How to reduce your stress and simplify your life. Is “simple living” good or bad; is it even possible in 2018? You do not have to move, quit your job or become a minimalist to simplify your life and take your stress level down a notch or two. Let me ask you these 6 questions, that can get you on the path to a more simple and satisfying life.
You can start simplifying life and there is not a better time than now. What does it mean to simplify life? To me it is removing unnecessary stress, unnecessary junk (both physical and mental) and bring joy to the forefront of our day to day life. But a truly simplified life is finding what YOU need to find joy and satisfaction in your life. Once you have that, remove everything else.
Now, I should say, I’m not a therapist or a doctor; I’m just sharing the tips and tricks I’ve learned in my 46 years of life. These are the things that I have done to reduce stress and simplify my life (and thank God I did!). I hope they help you. I’ve listed 5 questions you need to ask yourself to starting the simplifying process and 6 ways you can reduce stress; some of them will be easier for you than others. Whatever you choose to do to reduce your stress will add life to your time and probably time to your life!
So let’s work to reduce your stress and simplify your life!
Simplifying Life by Answering these 5 Questions
1 – What are my core values?
Faith, Family, Friends? What do you value most? Does my life reflect your values? Your relationships should reflect these values too. It is amazing how much simpler life is when the people around you are healthy. I’m not saying only keep people that agree with everything you say – challenge can be good too. What I am saying is that healthy relationships support core values in at least one area.
2 – Do I take time to take care of myself?
Taking time to eat healthy, feed your spiritual life, get some exercise and have some fun; these are essential to self-care. If you aren’t taking care of you, then you can’t take care of anything else very well. I think play and hobbies are often overlooked as fluff in our lives. I say no; they are essential to quality of life. When you feel better you can clean out the stuff that makes life too complicated.
3 – Is my home cluttered? Messy?
Clutter and mess can cause a lot of stress. It is amazing how much clearing out some “stuff” can release us from a prison of sorts. I know that I have kept so much junk thinking they were mementos of those I’ve lost. But the best mementos live in the heart and head and can’t be limited to an object. Finding a system to keep only the most important things and remove the rest will help. Organization is key! Check out FlyLady – she helped me overcome my “messy nature”. Donate your unneeded, unused, items – they could be someone else’s treasure!
4 – Is my spending out of control?
Nothing causes more stress than debt. I know this problem all too well and finances are a huge stressor in most people’s lives. Getting your budget made out and sticking to it will reduce stress and make this simple living idea a reality very quickly. There is freedom in being unchained from credit cards. I highly recommend checking out Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover!
- How to Stay Out of Holiday Debt This Year
- 40 Frugal Vintage Tips
- The Importance of Being Debt Free & How to Do It
- Living Within Your Means
5 – Do I dwell on the past or worry about the future?
There is nothing we can do to change the past. I remind myself often that this is wasted time. I am also a worrier. But I have learned that worrying about things that have yet to come to pass never made anything better. I focus on the ACTIONS I can take in the present.
6 – Have you taken an account of your commitments? In our fast-paced modern life it is easy to get over committed. Look at your calendar. Do you have free time? To you have space for spontaneity? No? Then you haven’t given yourself the permission to say no. Even if you want to do it all, it will make you feel crazy, overwhelmed and out of control after awhile. We all need down time.
More Ways You Can Reduce Stress
1 – Start Walking Everyday
I walk 5 miles every single day; and recently started hiking. It started as a way to lose weight but over the last year it has become my greatest stress reducer. I generally walk or hike alone. I listen to a book on Amazon Audible or classical music. The movement is great, getting some vitamin D from the sun is wonderful and I have increased my fitness and endurance which makes life easier. I usually just go for a walk or hike close to home but I LOVE getting further out in nature on some of the amazing trails in Arizona; if you can get away from traffic it is even better!
Walking is free, you can do it just about anywhere and you can start today. I highly recommend it. See How to Walk to Reduce Stress
2 – Volunteer Your Time to Cause You’re Passionate About
Your time is valuable, and as I said above, you don’t want to over-commit yourself because that is going to stress you out. But there is something about giving of your time, yourself, to a cause that you are passionate about that can “fill your bucket” and ultimately reduce your stress. Now I’m not saying that we look at volunteerism as a purely selfish act but if you can give to something you strongly believe in and reduce your stress at the same time… I’d say that’s a win-win.
3 – Reduce Your Stress with Prayer
As a Christian I believe in the power of prayer. Call in prayer, call in meditation, call it quiet time… just do it. You don’t a special place but it helps for it to be quiet and distraction free. I like to do this first thing in the morning because everyone, including the animals, is asleep. I like to bring my mug of coffee, read my bible and write out prayers and thoughts; which brings me to my next stress reliever.
4 – Journal
Keeping a journal or a diary and be an amazing tool in reducing your stress. You can write prayers, goals and random thoughts in this journal. I have even written letters to people that I won’t, or cannot send, in my journal as a release. I know it can send a little hokey but it works…so hokey up! You don’t have to do this everyday, please don’t make it another chore you MUST complete. Let your journal be there for you, as needed, when needed. You don’t need anything fancy, a simple school notebook works just fine.
5 – Eat Well
I am not going to go into a big diet tirade here. But food is the fuel of your body – treat it with the same care you would a brand new car or truck. I practice a whole foods, Keto, way of eating and it has changed everything. I think clearly, I have energy and I am not hungry all the time. There is a huge reduction in stress when you’re living the healthiest way you can and fueling my body with the best food I can. I highly recommend reading Keto by Maria Emmerich.
6 – Laugh and Laugh A Lot
Watch comedies, hang out with funny friends, go see some stand-up or watch them on YouTube. Laughter is medicine to the body and you can’t be stressed out when you’re snorting in laughter!
So what are your tips for reducing stress and simplifying life? Leave your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to hear them!