Many people dream of living a simple life — lounging in a hammock on a Sunday afternoon or spending quality time with family after work each day. Too often this dream is interrupted by reality. Checking work email on your phone, keeping up with breaking news and college friends on social media, and following celebrity Twitter and Instagram feeds can only complicate things. Life doesn’t have to be so complicated! In fact, life can be pretty simple. You, too, may be able to bring simplicity to your life and make it a little easier by implementing some of the following tips into your daily routine.
1. Get enough rest
Guilty of hitting the Starbucks drive-through multiple times a day? While it may seem like a good idea to burn the midnight oil, studies have proven that sleep is essential to your health and overall happiness. According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep can lead to emotional changes, clinical depression and anxiety. Think about the last time you woke up bursting with energy and positive vibes. I’m willing to bet it was after a solid night’s sleep. A couple of years ago, I started going to bed an hour earlier every night. My overall attitude on life changed, my relationship with my husband improved, and I had the energy of a teenager again.
2. Let go of the dream of perfection
The other day I went to a Zumba class for the first time. I am a terrible dancer, and everyone else there seemed to know what they were doing. I couldn’t pick up the routine, but I shook my hips anyway.
I could have easily been traumatized and regretted stepping out of my comfort zone, but I laughed it off. The class was actually fun! I’ll never be a good dancer, but I’ve made peace with that. The sooner you embrace your glorious imperfections, the sooner your life will get a lot easier. While we often fear that our imperfections will make us failures, they actually show how unique and beautiful we are. Having trouble letting go? Try asking yourself, “Why am I judging myself? What am I afraid of?” Getting to the bottom of your feelings will make the transition easier.
3. Stop depending on social media to validate your existence
Isn’t it just the worst thing when you post a picture on social media and don’t get any likes? You immediately start to wonder if your teeth look yellow or the pants you just spent a fortune on make you look chunky. After obsessing about it for several hours, you finally decide to take the picture down hoping that no one saw it after all. When you find yourself worrying about what other people think, stop and pause. Share whatever makes you happy to share and then sign off of social media for awhile. Any time you feel yourself seeking the validation of others, try to think of all of the amazing things you have in your own life. Gratitude is a powerful tool for changing your mindset.
4. Look on the bright side
Optimistic people are the healthiest, happiest, and most successful people in the world, and the reason why is simple. Your thoughts mold who you are. If you constantly think the worst about everything and everyone, you won’t be able to live life to the fullest. Being an optimist doesn’t mean sticking your head in the sand or ignoring bad situations. Optimists approach those same unpleasant situations in a more productive, positive way. They choose to think that the best is going to happen.
If you want to start thinking optimistically, look for all the wins in your life – no matter how small. For example, losing a single pound may seem trivial if you need to lose 50, but it is still one pound less than you were. With practice, you’ll become less critical of the world around you and be able to handle stressful situations in a more constructive way.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
She has a nicer car than I do. He makes more money than me. That couple is happier than we are. By the end of the day, you’ve pummeled your self-esteem into the ground by comparing yourself to everyone you meet.
If how you feel about yourself is determined by how you measure up to others, you’ll always come out on the losing side. The second you stop comparing yourself to others, you will gain focus on your own life. Life will seem a lot simpler without all of the self-imposed doubt and feelings of inadequacy.
It is easy to overcomplicate life in today’s world, but when you slow down and think about things with a slightly different perspective, you’ll begin to see who you really are and what is important. By implementing a few of these tips, you can find your own purpose, be happy, and enjoy an easier life. Take time to reflect and make the steps toward embracing a new simplicity.