Have you ever wondered if there is an alternative to your daily routine, stress at work, or busy lifestyle? Is it possible to make things less complicated, get rid of anxiety, and simplify your life?
Thankfully, a slower, quieter, and simpler life is achievable for everybody. If you focus on what matters the most to you, you can begin living a simple life and enjoy what nature has to offer.
Simple living is about doing less to have more time and space to breathe. Once you start slowing down and being content with a quiet life, you can enjoy the simple things and appreciate every moment.
One of the biggest challenges people face today is getting rid of what is superfluous. While there are plenty of ways to achieve simple living, only a few people manage to make the necessary adjustments.
Cutting back on possessions, generally referred to as minimalism, and living a less hectic lifestyle is easy to do once you understand why and how.
But many people miss the mark completely, having difficulties moving away from materialism.
Minimalism is a movement that strips everything down, going back to the essentials to achieve simplicity, while simple living is a collection of many different concepts that help people simplify their lifestyle, including minimalism.
To escape a consumer-driven society and live a more simplistic life, let's look at the amazing benefits of simplifying the way you live and easy ways to do so.
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Proven reasons to live a simpler life
Thankfully, you don't have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle to slow down and enjoy a simpler life. And keeping it simple can do wonders for your peace of mind, your budget, and the planet.
Commit to simple living to own less and declutter your life, have more room for what matters the most to you. You will live more intentionally, and be more fulfilled, and have more purpose in your life.
A slower, quieter, and simpler life is also a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to consumption. It helps you achieve financial independence, be more mindful of what you buy and the clothes you wear.
Simple living is fantastic to protect the environment, reduce carbon emissions, pollution, waste, and natural resource consumption. You can help your fellow humans and ecosystems if you start to simplify your life.
Put simplicity first to make many things easier for you, including having more money, better relationships, being more self-aware and confident, boosting your health by eliminating stress, and eating, exercising, and sleeping better.
Living a simplistic lifestyle helps you remove what is unneeded. You learn to rediscover yourself through simplicity. Remove distractions to create more time and space for yourself and the people closest to you.
Simple living helps you find beauty in less and put quality over quantity. Instead of chasing luxury, status, and opulence, you learn to value the things that make you happy by simplifying your lifestyle.
To help you enjoy the many benefits of simple living, here are some easy ways to live a quieter, slower, and simpler life.
1. Change your mindset
The first step in living a simplistic lifestyle is to change your mindset. Try to think positively and understand that simplify your life is a skill you can improve over time.
It's normal if you feel overwhelmed in the beginning. You can get better at simple living with some practice. Adopt a positive mindset to grow as a person and start living simply.
Build your confidence up with the right attitude. This mindset shift alone is sure to improve your life and make you happier in no time.
2. Reduce your possessions
A wasteful lifestyle has a negative environmental and climate impact. So more people choose to reduce how much they own and how much waste they put out into the world.
One of the most effective ways to live a simpler life is to cut back on possessions, adopting a minimalist lifestyle. Reducing what you consume protects the environment, natural resources, and saves you money.
To minimize your carbon footprint and reduce waste, you can start by shopping responsibly. The most sustainable things are the ones you already own. Buy less useless stuff overall.
3. Declutter your home
Owning less is a great feeling. You can easily simplify your lifestyle over time by focusing on the essentials that make you feel great.
Only purchase what you truly need, and with what is superfluous, get rid of it responsibly.
Many people have a great time while cleaning their house. Getting organized is a great feeling. Start making room at home and get rid of useless stuff right now.
You probably have lots of items that you don't use at all. It's a sign that it's time to create more space in your life. Take the time to distill everything. You can donate your things, sell them or recycle them.
4. Shop for sustainable fashion
Fashion addictions and excessive consumerism are extremely damaging to the environment. Overproduction and overconsumption have led the textile and apparel industry to become one of the largest polluters in the world.
It's imperative to make more environmentally conscious choices and preserve the Earth. It comes down to decreasing textile waste, water, air, and soil pollution, hazardous chemicals, and carbon emissions.
Simplifying your life by changing your shopping habits, boycotting unethical fashion brands, and switching to sustainably made clothing help the fashion world tremendously.
Buy new and pre-loved clothes from sustainable fashion brands. Choose brands that make a difference and a conscious effort to preserve nature as well as the well-being of all workers along the value chain.
