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How to Live a Simplistic Lifestyle

How to Live a Simplistic Lifestyle

Many people long for a simple life away from all the chaos that seems self-inflicted. The first step to embracing this new form of lifestyle is to understand what simplicity means to you and then live by that definition. Here are eight suggestions on how to live a simplistic lifestyle.

1. Limit your information intake

Your world is awash with information. The traditional forms of media are ever-increasing in number, and each of them has content that fills 24 hours of every day. The internet is another information whale. Your contacts will also have a lot to share with you at any particular time. Today, its easy to bury yourself with information. You can follow thousands of people on their social profiles. You can also follow thousands of websites, blogs, and even companies. For many people, the need to keep up with all this incoming information is unbearable. A simplistic life for you needs no information overload. You have to accept the fact that you can never exhaust all of the information that is available in the world today. Just dedicate some time, and when that elapses, stop consuming until the next day.

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2. Savor each moment

You should think more in a less-hurried way. Drink or eat slowly so that you actually feel the taste of the food in your mouth. If you are doing a task such as driving or reading, then try not to rush to finish the task and jump to another one. You have to stay in the moment for some time before you are able to make it memorable. Do not ruin the experience by rushing through it. The good news with savoring experiences is that the people who follow the simple suggestion become relaxed and happy, even if they change nothing else in their lives. Savoring each moment brings a feeling of contentment in you.

3. Create a list, but only work at one item at a time

Without a plan that leads you to simplicity, you will not be able to live the simplistic life. Come up with a list of all the things that you need to do to have the life you want. Lists rarely make people change their behaviors, and that is why for this particular list, you will only have to deal with one item at a time, then cross it off the list. Do not create timelines or goals other than the resolve to finish doing the item on the list. Come up with another list when you are done with the present one.

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4. Spend more time with the people who matter in your life

The Pareto principle states that eighty percent of our successes and results come from twenty percent of the things you do and the people you deal with on a daily basis. Let this 80/20 rule work to your advantage. Identify the people who matter in your life, such as your family and close friends, and then spend most of your time with them at all costs. Soon, you will discover that you are peaceful and feel no obligation to do unnecessary things just to impress strangers.

5. Make big cuts

When you are transitioning from a chaotic life to a simplistic life, it will be hard for you to notice any change. Absence of change evidence can cause you to slump back into your chaotic life. The best way to get past this resistance problem is by undertaking big transition steps. Make a big cut. For example, you can get rid of your car and that will take care of parking expenses, cleaning expenses, insurance, and a host of other duties related to owning a car. You will feel like someone just took away a burden from your life. This experience will give you the strength to keep adopting a simplistic life.

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6. Learn to stay idle and alone

You will only be contented with your life if you can be comfortable in your own company. Materials and people do not necessarily make you a better or worse person; it is your attitude and view of life that makes you good or bad. Take time off and just do nothing. Stay off of your phone, do not listen to anything, and do nothing. This time off can last for at least five minutes to as much as a day, but do not use it an excuse to avoid doing your duties. Take time off regularly and you will understand yourself better. In addition, you will make better decisions and be comfortable with changes that are ongoing in your life.

7. Embrace a filling and storage system

Order is an essential thing in life. A simplistic life is full of order. Come up with a filling system for all your physical and electronic files. Store them under clear labels so that you will not spend much time and effort when you need to retrieve them. Use a search program for your electronic documents and embrace services that allow you to sync files from one device to another. In your offline world, buy baskets, bins, and anything that can hold your items when they are not in use. Store everything in appropriate places every time you are through with them.

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8. Embrace minimalism and frugality

Many people avoid talk about minimalism and frugality because to them, these words imply that they have to let go everything that they love. Just like simplicity, the concept of being frugal or minimal varies with every individual. This does not mean that it is necessarily a bad thing. To have a simple life, you need the power to manage your desires and intentions. One way to do that is by taming the materialistic urge inside you. Accept that there will always be newer, shinier, better-looking things that appeal to you. Most of these things are merely complimentary or substitute goods and services. The key to staying frugal and embracing a minimalist lifestyle is to know what you need and then avoid the urge to take up its additions. Think of the whole concept as a way to live an efficient life; your first step would definitely be to eliminate wasteful purchases and desires that lead to those purchases.

You may choose many other things to make your life simpler but the eight suggestions highlighted above will have the most impact in your life.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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