This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.
Today’s world is moving faster and faster, and everyone’s stress levels are rising. Try implementing these 8 simple living ideas to help slow the pace and live a more stress free life.
It seems like at every turn, we’re being increasingly bombarded with ways to improve our life. Hustle and grind are the mantra of many today.
Our work screams out for more and the news demands our attention.
Wouldn’t it be great to just tune out, back up, and get back to a simpler life? Try a few of these simple living ideas and escape from the constant call for more from you.
This post is about simple living ideas and escaping an overwhelming world.
1. Embrace the Less is More Mindset
In this often overstimulating world that we live in, we are constantly being told we need more. Buy more, decorate more, eat more… all so businesses can sell you more.
Often, though, all of that “more” ends up as clutter around the house, debt on a credit card, less money in the bank, and more daily stress.
You don’t have to become a minimalist to embrace having less around your house. One good rule of thumb is for everything to have a place. If you have items lying around that don’t have a place, let them go.
If these random items are necessary, then clean out a place for them and let the items that were in that place go.
Another good tip for having less around the house is to use a rule that realtors often suggest when getting ready to sell your home: eliminate 1/3 of your things. This tip can help to not only get rid of those piles of clutter, but also to identify what items are really important to you.
In order to spend less, I highly recommend the 24 hour rule on purchases. When you see something you want, wait 24 hours and see if you still want it before purchasing.
These quick simple living ideas are a few easy ways to ease into embracing a less is more mindset.
2. Banish the Negative
It is easy to fall into a routine of negativity and tension with so many opportunities to surround yourself with negativity, even in the realm of entertainment.
Many of the best selling books, tv shows and movies are centered around crime, intense drama and suspense. Like me, you may find yourself tensing your body and then replaying those negative scenarios in your head.
Even though I loved those crime novels and forensic shows on tv, I had to stop diving into them every night.
I’ve found that the more I eliminated these optional anxieties and stress, the more relaxed I felt. This simple living idea has definitely made a huge impact on my level of inner peace.
Likewise, if there are things in your home or work that cause you stress daily, make it a point to change that space or environment to make it more peaceful. You can eliminate clutter around your desk or workspace or wear headphones to eliminate negative chatter.
By eliminating those negative things you might unconsciously be choosing, you can free up your mind, body and thoughts for clear, positive thoughts.
3. Do Something You Love
Often, we feel so rushed to accomplish everything in the short amount of time that we have in a day; however, it is important that we take time to do something that we love doing.
Perhaps you like to cross-stitch, do DIY projects or play a sport. Regardless of what it is, we usually leave those tasks for any “extra” time that we have in a week. Well, here’s a news flash, there is never “extra” time.
You will have the same number of hours this week that you had last week and you’ll have the same next week.
Here are some great ways to make space for doing something you love:
- Eliminate or reduce time on social media
- Block off the time by actually writing it on your calendar
- Prepare a crock-pot meal to freeze while cooking normal meal to free up your cooking time on a different day
- Do your grocery shopping online (This can easily save at least an hour a week, especially if you add items to your online cart each day.)
4. Declutter Your Space
I’m not sure what space you might need to declutter. It might be your car, your office, your desk, your closet, or your whole home. I can tell you one thing, though, looking at a pile of things that need to be put away can stress…you…out.
That pile of receipts in your car, the pile of mail on the table, or the stack of random items in the corner… these are all signs that decluttering might be a great idea. You can also eliminate that constant feeling that you always have something to do.
Decluttering can seem like an overwhelming task when thinking of all of the spaces in your home. A great way to start is to pick a small space or a space that generally doesn’t have a lot in it, like your car or living room.
Clear just one space and enjoy it for a few days. This can help keep you motivated to another space without making you feel overwhelmed.
Check out this Decluttering Challenge Tracker to help you stay motivated on your simple living journey.
5. Get Outside
Of all the simple living ideas, this one has probably made the most impact on lowering my stress levels and improving my ability to stay positive.
I used to suffer from great deals of anxiety. One of the ways that I was able to take the teeth out of that anxiety when it would arise was to go for a walk. I found that the more I was outside, the less anxious I felt.
There is a lot of research about how being in nature can help to relieve stress.
Strive to go for a walk or get outside for a little bit each day. Leave your phone off, including music, while you walk and focus on the trees, sky and any greenery around you.
This is also a great time to think about things you’re thankful for and focus on positive thoughts for the day or evening.
6. Spend Less on Stuff
As mentioned before, having less brings great benefits, and one benefit that goes hand in hand with that is spending less.
By spending less, you open up so many opportunities that you may never be able to accomplish without the funding. Through spending less, you could save up the money you aren’t spending and make an impact on your life and others.
Some ways to transform yours :
- Retire early
- Travel more
- Quit a job you hate and change careers
- Start your own business
- Give more
To make an intentional change in your spending, I highly recommend putting together a monthly budget. You can read about some of the reasons why budgeting is important in my post, The Importance of Budgeting and 7 Surprising Benefits.
7. Simplify Your Wardrobe
Do you ever go to your closet and realize that you have nothing to wear, even though your closet is actually packed with clothes? I have totally been there.
If you’re in this situation, I have one suggestion for you, which I just did myself….get rid of almost all of it.
This could be a quick process or a slow process, depending on how much you can allot to purchasing new items.
These are the steps I took to minimize my closet that I highly recommend:
- Remove every piece of clothing from your closet.
- Sort them into 4 piles:
- I love to wear this (Keep)
- I don’t love this, but it is in excellent condition or is a top brand (Sell)
- I don’t love this, but it’s still in good condition (Donate)
- I don’t love this, but and it has holes, rips, etc (Throw Away)
- Do what needs to be done with the clothes based on your sorting.
- Make a list of what items you really need for work and what you like to wear around the house. Check out this article on capsule wardrobes for some tips.
- Go shopping with a set budget for your spending.
Purchase only the items on your list, and only choose items that you love and are of good quality. (The goal is to find items that you will want to wear for a long time, so they will need to last for a long time.)
This process might take a few months for you to work up to having all of the items that you need, but when you are finished, it’s recommended by most that you have no more than 40 items in your closet.
8. Actively Practice Gratitude
One of the key ingredients to simple living is having a peaceful spirit. Eliminating negative reactions to situations, jumping into panic mode, and always thinking of the worst case scenarios can keep you from feeling that needed peace.
An excellent way to infuse more peace into your life is by practicing gratitude. There are so many benefits to expressing gratitude, both to you and to others.
Start by saying thank you more, and telling people directly that you appreciate something they’ve done. Instead of just leaving a tip for a waiter, tell them how much you enjoyed their service. This will brighten their day, and also keeps you in a positive frame of mind.
Research shows that expressing gratitude increases your happiness by 25%, and reduces stress related illness by 10%.
In addition to expressing gratitude directly to others, you can pray and thank the Lord for all of the things you are thankful for that day.
Many people like to write their gratitude down in a gratitude journal. You can check out this top selling journal on Amazon.
It’s recommended that you write down at least 3 things per day that you are grateful for. I have found that expressing gratitude has helped me react in a much calmer manner, and has helped to make each day a little more peaceful.
I hope these simple living ideas help lower your stress level in an increasingly fast-paced world.
Do you have other simple living ideas that have impacted your life, and you’d like to share? I’d love for you to share them in a comment below.