Simple Living, Minimalism and Happiness

I have been reflecting on the past year during various forms of lock down, and have realised that it has taken this amount of time for me to evaluate what I want out of my life going forward.

I realised that I created my own struggles. All the stress, all the frustrations and disappointments, all the busyness and rushing. All the beliefs I had created in my head that life had to be this way to receive fulfilment. That I had no purpose if I wasn’t sacrificing myself. Having the bandwidth to let go, I have been able to relax and live more simply.

I realised that I was not experiencing true happiness in my life. I know I want to live more and worry less. I also want to live with more simplicity and minimally. I feel for me that the answer often lies in seeking less, not more. The happier I am with my current life, the less I will worry about improving it. The more content I am, the less I will stress about needing more. Going back to what’s essential for me, what adds value. And even more importantly, how to enjoy those things more and more often.

I know I need to create some rules about my boundaries, about saying no more often. Vera, from simple happy Zen suggests that saying no means you will experience JOMO (Joy of Missing Out instead of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I love this way of thinking. Check out her short video on the 5 habits for simple living, minimalism, and happiness.

This lockdown I focussed on giving, instead of receiving and it felt amazing! I’ve also been more aware of taking a step back and enjoying the present moment. Without worries about the future.
 I’ve selected my top seven things for leading a more fulfilling life to cultivate more happiness and living simply and minimally.

  • Create space between things.

Add padding to everything. If I do half of what I imagine I can do to take away the stress of feeling like I never have enough time.  I want to have the space to do all tasks well, with full attention. I want to savour the accomplishment of the last task, to savour the space between things, and this will help me enjoy every day.

  • Say no.

I often agree to take on more than I can handle. I am going to create some boundaries on my time. When I am aware of my major priorities, saying no becomes easier.

  • Simplify my wardrobe.

I have so many clothes, but many of them are not the right style for me. I am reducing my wardrobe to a capsule one and it’s great decluttering too.  

  • Spend time alone.

Solitude has been important for me. I develop introvert personality traits when I need to withdraw from the crowds and business.  When I slow down, I can hear my inner anxieties and stress more clearly. Rather than ignoring these, I listen to what they have to say.

  • Live frugally

Once I started thinking more carefully about my shopping habits, I realised I didn’t need as much as I was used to buying. Taking the time to consider my purchases and being less impulsive has been worthwhile.

  • Minimise

Life is easier to operate when I’m surrounded by less stuff. I’ve been thoughtful deciding what’s actually worth keeping. An excess of physical clutter can overload the visual cortex, competing for attention in your brain and interfering with your ability to focus and process information.

  • Discover enough.

“More” is not an answer. What point are you trying to reach? Mine was exhaustion and failing physical health. I’ve been figuring out what enough is for me, so I know when to stop mindlessly accumulating.

  • Take a rest day.

Though it can be hard for my ego to accept, the world doesn’t fall apart when I take a break. I am choosing to spend at least one day without answering emails or looking at the computer and enjoying some downtime.

I can see how both concepts of minimalism and simple living will support me in working towards a happier life. Do you think this is a good focus for you as we emerge out of lockdown? Let me know your thoughts.

Love Nina x


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