Do you sometimes yearn for a simple life? A life where time seems to flow slower. A life that is spacious where you have time to think, or even to dream?
I did. Until I realized that my life is how I create it. And that I can change my life if I want to.
I can live a simple life. Or I can live a busy life that includes spacious times. Here are five changes that worked for me. I now enjoy life more, am less stressed, and sleep better. I’m a more relaxed companion and friend and more fun to be with.
1. De-clutter your home
Clutter produces stress. Look around you for a moment. Can you spot things that sit around doing nothing for months and even years. Things that you could give away without even noticing a lack?
Clear up cluttered rooms.
If you find things that you haven’t used in the last two years, consider giving them away. If you find that impossible because the things still have meaning for you, box them up and put them into storage.
Give away what you don’t need
Go through your wardrobe and toss out what you haven’t worn for years. Chances are that if you didn’t wear it in the last two years, you never will.
Keep the rooms you live in tidy. Clutter creates stress.
2. De-clutter your mind
Refresh your mind daily through meditation
Even just ten minutes of meditation a day helps you to find a more calm and collected peace of mind. There are some very simple ways to meditate. Sit upright, either upon a firm cushion on the floor, or on a chair. Focus on your breath and let your thoughts go.
Use a journal to note down all your pending tasks
Tasks clutter up our mind. We tend to get anxious if we have a lot of things we have to do and want to keep track of what needs to be done. Let your notebook or scheduling software hold the thoughts for you!
3. Give up energy drains
Stop watching TV indiscriminately
Check out how much time you are spending in front of the TV. Passive entertainment drains your energy. Plan what you want to watch for the coming week and stick to the schedule you have set. If you find it difficult to stop watching after a program has finished, set a timer at the other end of the room. Getting up to stop it will break the spell and you’ll be able to switch the TV off.
Stop spending time with people who drain your energy
Are there people in your life who are energy drainers? Maybe they are chronic complainers, or you find it difficult to communicate with them. If so, limit the time you spend with them. You will find that your life runs more smoothly and is less cluttered with emotional junk.
4. Slow down
Do one thing at a time
Stop multitasking. Do you watch TV and work on your laptop at the same time? Do you chop carrots and listen to the radio? Do you carry on with household tasks while listening to your partner? If you said ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, you might like to try slowing down. Just do one thing at a time.
Take up a activities that slows you down. Surfing, yoga, Tai Chi, etc
Intense physical hobbies blow all the cobwebs out of your mind. When you’ve just caught that wave or are about to launch your snowboard down a steep slope, your mind naturally empties. Yoga does something similar. You don’t believe it? Just try holding a post until your legs start wobbling and you’ll find your mind becomes clear.
Quiet activities, such as painting or book-binding, can also be engrossing and help to slow you down.
5. Take time out
Take time each week to refocus on what is important to you.
Spend time with people you love
Take time out to be in touch with nature
Take time out to enjoy yourself
These five steps allow you to reduce clutter in your mind. We need space in our lives to think and dream. Nobody can be creative when they are locked into a cluttered life.