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Inner Peace Through Simplicity

David Cory is a husband, father, and avid outdoorsman. He is a strong believer in the old adage "simple is better."

Simplicity and peace

Simplicity and peace

Simplicity: The Answer to Our Problems?

The desire for simplicity can seem a bit paradoxical in today's world. "I need more ___ and ___ to be fulfilled." Statements like these are common. Doesn't it make sense that more is better? That all those extra activities in our day will lead to richer lives? For a time yes they can, but eventually, the glamour tends to fade. Busyness isn't all it's cracked up to be.

What the world needs most might just be less. Less social media use on our parts and less negative media on the parts of the big news outlets. Perhaps if we turn off our music we can hear the song of nature. Complexity isn't horrible in its own right. However, when it takes over our lives and leaves us wishing for something more, then maybe we need a bit more simplicity.

Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."

— Henry David Thoreau

Three Main Aspects of Simple Living

How to start living with a sense of inner peace.

1. Reduce Distractions

Finding that feeling of peace is best discovered when our distractions are few and our mind is at ease. This can be difficult given the amount of visual, audible, and other types of noise in our world. These noises can leave us feeling tense and uneasy. We need to pair down the amount of stimuli we receive in our daily lives. However, only hoping for peaceful feelings won't get you there. We must be intentional about the ways we seek simple living. Here are some ideas:

You might try:

  • Times of solitude
  • Listening to the sounds of nature
  • Putting down your to-do list and spending time with a good book
  • Taking time for a nap or perhaps walking somewhere nearby

Nature, your bedroom, a library, and other similar places can also lend a helping hand when it comes to reducing distractions and simplifying our lives.

Inner simplicity

Inner simplicity

2. Slow Down: Relax and Breathe

Western culture typically prides itself on busyness and near-constant activities. In truth, it's probably a good idea to stop now and again and ask yourself: "Is this type of lifestyle bringing me happiness" and "Am I content with this constant need to accomplish more and more? Probably you will answer no to some extent with both questions. So what is a person to do?

  • Slow down
  • Relax
  • Breathe

Now of course it's easy to read this and agree with the statements above. Transforming our lives with these ideas is something very different. Just be sure to take it one step at a time. One breath at a time. One day at a time.

Spend time listening to the sounds of nature.

Spend time listening to the sounds of nature.

3. Declutter Your Life Through Minimalism

We all have various aspects of our lives that are overbooked and overfilled.

  • Too many unnecessary or unhelpful thoughts
  • Too much driving around in our cars
  • Too many social obligations that we wish we had said "no" to
  • Too many negative people in our day-to-day living

The good thing to remember is that we are the captain of our own lives. We are the pilot who charts the course of where we are going and how we want to get there. If we have too many thoughts that clutter our minds, then maybe we need more silence. Too many social obligations? Learn to say no thank you. The point is that when we remove the unnecessary, we have space for the things we value. That is the essence of minimalism.

Decluttering our lives in these ways isn't always easy to do, but all of us are capable of doing it. The reward of greater peace is worth the effort it takes to get there.

Putting Simple Living Into Practice

If we pay attention to these aspects of simple living, they can lead to a profound feeling of completeness. What we do and how we do it determines our satisfaction with our lives. Choosing simplicity over the complicated and drama-filled has the potential to make us feel whole.

Typically, it's the time spent with our family and friends that gives meaning to our lives. We ought to do our best to slow it down and enjoy the time we share with them. Each moment is its own masterpiece. Each day is never to be experienced ever again. Perhaps then we ought to "slow down and smell the roses". Yes, the phrase is cliché, but that's because it's also very true. Slowing down to take in the simple beauty and scent of a flower can really make all the difference in our day. The small things matter.

It can be surprisingly difficult to begin to live a simple life. Once started, however, you will be able to see more clearly the immense benefits of simple living. Essentially, you'll be hooked on having, spending, and doing less unnecessary things, thus leaving room for what actually brings you inner peace.

If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.

— Herodotus

Always Keep It Simple

Life doesn't always go the way we want, and it never will. It will be downright difficult at times and sad at others. Simple living doesn't take this away but rather gives us more mental and emotional clarity to face our challenges head-on. And when we do that, we give ourselves the best chance we can to live a happy, content, and peaceful life.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 David Cory


David Cory (author) from Indiana, USA on July 09, 2019:

I'm so glad you enjoyed the article. Simple is better!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 09, 2019:

At my age, since I am a retired RN, I have found life to be less complicated. I love the idea of a simpler. I have been downsizing for a while, giving various family members items they like, etc. Great article on the benefits of peace through simplicity.