How to Simplify Your Life to Reduce Stress
Focus Your Mind
Simplifying your life is an important milestone in living healthy, happy and in control. The ability to concentrate and stay focused comes from discipline. If you are able to cultivate a sense of self-discipline and motivate yourself to stay focused on the simplification process you will experience the genuine benefits and freedom of living a life that is energetic, happy and fulfilled.
When I work with kids I get out a stopwatch. I tell them they have five minutes (five whole minutes) to change anything they want to change about their lives. I then start the watch. Children always explain to me that it's impossible to go back in time. I smile and say, "You're exactly right!"
Make One Commitment at a Time
When you over-commit yourself it's not just difficult to focus, it's nearly impossible. When you have numerous projects that you are undertaking you cannot possibly be putting your best effort into everything. Life is best lived when you can put your best foot forward every day. It's frustrating to feel that you have projects which are unfinished, tardy, late or being submitted in a state of mediocrity. It doesn't mean that you can't be a part of several great committees or belong to a few groups but when it comes to projects which require a considerable time engagement, keep in mind how many kiddos you have, the tasks you need to fulfill at home, your job and your inner peace. It's okay to say "no" because when you commit to something and fail to follow through, you leave someone else hanging out to dry.
Don't Worry About Tomorrow
Every day contains enough for you to handle. Some days, just getting out of bed is more than you can handle depending on what was on the dinner table last night. Unfortunately, you won't feel the relief of tomorrow's grace today so creating anxiety about what might happen, pending circumstances, unanswered questions or an event that is steadily approaching is a waste of time. You cannot get there any faster nor can you slow the clock. John Lennon said it best when he said, "Let it be."
Let Go of the Past
The past is meant to be learned from and bettered by. People often harbor guilt about the past. Of all the emotions humans experience, guilt is the most useless. I hereby absolve you of your guilt and give you the right to move on with your life. Sometimes it takes a simple permission slip to move forward. Continuously dredging up the trash of your past will just make your life stink.
Whether you've committed yourself to a project or you have twelve loads of laundry to do, get your plan of action and start your engine. When you have unfinished business it can make you feel disorganized and lazy. Over time your work will start to pile up and you may begin to feel depressed which will prevent you from enjoying your life and your family. Recognize the importance and benefits of maintaining some form of personal planner or calendar even if you work from home. Being able to plan your day, week and month can help you keep a system and motivate you to stay on task.
If you don't have boundaries you don't have the most simple form of protection. Boundaries are often misled and misread so as opposed to explaining I will simply make a list of a few different types of boundaries that you should consider.
- Personal privacy and space.
- Personal beliefs about your faith.
- What you will and will not sacrifice for your own happiness and integrity and for that of your family.
- The personal boundaries of others.
Define Your Priorities
When you're making choices it's best to rely on wisdom and logic. If you possess neither of those, seek out the advice of someone who does. Learning self-discipline is learning how to delay gratification, tolerate frustration and stay in control. As women we say "put on your big girl panties." What feels good in the instant may not feel good in the long run. When you are prioritizing your life you must make choices that are best for your life. Life is a word which has longevity. It's a word that travels distance and time. The decisions you make now will be with you eternally because you cannot expunge a fatal error, a tragic miscalculation or a severe and complicated mess. Make time to make good choices.
Forgive Offenses and Turn Loose of the Grudge
The best way to make your life harder is to harbor anger and hostility. There is no peace in fury. If you spend your days in the prison of constant turmoil then you will find that everything about your life will be negative. In the wake of your resentment, you may begin to find yourself more and more alone. Hostility is contagious and people don't appreciate bitterness, ugliness and temper tantrums. Letting go of the dark and negative feelings is empowering and uplifting; like lifting a great weight from your shoulders. It takes time to forgive and perhaps you won't forget but you can choose to stop feeling vexed. You only have a certain amount of time on this earth so why not live those days as happy as possible? There's nothing in stone that says you'll have enough time to right all of the wrongs and fix everything that's broken but what you can do is live happy for your own sake and for that of your family. It's not worth being angry about.
Quotes About Simplifying Your Life
- "Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise." ~ Alice Walker
- "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." ~ Confucius
- "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." ~Leonardo da Vinci
- "The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes." ~ Tony Blair
Success At Last
Do What You Do Best
Stop wasting your time with things that you do well and focus your energy on the things that you are phenomenal at. Every now and then you come in contact with someone who has found their true calling whether it's a teacher, a stay-at-home mommy, a writing luchador or a nurse. When someone has found their true talent, it shows. They pursue it and perform it with a discernible passion. Don't waste your time on things that will just get you by any longer. Concentrate on the things you love and watch what happens.
Change The Things You Can
It's a most famous verse but it's poignant and true. There are many occasions that you should recognize which battles are worth fighting, which are worth considering and which aren't even worth the time. Change is difficult and creates momentary lapses in your life which can disrupt and muddle things. Any time you potentially create change it can be scary but remember, it's also a method of de-cluttering your life.
Be Realistic About Expectations
Refrain from over-expectations. Don't expect anyone to change your life but you. When you live with the assumption that someone will be delivering your self-worth to a better place, or that a spouse will save you from the hurt and disaster of your previous life you are setting yourself up to fail. It's not that people want to hurt you, it's most likely a combination of miscommunication, momentary selfishness, and lack of experience. Sometimes expectations are put into place without ever being spoken and when they're not met, anger ensues. Spouses become confused because they have no idea what they did wrong to hurt you in the first place. Sound familiar? Make a decision to put your happiness and your life's journey into your own hands.
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.