Support companies that use business as a force for good and avoid fashion brands that don't make enough progress toward reducing their social and environmental impacts.
5. Buy locally-sourced products
Buy organic products made locally to live a more simplistic lifestyle. You can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from production and transportation by a lot when you choose local goods.
Support initiatives that favor local manufacturing and material-sourcing to boost the local economy and the wellbeing of local communities. You can help local farmers and workers and empower them to provide sustainable livelihoods for families.
Buy food, clothes, and beauty products made locally and organically as much as you can. You will reduce your ecological footprint drastically and often save money in the long run.
6. Become self-sufficient
Becoming self-sufficient is a crucial step in living a simpler life. You can try to grow your fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices in your garden.
Many sustainability apps make it easy for you to start an urban farm and grow plants at home. It's simple to do once you move away for a slower, quieter life in the countryside.
Growing produce not only decreases your ecological footprint but also helps you enjoy simple things. It eliminates the need for extra packaging, transportation, and refrigeration.
You can even use your garden to compost food waste and other compostable goods.
7. Repurpose and recycle
Recycle any paper, glass, metals, and plastics that you use. Recycling highly reduces the amount of waste going out into the world. It helps you feel good about yourself, improve your self-esteem, and keep a good conscience.
You can reuse, repurpose, and upcycle old items. For example, you can turn old clothes into tote bags or cleaning rags. It's a great way to begin living simply, save money, use fewer resources, water, and energy.
Upcycling is the process of turning old items into new products that are more beneficial and worthwhile without breaking them down completely.
If an item cannot be reused anymore, it's time to recycle. Recycling is a great way to reduce your environmental footprint. It's much more sustainable than throwing stuff in the trash.
All kinds of waste are piling up in landfills at an alarming rate. Recycle used products instead of throwing them away to help against this issue. It preserves natural resources like water, minerals, and timber.
Discarding your old things responsibly creates a slower, simpler life for yourself and others. It's highly beneficial to the human environment as it converts waste into new materials.
Recycling makes an enormous difference on a global scale. It not only saves resources but also supports the local community and businesses involved in the collection, sorting, and distribution of waste.
8. Consume less water and energy
Simple living includes reducing your consumption of water and energy. Consume natural resources responsibly, and try to conserve them as much as possible.
With just a few simple tips, you save money and lower your environmental footprint.
Air dry your laundry instead of using the dryer, avoid elevators, turn off lights and other electronics, use a pressure cooker and LED bulbs as they need less energy to function.
You can also fill the dishwasher all the way, take shorter showers, wash your car less often, and capture rainwater to water your plants.
9. Eat a plant-based diet
A simplified diet is entirely part of the concept of simple living. Keep a diet that simplifies food production and consumption. Promote simple living through independence and reducing the exploitation of humans, animals, and the planet.
Eat more plant-based meals to maintain good health, save animal lives, and protect the environment. Limit how much meat and dairy products you eat to drastically reduce your impact on the planet and ecosystems.
Eating more plants and less meat is a fantastic way of simplifying your life. More and more people are eating plant-based meals thanks to their proven health and environmental benefits.
While only a few people are vegan, many are actively trying to eat more plant-based foods. A plant-based meal is made of minimally-processed plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
Lower your consumption of animal-derived products, such as milk, cheese, cream, honey, most alcohols, fish, eggs, chicken, beef, pork, and turkey.
Intensive farming and killing of animals create massive quantities of methane, as a by-product of farm animals' digestion, which accelerates global warming.
Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gas because of its ability to absorb heat in the atmosphere. One kilogram of methane warms the planet as much as 80 times more than one kilogram of carbon dioxide.
Animal agriculture, livestock, and animal feed is a significant driver of deforestation and is also responsible for approximately 60% of direct global greenhouse gas emissions.
Eating less dairy and meat not only reduces your risk of heart diseases, diabetes, and certain cancers but also cuts down emissions, waste, and pollution from agricultural farming drastically.
10. Cook and eat at home
Cook delicious meals at home to simplify your life, learn new skills, and save money.
This also limits the amount of waste you create as you won't have to buy food on the go. You can reduce how much packaged food you need if you cook and eat at home.
Making your meals is also a great way to eat lighter, healthier, and reduce your ecological footprint.
Cook your meals in your kitchen with seasonal products, and bring them with you when you go out.
You can easily add berries to oatmeal bowls for breakfast, make salads or lettuce wraps for lunch, or cook a vegetable stew for dinner.
