it a bit more difficult at first. As you sit and focus only on your breathing, does your brain immediately shift to “more important” activities? Mindfulness takes time to perfect, but it will help you feel calm in the present.
To start, sit down in a comfortable position and pay attention to your breathing. You can keep your eyes open or closed. If your thoughts start to stray, don’t get upset, but shift your attention back to breathing.
The great thing is, you can choose how long to go. Whether it’s a five-minute meditation or an hour, it can benefit you.
Once you finish, take your time getting up and moving on to another task.
Find reasons to be grateful
In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to get caught up in what is going wrong. That causes a great deal of mental fatigue. Finding reasons to be grateful can help you to find the good in every moment.
Some do this by keeping a journal and writing every night what they were grateful for that particular day. You can also go through these thoughts as you meditate.
Instead of being angry that you were late to work, be grateful that you weren’t part of the car accident that was holding up traffic.
Or instead of mourning over others’ lavish homes, be grateful for your own home and its quirks that make it unique.
It’s all about your perspective and where you choose to focus your thoughts.
Live off the land
For some people, living simply means living off the land. That includes growing their own food, investing in green energy, and moving away from the city. While this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, there are smaller changes you can make.
For example, start an herb garden or accumulate some houseplants. For one, having plants in or around your home can boost oxygen production and clean up the air.
Secondly, tending to plants is therapeutic for many people and helps them to find peace in the moment.
Even if you can’t do those things, spending time in the sunlight and in nature will help you to let go of the day’s worries. It may make you realize your connection to the Earth and how little we really need to be happy.
Limit social media and media sources
Today’s world lives online, which has led to a culture of comparing. Instead of catching up with everyone the instant a notification comes in, take your time before opening the app.
Some turn off notifications altogether, whereas others set a specific time during the day to check social media.
Other media sources, like the TV, can also distract you from what’s most important. To limit how much you watch, try turning on the TV only when the show you want to watch comes on.
Doing so can help you stay productive. You might find that you like to meditate after work instead of spending the evening staring at a screen.
Train your brain to be positive
Along the same vein as practicing gratitude, training your brain to be positive can help you to live simply. Some people are more inclined to be negative than others, so it takes hard work to be positive. However, anyone can do it.
First, you have to be aware of your thoughts and acknowledge which ones are positive and negative. If it’s a positive thought, try to duplicate the thought in different scenarios. But, if it’s negative, recognize it and avoid those kinds of thoughts.
It sounds simple, but it will take practice and time to retrain your brain.
Be sure not to get frustrated at yourself for not being perfect. No one is perfect, and you have a lifetime to improve.
Simple Living Is Easier than You Think
You don’t have to make drastic changes to live a simple life. In fact, small changes can make a noticeable difference.
You also don’t have to commit to practices that don’t help you. Everyone is different, and your way of simple living will be different from someone else. You will need to take the time to evaluate your priorities and decide which practices to try.
Just remember to breathe and live with purpose.
What does simple living mean to you? Please share your thoughts in the comments!
About the Author:
Shannon is a writer at Green and Growing. She is a minimalist that enjoys spending her time in the great outdoors, mostly camping and hiking. She likes to focus on the perks of green living and strives to reduce her carbon footprint to preserve this earth and all its beauty. She continues to write about her outdoor experiences and how she takes steps towards sustainability.
Thank you so much for this amazing post Shannon. I’ve loved reading these simple living tips and I will definitely try to embrace all of them.
What about you, do you strive for a simpler, more minimalistic life? How do you try to achieve that?
Let us know in the comments down below. And don’t forget to pin this post to share the love ♥
I wish you a love-filled day xoxo