Let's face it, life has become way too complicated. Between spending huge parts of our time at work, paying our taxes, making sure everything in the house is in order, fixing our cars, making sure our kids are ok, working for their future and dealing with the ever increasing demands of technology from us, sometimes we just feel like screaming: "Enough! Leave me alone!".
But life doesn't make itself simpler, we have to do that, and so, with the goal in mind of having a simpler life, you can have it without moving to some remote countryside and milking cows. Here's how:
1. Get up 20 minutes earlier: If you find your morning tight on time, try to go to bed a littler earlier and get up 20-30 minutes before your usual time. You'll be surprised how this little addition of time can start your whole day better.
2. Be 10 minutes early for meetings: It's hard to be late when you're planning to get there early, and it'll let some of the pressure off. You'll also have time to smooth out your thoughts and think about what you'd like to say.
3. One thing at a time: Don't be fooled by those around you who brag they can do it all. Everyone has a problem concentrating on several tasks at once or even paying attention to one while thinking of another. Try to put your entire focus on the most urgent issue. Finish it and then move on to the next. You'll be surprised how much faster and more efficient you are at problem solving when you're solving one problem at a time.
4. Ask yourselves some questions: Stop yourselves from time to time and ask: "Am I making things more complicated?" and "how can I simplify the problem?". Sometimes we miss simple solutions because we don't stop to look around us.
5. Ask yourselves: "Will this still matter in five years?" Most of the time, it won't even matter in 5 months or even 5 weeks. If you find yourselves facing a mountain, maybe check that it's not a molehill.
6. Write down everything: There is no memory that doesn't 'leak' from time to time. The few minutes you spend writing things down will be worth having those things out of your head and memory, resulting in less pressure.
7. Remember that there is something greater than yourselves: We don't know everything, nor are we always right. There are always going to be causes bigger than ourselves.
8. Enjoy the simple things: Sometimes we need to stop, shut our eyes tightly, and then open them again and truly FEEL the moment we're in, the way it looks, the way it sounds, feels, smells and tastes. This is the meaning of living in the moment and enjoying things that are so basic we hardly really pay them attention any more.
9. Drink a glass of water: Water is the essence of life, and sometimes we might be better off drinking than binging on junk food that will just increase our anxious feelings.
10. Kindness is a blessing returned: Be kind to others. One day you may be old, sick and in need of kindness yourself, knowing that you were kind to others and that they want what's best for you is a load off, and will reduce the fear you feel about the future.
11. Simplify your life by simplifying your home: A cluttered house is a cluttered mind, some say. Try and keep a place for everything in your house, keep it clean and tidy. It may seem unrelated, but a clean house makes us feel good about ourselves and helps us concentrate on what's important.
12. Stop and find the roses: Instead of jumping from thing to thing, try taking some extra time with certain tasks, relationships, work and personal projects. That extra time will give you confidence and help you discover things you may miss when you're rushing about.
13. Spend some time with simpler folk: Spending time with those that lead a simple life will help you simplify your own. Their slower pace and calm will leak into your own life, and you'll learn some of their tricks for simpler living.
14. Ask advice from those who have been there: When you encounter a problem, remember that most of them are not new, they have been challenging others as well. Turn to those who have been there, and ask for their advice. Sometimes it takes a village to get through life.
15. Forget about perfection: Don't try to do everything perfectly, you'll probably not succeed. Let go of the illusion of perfection and focus on what you have that is good and true.
16. Take a breath of fresh air a few times a day: Like a smoker on smoke breaks, take breaks to go out and get some fresh air. You'll be surprised how quickly those anxious thoughts can die down while you take a minute to disconnect from anxiety and reconnect with the world around you.
17. Take 30 minutes on the weekend to plan your week: Weekends are a great time to relax and take a little time to plan out what you are going to do this week. Make a list. It will help you remember and you'll feel more calm dealing with the coming week's challenges.
18. Ask people around you more questions: Sometimes, the things that make us anxious could be solved with a simple question. Don't be afraid to get answers you may not want to hear - in the long run, it'll help to know.
19. Take some time to be lazy: If you can simplify your lives a bit, you may find out you have some spare time. Take some of it to relax, you deserve a little laziness.
20. Remember life is longer than you think: You may change your mind a couple of times throughout, you may grow as a person and want different things, love different people. Accept this fact, and you'll see how things won't bother you as much. We promise.