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12 Practical Ways to Simplify Your Life and be Happier!

Here are 12 Practical Ways to Simplify Your Life - and Be Happier!

  1. Grow some food (you can start with herbs!) What food do you love? Read articles online to see if and when you can grow it in your area, then carve out a small patch in your yard and give it a go. Light and the appropriate amount of water is needed, then experience how a small dried up hard lump (the seed!) turns into a plant - which gives us food. It's pretty magical. Live in an apartment? Use your balcony or windowsill to grow some lettuce, strawberries or herbs.
  2. Make a list of WHO is most important in your life. Does your life reflect your list? Do you spend quality time with those who matter most? If not, what gets in the way? Find ways to spend time with those who matter.
  3. Watch and learn. Watch some documentaries with your family and get inspired to do things differently in the world. Some ideas include The Corporation, Food Inc., Super Size Me, Century of Self, Miss Representation or The Mask You Live in (the links are all to Wikipedia for more information - and many of these movies are available on Netflix).
  4. Question why you're buying things. When making a purchase ask yourself, is this a "need" or a "want"? Remember the more stuff we have, the more energy you need to maintain it all... And less stuff means more money in the bank too!
  5. Watch TV consciously. Be aware of what a time-suck television can be. With regular TV we're constantly bombarded with ads intended to make us feel fear/inferior so that we buy more stuff (that we often don't need). Try only watching television for a specific program or a set period of time to unwind. The next step? Get rid of regular TV altogether and sign up with an "on-demand" TV service like Netflix (but be aware of "binge-watching" several episodes of TV shows in a row!).
  6. Do Less. Learn to say "No" to things that negatively impact you. AND remember that just because we enjoy (or want to do) something doesn't mean it won't add to our stress or overwhelm! A great question to ask yourself is, "What could I say 'Yes' to, if I said 'No' to this?".
  7. Stop multi-tasking! Do just ONE thing at a time. I guarantee your mind will thank you.
  8. Mindfulness and/or meditation. You can't stop your thoughts and feelings arising, but you can learn not be swept up by them. Mindfulness helps us respond consciously rather than simply reacting. Meditation helps us learn that we are not our thoughts, that we can be more present and experience life differently. There are many ways to learn mindfulness and meditation including guided meditation and walking in nature.
  9. Rediscover the joy of reading - for spiritual and personal growth. Choose personal development, inspirational books or memoirs of people you admire. You may like, "Slow is Beautiful" by Cecile Andrews, "The Hero Within" by Carol S. Pearson or "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. You could also explore societal issues like "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich or "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan.
  10. Switch your smartphone off or place it out of sight unless you have a specific NEED for it to be on. Just 15 years ago, you managed your life entirely without your mobile phone...
  11. When you can, choose your values over price when making purchasing decisions. This means choosing products that match your values even if they cost more. For example, choose the product with biodegradable packaging, use recycled or unbleached paper products (bathroom tissue, printer paper etc), choose organic and/or choose local. It also might be choosing a product that is not factory made, or from a company that pays a living wage to staff, that doesn't destroy rainforest etc. Finances an issue? For discretionary (non-necessary) items, buy less or choose not to buy it altogether...
  12. Decide to be kinder. To yourself, others - and of course the planet. Ask, "What would be the kind thing to do, way to respond or be here?" Kindness is always possible...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           12 Practical Ways to Simplify Your Life and be Happier Thecoachingtoolscompany.com

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