In today’s society, complicated lives are the new normal. It’s even encouraged sometimes: we’re all told that to get ahead, we only have to work harder. In reality, it’s often impossible to get ahead that way or at all without sacrificing your mental well-being.
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Stop living a complicated, stress-filled life today by making your life easier, simpler and far more enjoyable. Try the following nine hints for simplifying your life to make positive, lasting changes that will make your life better.
1. Stop Hiding What’s Inside
You may be investing a lot of energy and time trying to be how you’re “supposed” to be, conforming to everything you think other people expect of you. It’s possible you’re not even doing this consciously. As you grew up, you simply learned to do what everyone else wants, and that idea has become embedded in you as an adult.
Unfortunately, by trying to meet other people’s expectations, you are just adding another layer of complexity to your life that you don’t need. It’s almost like being someone else, and that takes a lot of work. Start getting to know yourself and identify your values so you can live life on your terms. Life will become much simpler once you meet your own expectations instead of trying to meet everyone else’s.
2. Try Bad Situation Reframing
Bad things will happen to you in your life; it’s just reality. Stop and reframe your thoughts when they turn negative to improve your outlook.
This doesn’t mean trying to convince yourself everything is okay and walking around with a fake smile, as that rarely works. What you need to do is look for your silver lining and/or any opportunities that lurk behind your challenges. For example, it can be awful to lose your job, but that could also be the push you needed to find a job you truly enjoy or open your own business. Having to take time off work because of an illness or emergency could make you realize how much you dislike your job and what a source of stress it is, prompting you to find more fulfilling and less taxing employment.
3. Try To See Other Perspectives
Common life complexities often arise from misunderstanding another person. Misunderstandings can lead to frustration, anger and severed or damaged relationships.
Work on your ability to find and see someone else’s point of view. Instead of jumping to judgment, try to understand why a person is behaving a certain way first.
4. Lose Mind Clutter
A chaotic mind can be incredibly frustrating, especially at three in the morning when you just want to sleep or when you’re already freaking out about your to-do list and your mind is making it worse. One way to help prevent this is by practicing calmness for a few minutes each day. This helps de-clutter your mind and slows it down for a bit. You can try things like daydreaming, yoga or meditation to help you increase focus and give your mind a rest. The benefits from just a little mind calming can actually last almost an entire day.
5. Do Relationship Re-Evaluations
Take a look at each relationship in your life and evaluate them. Ask yourself how each relationship serves you and enhances your life and what you’re gaining from it. This may sound a bit cold, but it really isn’t. The most healthy relationships are the ones in which both parties get and give what they need insofar as development, support and happiness goes.
If you think you have some unhealthy relationships, you don’t need to dramatically end them. Usually, simply reducing your contact with those people will naturally wind the relationship down.
6. Consider Your Career Climb
If you’re trying to move up in your career and sometimes wonder if it’s really worth it, it’s probably time to re-evaluate that goal. Moving up isn’t a bad thing, but it should be something you want and not a feat you feel compelled to do for reasons other than your own.
Ask yourself if a corporate climb will bring you the life balance, joy and satisfaction you want. If not, take a closer look at your options before you push yourself up the ladder any further.
7. Cut Down Goals
Having too many goals can both complicate your life and make it harder to achieve any of them. When you have a long list of goals you’re working toward at the same time, you’re not giving each one the focus necessary for success. This can lead to failure and goal abandonment, and it’s entirely unnecessary.
Get realistic about your goals and lose all but one or two of the most important ones. Focus on achieving those, and then you can move on to the next one. You’ll find yourself less stressed out and more successful as a result.
The same principle can also apply to multi-tasking. Although doing ten things at once is prized by society, research has shown that this behavior increases stress and reduces productivity when compared to doing one task at a time, per Workplace Psychology (http://workplacepsychology.net/2011/04/04/multitasking-doesnt-work/). Simplify your daily life by focusing on one duty at a time, and you may actually find that you get more done and feel less run down as a result.
8. Trim Time Commitments
Over-committing yourself is a quick road to one challenging life. There are only so many hours in a day, and if you’re giving away most of yours to things you don’t really want to do, you’ll also give yourself the short end of the proverbial stick.
Try to release yourself from the time commitments that aren’t really in line with your most prized values. If family is a priority, for example, family commitments should take priority over work functions that you don’t really have to attend. Pull yourself in as few directions as possible to enjoy a calmer, more enjoyable life.
9. Aim For Your Best Life
We don’t have infinite time on this Earth, but many of us take our time for granted. It’s easy to get complacent day in and day out, especially since we all have the same habits and routines that we repeat on a weekly basis.
Often, people with life-ending conditions find true goals and happiness when they learn the time is limited. This is because they have no choice, but you can get a similar effect by deciding to make the next six months the best period of your life so far. Use your mindset as a lens for every decision review, and decide what you need to include to make this time the best; then get to work on hitting all of those marks.
Living a simpler life may pose a challenge at first, especially if you’re used to things being complicated, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Start living a more simple life today to live the life you deserve!