7 Ways To Find Happiness Through Simplicity
Recognize the difference between things you need and things you want. Our culture bombards us with messages about material things that will make our lives better. The reality is that most of these things will clutter our lives without bringing true happiness. Free yourself from the culture of excess and learn to be content with fewer possessions and greater simplicity.
If you spend your life playing out a role that society or someone else defines, you're missing out on the chance to follow your own desires. Your inner life is diminished when you are limited by conformity. Why give up your freedom and allow all of your decisions to be defined by what you think you “should” do? Become a non-conformist and think for yourself, letting your passions be your guide.
Life is full of opportunities to earn money, give service, learn new skills and make new friends. Some of us want it all and fill up our calendars with activities and obligations. Over-committing is the surest way to banish stillness and calm from your life. Rushing from one activity to another leaves you with no time to slow down, observe and let things happen. No matter how worthy you think your commitments are, rethink and prioritize them. Keep the ones that are most important and eliminate the ones that are adding to the hectic pace of your life with little return.
Once you've balanced your commitments, find ways to increase your free time. Eliminate time wasters and re-evaluate your chores. If you spend hours each week cleaning house, see if you can do a little less and have more free time. Eliminating clutter from your home will make it easier to clean. Once you've created more free time, fill it with activities that develop your inner self. Spend some time alone and spend some with the people you care about most. Focus on calming activities.
How often do you prepare a healthy and delicious meal and then savor every bite of it? Instead of rushing through meals, barely tasting what you're eating, take time to enjoy them. Invest time in other simple pleasures – work in your garden, take a relaxing soak in a hot tub or bath, bike or hike through a nature preserve. Unless you're retired, you probably can't do these things every day, but fitting them into your schedule even once or twice a week will have a calming effect on your life.
When you're over-committed, you can end up rushing from one thing to the next without enjoying or even being very conscious of the world around you. There's always the hope that when things slow down you'll have time to enjoy life. Maybe you look forward to the weekend or an annual vacation, thinking that you'll be able to find a way to slow down. Instead of looking to the future, learn to focus on the present moment. Enjoy what you're doing in the here and now. You can find serenity in even the most mundane task if you really give it your attention and do it mindfully.
No matter how much we plan, we can never predict what the future will bring. Trying to exercise too much control can just lead to frustration, in addition to frustrating the people around you. Since you never know what the future will bring, it's futile to try to control events. Instead of attempting to control the outcome of events, learn to relax and enjoy the journey. Letting go of the need to control will give you more freedom to live in the moment. By planning less, you'll be more open to unforeseen opportunities that come your way. This doesn't mean you shouldn't still have goals, but that your focus shifts from the ends to the means.