More and more people are starting to realise that we gain more from living with less. The rise of the minimalism movement is showing that, in fact, less stuff, less debt, and less clutter usually corresponds to more freedom, more time, and more joy. We’ve all heard the phrase before “less is more”, but here are 5 practical ways you can create more happiness through simplicity.
1) Let go of clutter
Holding onto certain objects provides us with a false sense of security, which may transform into a deep-rooted fear of letting anything go. Other times, we’re just worried we’ll have to buy certain items again if we release them from our lives. Either way, that fear makes us keep items we think we need, which studies show does more damage than good.
2) Be present
A Harvard Study shows that we spend nearly half our time thinking about things other than what is happening right in front of us. Not only are we thinking about things that are not happening, but it’s making us unhappy. When we try to simply bring our attention back to the present moment as often as possible throughout our day, we can increase our happiness and diminish worry and anxiety.
3) Allow things to be as they are
A lot of suffering comes from trying to change things that cannot be changed. When we meditate, we begin to understand that some things cannot be changed, and accepting this brings a sense of relief. This includes our feelings too. There are no ‘should be’s’ – simply accept that you feel as you feel. It might be helpful to verbalise how you are feeling to another person or even write it down.
4) Focus on the good
You can train your mind to look for the positive in the world, instead of focusing on the bad things. A simple positive psychology exercise called ‘Three Good Things’ consists of writing down three things that went well each day and their causes every night for one week. It has been shown to increase happiness and decrease depressive symptoms for six whole months.
5) Notice what is important
Spend time thinking about what you really need, not just what you want. When we discover what it is we need, we will begin to see who and what is really important and we will have the time and space to explore these things further.
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Nikki Janks is the Co-Founder & Marketing Guru at Centred Meditation. If you’d like to learn how to embrace simplicity through meditation, please contact her through the website.