Are you making your life harder than it needs to be? Tips for simplifying your life

Flower - mindfulness

It’s hard to argue with the fact that after raising a family, working for decades and planning for retirement, you don’t deserve a little rest and relaxation. So, why do so many Kiwi adults feel like they’re weighed down by constant stress? Whether you’re overcome by physical clutter or need a psychological cleanse, a few tweaks can be all that’s needed to simplify your life and empower you with an underlying sense of calm.

Living simply offers a host of advantages, including wanting for less, focusing on what’s important and streamlining your mindset. Here’s how:


Practice mindfulness

Sometimes it can feel as though life is racing by and leaving you with no control. Maybe you’re worried about not taking the time to treasure precious moments with your grandkids. Or perhaps you feel like you’re not completely present during conversations with friends. Mindfulness can help you regain control over your life, stay in tune with your senses and live in the now.


Flower - mindfulness


Declutter and cleanse

Did you know that clutter is often a root cause of stress? Yes, messy homes can creep into the subconscious and leave you feeling anxious, overwhelmed and burdened by a constant sense of guilt. Similarly, decluttering can be an incredibly effective way to destress your mind and simplify your life. Chances are you’ll love the Japanese decluttering concept championed by Marie Kondo in her bestselling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.”


Don’t sweat the small stuff

Back in the 1800s, Italian philosopher Vilfredo Pareto put forward the time-tested 80/20 rule theory. Basically, he mused that in any pursuit roughly 80% of results come from just 20% of your efforts. The theory still stands up today, with some contemporary psychologists maintaining that a powerful way to simplify your life is to stop constantly spinning your wheels and instead slow down and choose the 80/20 route. Or as Bruce Lee puts it, “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”


The 30-day rule

A lifetime of possessions and purchases can quickly take its toll on a home, with experts estimating that the average home cradles roughly 300,000 items. Clothes, kitchen gadgets and homewares are often the biggest culprits. A great way to combat that feeling of clutter is to cut down on your shopping habits by adopting the 30-day rule. Instead of impulse buying, wait 30 days to make a purchase and if you still feel a strong urge to buy the product in question, go ahead. But chances are the moment will have passed and you’ll find yourself with extra cash and fewer possessions.


Pick your battles

One of the easiest ways to stress yourself out is to spend too much time focussing on the small stuff. For example, the fact that your husband continually forgets to wind up the hose after watering the garden could be frustrating you to no end. However, instead of constantly agonising over the situation and creating tension in the house, why not simplify your mindset and choose a different reaction? No, this doesn’t mean that you should let things that really matter to you slide. But it does encourage you to you adopt an attitude that champions peace and quiet, as opposed to stress and anxiety. Really, it’ about picking your battles and empowering yourself with the ability to choose a different reaction.


Embrace your own way of the simple life

At the end of the day it’s important to remember that everyone is different. This means your version of “living simply” could be very different from someone else’s. The key is to choose the things that matter to you and simplify areas of your life that you think are important.


Are you in search a simpler life? Maybe you have some tips to share with the GrownUps community? We’d love to hear from you so go ahead and share in the comments below.