Many people seek happiness but never seem to find it. If they do, it never seems to last very long. Once we get that (fill in the blank) the thrill seems to fade quickly. You’re on to the next thing: another pair of shoes or a bigger job promotion. So why is this? Why does lasting happiness seem so elusive? I’m glad you asked. The short answer is as humans we are wired for more.
But first, let me say that this is a complicated subject with complicated answers. We are all wired so differently. One person’s passion is another person’s pain. So the suggestions in this article are generalized so that almost anyone can benefit from them.
It seems as though we live in the best of times and the worst of times. Our modern world offers so many options for variety, fulfillment, and ease. While at the same time providing opportunities for confusion, decision fatigue, overwhelm, and burnout. We have the latest gadgets to connect us to family, friends, and frenemies through social media. Yet, many are suffering from feelings of boredom, isolation, and loneliness.
Whether you see your life as one of prosperity and privilege or poverty and lack of opportunity or somewhere in between, you can begin to curate a simpler lifestyle that will ultimately boost your happiness.
I can show you how.
But first, let’s look at some of the benefits of living a simple life.
6 Surprising Benefits of Living a Simple Life:
- You may become more self-aware. Understanding yourself and what makes you “tick” can boost happiness in many ways. However, if you are overwhelmed with information overload from never-ending news feeds and social media “stories” it’s easy to get lost in the noise of everyone else’s opinion and priorities. As you shift away from materialistic grabbing you might finally find the silence that can fulfill you. You may even find yourself growing spiritually as you find more meaning and purpose in your life. Finding your purpose has been linked to increased happiness.
- You may start enjoying the small things in life. Complicated lives produce harried people, not necessarily happy ones. You can slow down and take in the world around you when you let go. Simple pleasures like feeling the sunshine on your face can bring lasting happiness to our lives.
- You may increase your focus and concentration. Better focus can mean a better and happier life. When you prioritize decluttering your possessions, your commitments, and (I hate to say it, but) toxic people in your life, you are well on your way to a sharper focus. Removing these distractions will lead to clearer thinking and an ability to focus on what matters most to you. Research shows that reduced clutter causes you to be less irritable, more productive, and less distracted. Clutter has a negative impact on your brain and your work.
- You may connect more deeply with your family and friends. As social beings, we need people. When you are flitting from one activity to the next, you have little time to focus on the depth that relationships require. Or when you are preoccupied with work or projects to acquire more, you are less emotionally available to those who may need you most. You may feel disconnected, and your relationships may suffer. Simplifying your life paves the way to spend more quality time with those you love. Deeper relationships leave you feeling satisfied and happier.
- You can work less and still satisfy your basic needs. Simple living leads you down new paths of discovery of your actual needs. You may learn that you can live with much less, which means you can choose a less stressful job, or work fewer hours.
- You may become healthier. Living a simple life can dramatically improve your health. There are many reasons for this. For starters, there might be a distinct link between materialism (placing a high value on possessions and money) and poor physical health, according to a recent study. When you are not healthy, you tend to feel less happy. The stress of owning too many things can cause you to lose sleep, have digestive issues, stop exercising and eat poorly. Instead of putting your health first, you spend more time working to pay for all of your stuff. You may worry about your belongings, which can increase feelings of anxiety. Poor health does not lead to a happy person. A simpler lifestyle can boost health by decreasing stress and increasing times of rest. Better sleep and rest can lead to better brain health. A better brain can lead to better decisions around wellness.
These are just some of the benefits of simplifying your life that can lead to a happier you. By choosing a simple life, you give yourself a great opportunity to be happy and live life to the fullest.
You can determine your priorities based on your personal values. What is important to you and your family? What do you want to achieve? What does a simple life look like to you? Once you determine your values, decisions become easier. You say yes to those things that align with your goals and no to those that don’t.
At the end of the day, the definition of simple living comes from you and your vision and priorities. Living simply doesn’t necessarily mean embracing minimalism although for some that is important. Living simply is more of an open concept that involves creating a life filled with meaning and living on your own terms. It’s a lifestyle that creates time and space for you to pursue your interests and passions. It means dialing in on the things and people that matter most while getting rid of the things that clutter your space and rob you of your precious energy.
If happiness seems to elude you, try curating a simpler life. One that allows you to sometimes sit back and smell the roses.
I promise you, it will be worth it.
Be well + prosper,
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