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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
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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.

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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.

More About Simplifying Life

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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Published on June 11, 2021

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It
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Well-being is a term often utilized in psychology literature to describe healthy individuals. It is often associated with contentment, happiness, or fulfillment. However, there is debate about what well-being really is and even how to spell it.[1] With so much confusion around the definition, individuals are often left to wonder what well-being is and how to achieve it.

This article will unlock the answers to three questions:

  • What is well-being?
  • How is it measured?
  • How is it improved?

What Is Well-Being?

Well-being includes a combination of feeling states and lifestyle factors. Feeling states associated with it may include happiness and contentment. Lifestyle factors may include feelings of fulfillment, achieving one’s potential, having some control in life, and engaging in meaningful relationships. Well-being is also associated with positive mental health.[2] In simpler terms, It is a construct used to describe many facets of life including psychological, physical, and social health. Synonyms for it include happiness, health, positive feelings, welfare, and wellness.[3]

It may also be defined as a state of balance or homeostasis. This balance is achieved by having enough resources to cope with life’s challenges.[4] Both challenges and resources may be prevalent in three areas: physical, psychological, and social.

When there is an abundance of challenges and inadequate resources, well-being is lost. However, humans are designed to work towards achieving a state of balance. Well-being is linked to interpersonal, professional, and personal success. It often results in greater productivity at work, increased learning and creativity, prosocial behavior, and fulfilling relationships.[5]

Why is well-being difficult to define? Likely because it encompasses a variety of life experiences and feeling states that may vary among individuals. To help individuals assess themselves, several measures have been created.

How Is Well-Being Measured?

Researchers need to agree on a standardized definition of well-being to accurately measure it. An adequate measure must therefore encompass every facet of well-being, including as a feeling state as well as a lifestyle. In other words, an effective measurement takes both life satisfaction and functioning into account.

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Well-being can be broken down further into two categories: objective and subjective.

Objective Well-Being

Objective well-being looks at standards of living. This is useful for research looking at cultures, countries, or groups of people. It includes measuring education, income, safety, and life expectancy.[6]

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United National Development Programme, and the Italian Statistics Bureau have identified six areas for study related to objective well-being:

  1. Health
  2. Job opportunities
  3. Socioeconomic development
  4. Politics
  5. Safety
  6. Environment

Subjective Well-Being

Subjective well-being includes an emotional and mental assessment of an individual’s life. Two prominent subjective measures are life satisfaction and happiness. Measuring subjective well-being is useful for predicting mental health patterns.[7] It is determined intrinsically by the individual. Regardless of how their life might be perceived by others on the outside, this measures how individuals feel on the inside.

Subjective well-being can be broken down further into two categories: hedonic and contentment. The hedonic component relates to feelings, emotions, and moods. The contentment component relates to thoughts and whether an individual feels their life has been fulfilling. Individuals often measure their thoughts and life fulfillment against social and cultural backgrounds.

In other words, it is important to consider the context in which an individual lives. Individuals may perceive their lives differently based on social and cultural expectations. Furthermore, individuals cannot be measured without taking their environment into consideration.

In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development determined subjective well-being to be an important factor in assessing well-being. Because it is perceived by the individual, it is often assessed by self-report measures. In other words, individuals rate their own level of well-being through psychological tests.[8]

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There are five areas associated with subjective well-being:

  1. Genetic factors
  2. Basic and psychological needs
  3. Social environment
  4. Economics and income
  5. Political environment

How to Improve Well-Being

There are many ways that individuals can improve their sense of well-being. It is a complex construct with a variety of factors at play. Therefore, there is no one, perfect solution for it. Instead, the goal should be to engage in a holistic approach the incorporates a variety of factors.

The following methods are not comprehensive. What works well for one individual may not be the right approach for others. Instead, these approaches should be considered suggestions for improving well-being.

Individuals looking for a truly comprehensive assessment of well-being should consider scheduling an appointment with a psychologist, therapist, or medical doctor. These individuals may also provide resources, prescribe medication, or share tips for making lifestyle changes to assist in overall improvement.

