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Last Updated on December 3, 2020

13 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Be Happier

13 Ways to Simplify Your Life and Be Happier

What makes you happy? The sky is the limit when it comes to determining what happiness means to us and creating our mission to achieve it. Things tend to get overwhelming when we attach unnecessary tasks, items, and clutter to this thought of happiness.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a beautiful home with paintings on the walls, a cozy pool in the backyard, and a garden full of flowers. But remember that even luxuries come with responsibilities, which can easily turn into clutter and additional stress.

Simplifying your life should be easy, but it is harder when we’re put to the task. It’s tough not to feel overwhelmed when we think about decluttering years of accumulated stuff, cleaning out our hard drives, or even our day-to-day tasks. It’s easier to sweep them under the rug or save them in the “later” pile.

It all comes down to control, and with that control, we determine our own happiness.

You can live a simplified life and still be happy. Here are 13 ways to simplify your life.

1. Limit Your Options

Part of living simply is to narrow down the vast choices you have to make on the daily. Some items may truthfully be unnecessary.

Look closely at your to-do list and eliminate tasks that are not important, and see if you can bulk several things together. Having a long to-do list can be overwhelming, and be mindful that our energy is finite.

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2. Time Blocks

As an entrepreneur, time luxury can sometimes feel more like a curse than a blessing. Set working hours for yourself, especially when it comes to completing individual projects.

Blocking your schedule or setting time frames to complete specific tasks can help keep you on track without being tempted by outside distractions. This is a way to let your brain know when it’s time to work and when it’s time to unwind, and it’s very helpful in simplifying your daily life.

3. Prepare the Night Before

Eliminate unnecessary tasks by preparing your items the night before. Although it might take you ten minutes to gather your work items in the morning, why not get it done the night before and use that extra time to meditate or read the paper? Simplifying your life also requires utilizing your time better.

4. Set Your Pace

Every morning, we make the conscious decision of setting our pace for the day. Think back to a moment when you had woken up late for work and felt irritated and overwhelmed.

Your actions and reactions play like domino pieces, which either raises or lowers your vibrations. When you’re having a bad day, it’s usually caused by one thing that affects another and so forth.

By being intentional of your pace, you have the control to stop at any moment to step back and reset. Start your morning off right by intentionally deciding how your day will unfold.

5. Find What Works for You

There are many ways to balance your bank accounts. What works for you may not work for another person, and the great thing about modern technology is the abundance of applications that are readily available on your computer or phone.

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Take some dedicated time to find your routines and go to’s: 40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone.

6. Worry Only When Needed

This one will take some practice. If we’re not conscious of our thoughts, our worries can travel with us throughout the day.

There are ways to be proactive when the thoughts start caving in such as setting aside time to worry and only worry. When doing this practice, you’ll begin to realize how much time and energy is spent worrying about certain things and how repetitive some of these worries may be.

Whether it be 5 minutes or 15 minutes, spend that time addressing those worries and leave those worries there when that time is up.

7. Meal Prep

Meal preparation does not have to be hard or complicated. Preparing one or two meals in advance can take a considerable load off of your shoulders and save you some extra dollars. Some simple and easy ideas include making double the portion of a recipe or using jars to make easy-to-grab and go breakfasts.

This guide can help you kickstart meal prep-ing: The Ultimate Meal Prep Starter Kit! All You Need is Here!

8. Limit Your Tabs

Time to look at your current explorer. How many tabs do you have open at this moment?

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Limit yourself to having four tabs open at all times. If there’s something you want to read, bookmark the page to read for later and close the tab afterward.

Eliminating unnecessary tabs is a way to keep focused on the task upfront.

9. Try Audiobooks and Podcasts

Ever have a book you’ve been wanting to read but don’t have the time to?

Audiobooks are great to listen to during your commute or even at the gym. Nowadays, there are audiobooks and podcasts for almost everything – self-development, finance, food, and even astrology.

Change up your routine by plugging into a show and learn something new along the way. It’s a great way to simplify your life and be mindful of your time.

10. Stop Procrastinating

Sometimes the things we put off can easily be done in two minutes. Follow the “Two-Minute Rule” – if a task comes up and can be done in two minutes, then just do it. This helps with procrastination and keeps your to-do list short.

Here’s also a guide to help you stop procrastinating: What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

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11. Avoid Overconsuming Media

Limiting your screen time forces you to get moving. It’s easy to get lost in the never-ending world of news, incoming emails, and entertainment but, it’s all about consuming your digital information efficiently. Simplify your life by managing your inbox and using the Two-Minute rule.

For example, read your message in your inbox and ask yourself if there is an action that needs to be taken. If the action takes two minutes, do the task right then and there. If the action will take more than two minutes, then put the message in a designated folder to return to. Simple tricks like these will keep your inbox from overflowing.

12. Stop Overcomplicating Things

When it comes down to it, life’s pretty simple. Perfection is an illusion, and as a result, we become less efficient and less effective when we strive to achieve that illusion.

Don’t get hung up on the details and ask yourself if it matters. Some of the greatest ideas have a simple message; hence you should “just do it.”

13. Be Adaptable

Schedule changes and even life plans can happen at any moment. The best way to live a simplified life is first learning to adapt to change and riding those waves as they come.

Being adaptable also means preparing for the unexpected. Start your rainy day fund while you have generated income and pay off that credit card sooner rather than later.

Learn more about the importance of being adaptable: Adapting to Change: Why It Matters and How to Do It.

Start including these 13 things into your daily routines, make them your habits. And soon, you’ll be living a more simplified life and feel happier.

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Featured photo credit: Kerri Shaver via unsplash.com

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Akina Chargualaf

Akina Chargualaf is an entrepreneur, writer, and the content creator of travel and personal development blog Finding Fifth.

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Last Updated on March 17, 2021

How to Start Living in the Moment and Stop Worrying

How to Start Living in the Moment and Stop Worrying

We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the moment and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the present when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or planning for the future?

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of learning how to live in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

The Importance of Living in the Moment

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

Better Health

By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present in the moment can also improve psychological well-being[1].

Improve Your Relationships

Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them is extremely difficult. How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

Greater Self-Control

You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions when you are living in the moment. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

Why Do We Worry?

Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

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3 Steps to Start Living in the Moment

Follow these simple steps for more balance and clarity.

1. Overcome Worrying

In order to overcome worrying, you need to do two things:

Calm Your Mind

When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

2. Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

Racing Mind

Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

If you find that you’re easily distracted, you can begin to tackle this with lifehack’s Free Guide: End Distraction and Find Your Focus.

Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

None of us want to be in unpleasant situations or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

So, how do most people cope with painful emotions? By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

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In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

A Wandering Mind

From the moment we are born until the time we die, our body and mind are actively performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

Outside Influences

Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy, which does nothing to help us learn how be present.

3. Practice Mindfulness

How can we start living in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

What Is Mindfulness?

The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

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You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day, and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

This practice is highly effective and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

Mindful Breathing

While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity.

You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

Here are some breathing exercises you can try to learn to help you: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

Mindful Walking

Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking, but are we really?

Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

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Mindful Eating

Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

Live in the present with mindful eating.

    Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

    So, how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

    • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
    • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
    • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

    You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

    Mindful Activities

    Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

    Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

    You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

    Final Thoughts

    Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness as you start living in the moment. 

    Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

    The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. 

    More About Living in the Moment

    Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

    Reference

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