Nowadays, we are surrounded by abundance; there are copious amounts of options to tend to our every need. Of course, this can lead to wonderful convenience, but it can also lead to complication and confusion.
Overcomplicating life comes naturally to us because sometimes it feels like life should be hard. After all, in our 20s, we are told we have to figure our lives out and become successful. But how are we supposed to do that in a simple way?
I’m all for making life easier, but I don’t think we realize how often simplicity is the key to actually achieving this. We can get by without all the fancy excess we indulge in within our daily routines. How much of our material goods, wants and thoughts are, in fact, unnecessary?
Simplicity doesn’t necessarily translate to an easy way out, but it’s a step back to basics that we often forget exists. I think we veer towards the more complicated methods because it gives a greater sense of achievement when we finally work through it. However, we lose time and can get overwhelmed and stressed in that process.
So, how do we even start to incorporate a more simplistic way of life?
Connect with nature
Nature is such a simple work of beauty. Instead of seeing it filtered and edited to visual perfection online, why not go out and absorb it firsthand? Get in touch with the basic growth and life that is everywhere.
Sit by the sea, listen to waves crash and see the water glittering in the sunshine. Nature really indulges the senses, with no frills needed. It can soothe and give us a break from the hectic lifestyles we uphold.
Disconnect from technology
We’re busy; we’re connected and this can be necessary, I know. But now and then, it’s important to take a break from all of that and reconnect with the simple things.
Read a real, physical book -- which I think is more satisfying, anyway. Write a letter to someone, meet up face-to-face, draw a picture or go for a walk.
Social media is instant and demanding, and sometimes it can cause more hassle than we need. Detach every now and then, even if it's just for an hour or so.
Breathing is the epitome of simplicity for me. It can calm you down, bring you into the present moment and help control emotions.
Focusing on the breath is used successfully in meditation, mindfulness and yoga. These practices are widely used to help us slow down and de-stress. Remember, there is not an app for breathing!
This is where I wish I could apply simplicity most. Over-thinking leads to anxiety and worry, so again, it needs to be brought back to the basics.
If you’re thinking negatively, tell yourself to stop. You are the master of your thoughts, so whip them into shape. If they’re making you unhappy, change them.
Repeat straightforward affirmations in your mind to put yourself on a more positive transmission. Avoid putting any time into regret or worry; the past is gone and the future is not guaranteed, so think about what you’re doing in the now.
Listen to yourself
You don’t need Google to answer everything for you, and you don’t need likes or favorites to reassure or reaffirm you. All you need is your own mind, so listen to yourself and appreciate your own ideas and opinions. It’s easy to become reliant on external sources of information, but it’s simpler to listen to and trust your gut.
It can feel unnatural engaging in simplistic ways of life; sometimes there’s guilt attached because it feels like we should be doing more. But most of the time, we don’t really need all the overindulgence we fill our lives with.
De-cluttering your mind and life connects you to you: the person you can always rely on.