Being able to acquire bigger and better things in life is not making us any happier. In fact, you may be surprised to hear that our happiness levels peaked in 1957. According to David Wann, co-author of Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic, the most affluent countries around the world are the same ones experiencing the most stress. Despite the fact we live in larger homes and have more gadgets than our parents ever dreamed of, depression and stress are very common problems.
Our addiction to consumption and getting the biggest, newest or trendiest thing is taking us further away from what really brings deep satisfaction to our lives. We have reached a place in our evolution where time is becoming a precious and valued commodity. Our souls are craving a simplicity with the underlying want of feeling less pressure and less stress in our lives.
If you are not yet convinced of the value in living a simple life, the following are 8 reasons why you should consider embracing a simpler life:
1. A satisfying lifestyle becomes your priority
Your family and lifestyle becomes the priority as opposed to being focused on earning more, buying more and looking after more stuff. You start thinking about what’s important to you and not what others or the media say is important to you. You create a thoughtful and meaningful lifestyle that offers satisfaction to the core of your being.
2. You now value the gift of time
Time is now considered a precious gift that is preferred to be spent in a more relaxed and meaningful way to the individual. You prefer a smaller home, saving you the time and energy demands that comes with a larger home such as maintenance, cleaning and repairing. You now only work the hours to suit your new thoughtful lifestyle and eliminate time wasters such as TV to get a deeper sense of value from your time.
3. Your stuff no longer demands your attention
All things filling your home demand your attention, constantly. You need time and energy to buy them in the first place. Once in your home they require to be used, not used, cleaned, stored, taken out, put away, re-arranged, thought about again, repaired, re-organized into better storage and insured. You then need to make a choice at some stage in the future if you still want to keep them, give them away or throw them out. This all adds up to a whole lot of thinking, worrying, time and energy being directed towards your stuff which, of course, takes you away from your new simpler lifestyle.
4. Achieve more with less
When living a simpler life you have less things to worry about, less distractions and less energy pulls and drains. Your pace of life is gentler and your thinking clearer. You now have the time to gain a deeper sense of self and therefore a greater connection to your true goals in life. You are able to focus more of your energies more intently towards a few key goals, which actually produces greater results.
5. The law of diminishing returns
The more you have of something or the more you experience a pleasure, the less you notice and enjoy it over time. The initial rush of enjoyment when buying something new gradually declines with frequent exposure. This is certainly true with children who are overwhelmed with excitement at first, only to find the novelty quickly wears off. Buying more stuff to make you feel better or as quick pick me up does not offer any lasting satisfaction.
6. Reduces money stress
Living in a smaller home just big enough for your needs saves you plenty of money which, in turn, reduces your money stress. You are now no longer worried about the fluctuation in mortgage interest rates. It is cheaper to heat and cool, you need less cleaning products and you can’t over spend on furniture, decorations and stuff as you only buy accordingly to your limited storage space. A smaller yet comfortable home also brings the family closer together physically and emotionally.
7. Your self worth is no longer connected to the stuff you have accumulated
You begin to realize that your true self-worth and what inspires you to jump out of bed in the morning has nothing to do with how much stuff you own. An addiction to consumption doesn’t satisfy the soul. You start to question your motives behind what has driven you to accumulate so much in the past.
8. Conscious Consumption
You release your attachment from addictive consumption and switch to conscious consumption. The simpler you live the more conscious you become about your spending choices. You value each purchase. You have a greater awareness as to the consumable items environmental impact and effect on sustainable living. You buy wisely with the bigger picture in mind.
Carole Fogarty is a writer, passionate blogger and facilitator of Womens Rejuvenation Retreats in Bali. Her blog The Health Living Lounge is all about holistic and inspirational living. Similar articles include: The Emotional Cost of Clutter, The Seven Deadly Sins of Work Life Balance and Clutter Busting Game: Act As If You Are About to Move Overseas.
Image by Annia316.