I live mindfully and simplify wherever I can. I notice that when I started incorporating these habits into my life, I became happier. If you have wanted to slow down and live simply and mindfully, I hope that these five simple habits will help you along your path.
The more transparent we are about our values, and how we want to feel, the simpler life becomes. Taking time to do a little self-inquiry can shine a light on what we value most can impact our choices. Acknowledging how we want to feel and who we want to become can shape our lives.
I journal daily and ask myself three questions.
How do I want to feel?
What kind of person do I want to be?
What do I value most?
This daily self-inquiry brings what's most important to me to the top of my mind, making a living mindfully easier. When I am clear on these three things, decisions are easier to make. Prioritizing tasks is simple, and life moves more smoothly when I'm clear on what is important to me. I recently had a life-changing decision to make, for myself, my family, and another person. I meditated on WHO I wanted to be, I quietly repeated the qualities I wished to possess and the type of human I wanted to BE. "At service, kind, giving, impact others, be kind, generous, inspire others, make a difference in others' lives...." At the end of my meditation, my decision was crystal clear. I made the choice to live up to the kind of person I want BE.
2. Finding acceptance for what is.
When I fight against or argue with reality, the times in my life are the times I've been most stressed. I would bang my head against a wall, upset at facts, and expect what WAS reality to change. When I learned how to LET GO and accept the things I could not change, I began to find true contentment and happiness. The times we suffer most are the times when we have a belief that argues with reality. Surrender the stress and frustration of trying to change what is out of your control.
3. Slow Down
I feel like life can take on a rhythm of its own sometimes. It tends to move faster and faster if left unchecked. Finding ways to slow down is key to living a simple life. Sometimes I say, "no" to added things to free up time. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I pause. If I have only a few minutes to slow down, I close my eyes and take slow, deep breaths. If possible, I go for a quick walk noticing the quiet ease of nature. My life is not one that I can escape the responsibilities of life, work, and family. However, I make time to pause throughout my day. Tiny moments of stress-free, calm. I take my afternoon tea on the back porch. I make time for my mindful morning routine. I will stop everything to visit with my husband over lunch.
4. Gratitude for the present moment-
When we are grateful for our lives, it is impossible to be angry, upset, or sad. Gratitude brings a feeling of contentment and peace. Every morning I write the things that bring me joy. I make a conscious effort to notice and be thankful for the good that is in my life—gratitude for not only the big things like life itself, my family, and my health. But also for the small things like a bird's song, how delicious ice cream on a hot summer day is, the ability to move my body. I have learned to find JOY in the little moments.
5. Schedule time to enjoy life... unplug
We live in a fast-paced world. When we work, work, work without taking to time to recharge and have fun, we can suffer from burnout.
Schedule time to unplug from the demands of technology. Just as you would schedule an appointment, block out time to enjoy yourself. Do anything that sounds fun. Take a hike, ride a bike along the greenway, go to a yoga class, sip on a glass of wine after work, or give yourself 20 minutes to meditate quietly. Life is here to be enjoyed, cherished, and appreciated. What is life, if not for the experiences?