Life is complex. Many of us feel we are trying to juggle too much, as if there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The feeling of pressure to exceed and meet the demands of not only ourselves but others, becomes a strain. We look at social media content and wish our lives were as perfect as those on show. We work extra hard for the material things, in order to show off on our own accounts. We want to keep up with the Joneses while working, bringing up children, being their taxi service, being digitally connected 24 hours a day and making sure our look (both body and face) fits a ‘perfect model’. Why?! What if we took some of that away? Made life SIMPLE? Would we be more content?
Today (July 12th) is National Simplicity Day, so, why not take five minutes to think about how a simpler life could be a happier life.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, said:
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
It’s about freeing your mind to enjoy life and see the bigger picture. It doesn’t mean giving up on our goals, or missing out, but allowing ourselves to reach those dreams in an easier manner. If you work out what’s important to you, focus on that! And, remember, you can say NO. You don’t need to pack your calendar with events – no one will judge you for taking a weekend out to take a step back and breathe for a while. And if they do judge, why are they in your life?!
Ellen, the Studio Zest masseuse, is a fan of keeping things simple, saying: “actively doing nothing, can be better than actively doing a hundred things.” Why? Because when we try to cram too much into lives we often forget about looking after ourselves. And if we can’t look after ourselves, we can’t look after others!
FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) can often push us to do more than we should – to make life complex. Taking a break from social media could help prevent this. Make a conscious effort to turn your phone off each evening if possible. Take an hour out to do something you’d like to do. Read a book. Read a book to your children. Write a journal. Go for a walk. Have a bath! Something that allows you to breathe.
What about meditation? We’re not talking about taking two hours out of your day to sit cross legged, chanting at candles (although some people do find this beneficial!), but meditation can come in so many difference forms. A three minute body scan. A guided meditation. Group meditation. Find what fits YOU. Ellen also recommends The Honest Guys meditation. Even people who hate meditation have told her they loved it. It’s easy listening, and you can listen to them on YouTube.
It’s not just our minds and thoughts that sometimes need a bit of simplification, but our surroundings too. Remember, tidy home, tidy mind!
De-clutter that desk. Throw out all those clothes you never wear. Get rid of all that ‘visual noise’.
It’s never been cooler to de-clutter. There’s been a recent influx of Instagram accounts and TV programmes dedicated to the subject – highlighting the positive mental impact the simplification of our surroundings has. Marie Kondo’s one of those who’s become a hit with people. She has 3.1 million followers on Instagram, and her show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo has become a sensation on Netflix. If you need a bit of help to decide what to keep and what to throw away Marie swears by the ‘spark joy’ test, saying:
“I came to the conclusion that the best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask myself does this spark joy? If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.”