Modern life is complicated. The world is so awash with technology, social media, gloomy news headlines, and ever-changing trends that even stepping out your front door can sometimes be overwhelming. You are constantly expected to look or be a certain way to fit in, and advertising makes you feel as though you need to spend your hard-earned money on fancy clothes and expensive beauty products.
If you feel alienated and adrift in the digital age, that doesn’t make you abnormal. The world has only been this way in the past couple of decades, and before that, people lived much more simply. There was no need to cultivate a social media persona or queue up all night for the latest iPhone. People weren’t beset by all these distractions and were able to have meaningful conversations and genuine human connections without smartphones sapping their attention.
Even though the world has changed so much in recent years, that doesn’t mean you can’t return to a simpler state of being. There is no need to overload yourself with gadgets and material possessions to live a good life. In fact, the opposite may be true. Once you cast aside the trappings pressures of modern life, you will be better equipped to discover who you really are and live your life in the way you see fit. As a result, you will be happier, more fulfilled, and your mental health will benefit enormously. To get you started, here are five ways to start embracing the simple life.
Identify what’s important
What are the things that matter to you the most in life? When you are old and approaching your deathbed, what memories will you look back on fondly, and what will you regret? It’s unlikely that you will remember all the clothes you owned and the time you spent on Instagram. Instead, you will probably celebrate the moments with family, adventures traveling the world, romantic escapades, and your personal achievements. Make a list of your most important things and endeavor to spend your life pursuing them.
Be a minimalist
Minimalism is the foundation of simple living, as it requires you only to live with the things you truly need for a happy life. That doesn’t mean you should live like a Tibetan monk, but you should think carefully about the baggage you carry with you. It means shunning extravagance in favor of conservatism, only owning things that are essential for your day to life or they spark joy in your heart. For example, there’s no need to throw out your television, but you can probably afford to give away that DVD collection that’s been collecting dust for years. By casting out the things you don’t need, you will immediately feel less stressed, and your home will be neater and tidier as a result.
Too many people judge their success by their material possessions. They think that owning the biggest house, the widest television, and the most expensive sports car is essential for a good life. But this is not the case. Material possessions break and go out of style. They are fleeting displays of wealth and style that ultimately do not matter. They might make you happy in the short term, but this happiness will fade away and you’ll need to top it up with an endless cycle of increasingly expensive purchases. The things that will really make you happy and fulfilled with your life are memories and experiences. Memories last a lifetime, so make an effort to cultivate as many as possible. Rather than spending your money on needless stuff, spend your money on things like travel, adventure, and days out with loved ones. Not only will you obtain fantastic memories, but your life won’t be bogged down by an abundance of possessions and you’ll feel unrestricted and free.
Cultivate a happy home
Your home is the place where you spend the most amount of time in your life. It’s where you sleep, eat, bathe, relax, and spend time with family. So it should be a pleasant environment that makes you feel happy and calm. If you are tolerating any mess or disrepair in your house, it will have a negative impact on your mental state. The importance of an aesthetically pleasing living space cannot be overstated, and you should make an effort to cultivate an environment that makes you feel your best. Keeping it clean and tidy at all times is the first step, and your new minimalist habits will help you in this regard. Fix anything that needs mending right away, and fill your home with the things that make you happy such as photographs of your children and souvenirs from your travels. Your decor is also important, as color schemes have a huge effect on mood. Try bold, vibrant colors like orange and red for an upbeat atmosphere, or light pastel pinks and blues for a relaxing vibe. It’s not the size of your home that’s important; it’s how it makes you feel. Therefore it doesn’t matter if you’re in a tight financial situation and can’t afford the biggest, most spacious home on the market. If you’re looking for a new home it’s a good idea to create a budget and use a home loan calculator to work out what you can afford.
Have a digital declutter
For those trying to live a simpler life, it’s an unfortunate fact that technology has become essential to fit into society. You need a smartphone for things like online banking, sending emails, and keeping in touch with loved ones. But even if you only use it for the essentials, it’s a slippery slope. It’s easy to get caught up in the shiny world of Twitter and Netflix and become addicted. Therefore, you need to be vigilant about limiting your technology use. Buy a simple smartphone with only the most basic functionality, and limit your consumption to allotted periods each day. Use your free time to put down your phone and engage in more wholesome hobbies like reading and exercise.