August 1st is the official kick off to simplify your life week! Never heard of this week? To be honest, I hadn’t either until it popped up on one of my calendars. Once I learned more about it, simply your life week seemed like an amazing idea. It’s designed to encourage people to refocus and declutter before the end of summer.
Think of it as a spring cleaning – except not in the spring! It’s not just about cleaning out stuff, but also “cleaning out” stressors, anxieties, and other unhealthy psychological or physiological habits we may have developed. This seemed like a really helpful idea to me, but I wanted to better understand exactly why it is helpful and how to go about implementing it. Below I break down exactly what makes simplifying your life so beneficial, and then how to go about putting it into action:
Simplify for lower stress levels.
One main reason it is important to simplify your life is that being too busy is a major cause of stress. Many people struggle with feeling overwhelmed or like they do not have enough time to get everything done. Americans today are reporting on average higher stress levels than ever before. On average fewer than 36% of Americans who tried to lower their stress level were successful in doing so. This is a major problem that can lead to many negative health effects on an individual. If you can simplify your life, you can lower your stress.
Simplify for higher quality of life.
It is also important to simplify your life to build your overall happiness. A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found a connection between materialism and personal well-being. In this study they found that if people prioritized money and having more material things, their overall well-being was lower than others. By simplifying your life, ideally you are able to prioritize what matters and increase your overall satisfaction with your life.
How to simplify your life:
Declutter your living space-
One of the first and most tangible things to do when you want to simplify is to declutter the space around you. Having too many things and being disorganized takes up time and energy that you do not need to waste. Start by decluttering one space at a time so you don’t get too overwhelmed. Over the week work through each room of your house and try to get rid of things that you no longer use or need as well as organize the things you do.
Reorganize your time management-
Part of simplifying your life is taking a step back and seeing how your life is spent in the first place. In other words what you spend your time doing. So often I hear people say “I just don’t know where the day went!” This happens when you don’t slow down and become intentional about how you spend your time. To do this, first look at an average day and write down what you spend your time doing. Include the little things like scrolling instagram, watching tv or zoning out. Once you have the day in this format, reassess what you want your day to be like. Cut out things that don’t need to be there and simplify your life! This should include cutting out unhealthy habits.
Simplify your life by letting go of anxious or negative thoughts-
Last but certainly not least, this is a very important part to having a successfully simplified life. Negative and anxious thoughts take up a lot of space and energy in our lives. Whether we are beating ourselves down for not being enough, or worrying about things we cannot control. These thought processes encourage us to live in unhealthy ways. In this next week, try to catch when you are having anxious or self deprecating thoughts. In those moments stop yourself and instead say “what would I prefer to believe right now”. Whether that is about yourself or a situation. Although this may not be “simple” at first, it can eventually lead you to have a more peaceful simple life.
If you are able to go through and actively simplify your life, the effects you will see are multifaceted. Your physical space should be decluttered, but also your mental and emotional space. Simplifying your life will increase the time you have for things that matter.
What is something you need to let go of in your life?