11. Travel less often
Unregulated carbon pollution from aviation is the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. As demand for air travel rises, the entire aviation sector could triple its emissions by 2050.
Help reduce global climate change massively by living a simpler life. Travel only when it's necessary. And take a train instead of a plane whenever possible to reduce your carbon footprint drastically.
Even if the train trip is much longer than a trip by plane, a train trip is virtually always better than a plane trip, often by a lot. How full the train is and the source of electricity can make a big difference.
12. Ride a bike
Living a slower, quieter, and simpler life involves enjoying the present moment, focusing your time on easier things that you enjoy like riding a bike.
Why not avoid busy roads and painful wasted time in traffic? If you need to go out, ride a bike instead of taking a car.
If you use green transport instead of conventional ways of moving around, you help limit climate change drastically. You also take a break to exercise and breath deeply.
13. Avoid social media
Limit your time on social media and smartphones to live a slower, quieter, and simpler life. Avoid useless distractions to focus more time on what matters the most to you.
If you stay attached to watching a lot of activities on social media and messaging everyone, your life will be complex. Much better things need your full attention.
Simple living will drastically improve your life. But you need to reject materialism and mainstream culture. Yes, it can take a lot of effort, but it's worth it in the end.
14. Value your time
To start a slow living lifestyle, you have to value your time. Start your journey by getting rid of one useless thing you do every day. Even the smallest stuff will earn you back time, space, and even money.
It will feel so good that you will want to continue. Busywork and overtime at the office are oftentimes unnecessary. When you are trying to embrace a simpler lifestyle, you need to stop doing anything that leads to feeling overwhelmed and burning out.
Don't underestimate how valuable your time is. If you do too many unimportant things, you risk getting stressed over stuff that doesn't matter.
Don't spend hours replying to emails. Don't attend social occasions you are indifferent about. Identify your top priorities and say no to anything else to make time for them daily.
15. Create a budget
The key to living a slower, quieter, and simpler life is to manage your money correctly. Get rid of unnecessary costs and monthly expenses that are not needed such as subscriptions to services you don't use.
Try to eliminate any debt you may have such as credit cards, car repayments, or a mortgage on an oversized house. Instead of using debt, only buy what you can afford.
Simplify your life by cutting down the excess and creating a budget. You will save money and have more money to spend on what you truly value.
16. Choose to be happy
You can choose to be happier and healthier. Through positive thinking, gratitude, and compassion, you can make the effort to be happy every day.
Make happiness a habit by cultivating positive thoughts and improving your mood. It will help you improve your health and well-being and live a simpler life.
Happiness is already within yourself. Only you can make you happy. So make a conscious effort to be happy. With the right attitude and by mastering some simple habits, you can choose to be happy.
17. Keep a morning routine
Morning motivation is so important to get into the right mindset for success. The morning is the most important time of the day. It sets how productive you will be and how you will interact with others during the day.
Make sure to set your mind right and avoid distractions as soon as you wake up. Yoga, meditation, exercising, goal setting, eating a healthy breakfast are all good activities for the early morning.
Keep a healthy morning routine. Become a regular early morning exerciser. Stay consistent and focused on what you will accomplish that day.
18. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness helps you live a slower, quieter, and simpler life. It has many amazing benefits for your health and well-being. Practice the mental habit of contentment, gratitude without complaining.
Mindfulness teaches compassion and acceptance, for yourself and others. It makes you tune in with your body and strengthen the mind-body connection.
Mindfulness helps deal with disorders, stress, anxiety, and depression. It brings full attention to the present moment, experience, and sensations.
To practice mindfulness, cut off distractions and improve your concentration. Try to stay calm, relaxed, breathe properly, control yourself, your thoughts, and emotions.
19. Donate to charity
Donate items that are still in good condition to charitable organizations. It's often a lot easier than trying to sell them and helps communities in need.
Check out the many charities in your area that accept donations. Blankets, towels, and linens can go to animal shelters.
You can donate other used items to homeless and women's shelters, family service agencies, immigrant support groups, and churches.
If you want to live a more fulfilled and simpler life, support communities that need it the most directly. Consider financial donations to organizations that help people in need.
20. Have fun
Last but not least, make sure to have fun! Pursue your goal of living a slower, quieter, and simpler life while enjoying the process.
Treat it like a passion and new lifestyle that helps you enjoy every moment of the journey.
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About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.