Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Tess Marshall of The Bold Life.
My first experience with simplifying my life, came when I was 28 years old when Hubs and I went to see our first therapist.
Our oldest daughters were 10 and 8 years old and our twins were six at the time. Our household was chaotic, our lives were out of control and I felt crazy.
We knew something had to change!
During our first session, I talked a mile a minute because that’s what crazy people do! At the end of the hour, Dr. Hartwick us homework. Desperate for relief, we did exactly as we were told.
The first exercise was to slow down the speed of our lives. Our family talked, walked, ate and worked quickly. We allowed ourselves very little down time.
What happens when parents slow down? Children slow down!
The second exercise was in communication. We could only speak to each other if we were looking at each other face-to-face. There was no more calling, yelling or screaming for each other from different rooms in our home. Again, we followed through with our homework.
What happens when parents calm down? Children calm down!
By following through on our homework we transformed the energy within our home in six months.
There are benefits for everything we do, both good and bad. The benefit for our crazy lifestyle was that it gave us an excuse to ignore our problems and the changes we needed to make.
We simplified our life by taking responsibility for our issues and were rewarded with a happier family.
Read on for more ways you can simplify your life and the benefits you’ll gain for doing so.
- Eliminate stress in your day. Create a morning routine that will influence the rest of your day in a positive manner. I write in my gratitude journal and read from a spiritual text. I’ve recently added meditation into my morning routine. Benefit: More peace and calm throughout your day.
- Complain less. Currently, the biggest complaint I hear is about the price of gas. You can’t control the price of gas but you can control how much gas you use. For the next three weeks stop complaining about gas. Learn to use only what you need. When you catch yourself complaining begin your three weeks over again. Benefit: Increased personal power, appreciation and happiness.
- Say ‘yes’ less. Over extending yourself complicates your life. Learn to tell others no when you don’t want to do something. Memorize and repeat this line as needed, “No, that’s not going to work for me.” Pause for five seconds afterwards. You don’t owe anyone a reason or an excuse. If the person persists, repeat it again and pause again. After the second time, the person will get your message. Benefit: Increased self-esteem, self-respect and more time to do what you love.
- Give less time to the media. Life is difficult enough without unnecessary negativity. Go on a media fast. If you’re afraid of being uninformed about current events, ask somebody, “What’s new?” If you can’t cut the media out completely, watch, read or listen to the news one day a week. Benefit: You’ll fear less about your future and spend more time living in the present, feeling calm and peaceful.
- Spend less time online. Too much of anything isn’t a good thing. Learn to be present with the people in your life. When I’m having a face-to-face conversation in a check-out lane my phone is in my purse. If I answer my cell phone when a daughter calls, I walk away from my computer. When we eat dinner our phones and computers aren’t invited. We don’t work after a certain time each night. Everyone’s needs are different. Eliminate digital distractions and be more present with those you love. Benefit: Increased communication and intimacy in your primary relationships.
- Want less. Learn how to love and want what you have. Instead of wanting more material things, express gratitude for your eyesight, hearing, and the ability to breathe. Instead of wanting a perfect body, appreciate the beating of your heart. Awareness increases abundance. Benefit: The ability to recognize you have everything you need and live a more meaningful life.
- Fill your life with people you love. Eliminate toxic relationships. If someone isn’t bringing you up they’re bringing you down. Detach and surrender the relationships that aren’t working for you. To make this transition easier silently repeat to yourself, “I bless you. I release you. I set you free. I allow you to be you and me to be me.” Benefit: Time and space for healthier, more meaningful and loving relationships.
We deserve all of what life has to offer us. It’s easy to attain when we eliminate what doesn’t work and replace it with what can and will work.
In our complicated world, committing to a simple life is the best way forward.
Your homework: Create a list of what isn’t currently working in your life. Next, determine the actions you can take to change your circumstances and begin. Take one step at a time. Give yourself permission to ask for help and remain focused on the benefits of your actions.
Tess is a speaker, author, fear shattering, calculated risk taker, obsessed with being happy, courageous and bold. Her blog, The Bold Life is a juicy mix of inspiration, spirituality, and personal development. Download for free her eBook, “Peace, Love, and Connection” at The Bold Life and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
If simplicity is changing your life, imagine what it could do for your business.