In 2015 did you find yourself spending too much time on your phone or computer? Spending too much money or time obsessing over material things? Or overcommitting yourself and never truly being present or engaged with those around you? Only to find yourself feeling disconnected from life around you, more stressed, anxious, guilty or frustrated?
I sure did.
Modern life for all it's wonderful opportunities has become pretty fast paced and overwhelming. The constant access to technology sees us focusing more on our virtual world rather than what is happening within or around you. Without realising it many of us are seeking inner peace and happiness through external instant gratification which dissipates all too quickly, leaving us feeling even emptier and ready to acquire the next new thing to get that happiness hit again. Not only that, the more we do, buy, collect and accumulate, the more chaotic our minds become and the harder it is to find inner peace and maximise our true potential.
Research indicates that the key to finding inner happiness and increased wellbeing is to enhance our positive emotions, engage in positive activities, serve a cause bigger than ourself, have healthy relationships with those around us and strive to better ourselves. By simplifying and slowing down we can give ourselves the more time, energy and awareness to begin to focus on these key areas of our lives that will bring us a higher and long lasting level of inner happiness and life satisfaction.
Here are some tips for simplifying 2016 for a happier and healthier year:
- Reduce the time you spend on your phone, computer or any screen for that matter! I am a shocker for watching tv, with my lap top on my lap and phone next to me. This year is about building awareness of these unhealthy and unproductive habits. The more time spent in a virtual reality the less time you spend actively engaged with those around you and your inner self. Cultivate positive emotions and relationships through less screen time!
- Set one day a week or even a few hours aside just for you to engage in an activity that you love. If it feels good, schedule it in and do it! Ignore the nagging thoughts that you should be spending this precious time doing 'more important things' that 'have to get done'. This is your time and your mind, body and soul will love you for it later by allowing the positive energy you cultivate within to help you reach your true potential for the remainder of the week.
- Become a more conscious consumer and give away unused and unnecessary items. I know the feeling of that instant gratification when you buy something completely unnecessary only for that feeling to be followed by the guilt of seeing your finances deplete and knowing deep down that you didn't really needing it. Be mindful about what you are purchasing and the impacts it will have on you, your finances and the planet. What do we really need and what do we have in our cluttered closets that we can give away or wear more than once. In need of tips on how to declutter and simplify your house and mind? Check out Marie Kondo's book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. When you simplify the environment around you it is amazing how much easier it is to focus on life more clearly!
- Be realistic about the commitments you make. Often we find ourselves caught up racing from one engagement to the next, feeling tired, unfocused and on auto-pilot. Never truly engaging 100% in the experience in front of us because we are already thinking about getting to the next event. Spreading yourself too thinly and living a hectic overcommitted schedule can have a negative impact on your wellbeing and life satisfaction. Learning the art of being honest and realistic with yourself and others and saying 'no' is powerful and healthy. By being realistic with your time and how you send it you can reduce stress levels, increase wellbeing and become more present with those around you.