1. Spend Time in Nature

There is evidence to support the claim that interactions with nature increase well-being. This includes an increase in positive emotions, happiness, and subjective well-being. Time spent in nature is also linked with an increased sense of meaning and purpose in life as well as the ability to manage challenges in life.[9]

One study found that spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week was associated with greater health. In the study, it did not matter if that time was spent all at once or stretched out over the course of a week. Peak gains in well-being occurred between 200 and 300 minutes of nature time, weekly.[10]

2. Practice Gratitude

Individuals who experience gratitude as a trait experience increased well-being. Trait gratitude refers to the willingness to see the unearned value in one’s experience. State gratitude is a feeling that occurs after individuals experience an act of kindness and, therefore, feel motivated to reciprocate.

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One study assessed state gratitude, during Covid-19 in China. Individuals were instructed to journal while practicing gratitude for 14-days, which included a one-month follow-up. The study found that gratitude practiced in a natural setting during times of increased stress and anxiety resulted in increased positive feelings and increased life satisfaction. However, increased life satisfaction was not sustained after one month.[11]

As a result of the aforementioned study, there is evidence to support a daily practice of journaling and gratitude for increased well-being. Individuals should practice both trait and state gratitude, whenever possible. Over time, these practices will become a habit and lead to lasting improvement.

3. Develop Increased Awareness

Increased awareness is associated with improvements in positive subjective experience, increased self-regulation and goal-directed behavior, and successful interactions with others.

Increased awareness can be attained through meta-awareness. Meta-awareness is the ability to consciously notice an emotion, thought, or sensory experience. It is a skill that can be taught. Mindfulness-based meditation and psychotherapy are two ways in which meta-awareness is learned. Kindness and compassion meditations are both linked with improved well-being. Both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may help increase awareness.[12]

4. Achieve Work-Life Balance

An individual’s workplace has the potential to either help or harm them. Workplace factors that negatively impact well-being include:

  • Work-related pressure or demands
  • Lack of autonomy or flexibility
  • Poor coworker and supervisor relationships
  • Shift work
  • Longer workday length

Employers can directly improve their workers’ well-being by providing paid leave, opportunities for salary growth, support for individuals with disabilities or those returning after injury, and access to health care. Improvements in the work environment and job structure may also be helpful.[13]

Worker well-being is beneficial both for workers and their employers. It is associated with improvements in:

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  • Performance at work
  • Coping with stress and self-regulation
  • Satisfying relationships, prosocial communication, and cooperation
  • Immune system functioning
  • And physical and psychological health

Workplace well-being is also associated with a decrease in burnout, stress, and sleep-related issues.[14]

5. Seek Out Positive Relationships

Individuals with caring and positive connections often rank higher in well-being. On the flip side, poor social relationships can be more damaging than excessive drinking and smoking. Positive social relationships also help to protect against mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Prosocial behaviors are important for forming social connections that lead to increased well-being. Appreciation and gratitude are both pro-social traits. For example, focusing on the positive qualities and actions of others. Empathy for others also contributes to higher levels of well-being. Lastly, generosity is also a strong predictor of life satisfaction.[15]

6. Stay Hopeful

Hope is a concept often related to spiritual and religious traditions. However, it entered the world of psychology around the 20th century. It is now an important construct in positive psychology. Hope can be defined broadly as the belief that things can get better, and that goals are achievable.

Hope is associated with an increase in:

  • Emotional adjustment
  • Positive feelings
  • Life satisfaction and quality of life
  • Social support
  • A sense of purpose

Takeaways

Well-being is a construct that is hard to define, yet widely cited in psychological literature. It is linked with feelings of happiness and contentment. It might also be described as a sense of purpose or satisfaction with life.

To accurately measure it, there needs to be an agreed-upon definition. In general, it has been separated into objective and subjective categories. Objective well-being considers social and cultural constructs. Subjective well-being refers to the individual’s felt sense and internal assessment of their own.

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There are several things that individuals can do to improve their well-being. However, no one thing will improve everything. Rather, this requires a holistic practice of mental and physical health. Nevertheless, individuals who spend time in nature, develop positive connections, practice gratitude, stay hopeful, and develop awareness have a greater chance of experiencing better well-being.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

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