We don’t need many things to be happy. Yet as selfish individuals, we are never satisfied with what we have. The greed that makes us feel that we want more than we need to be happy is evident since all we do is work, to earn more and buy more. But once our newly-bought car loses the smell of its ‘newness’ or the new white carpet is worn, what are we left with?
Clearly affluence is not translated to greater happiness and the less you have, the happier you are. As long as your basic material needs are covered, and you can get by just fine with the money you earn, any other stuff you buy isn’t as significant as you want it to be.
If you want to learn how to live a simple and happy life this is what you need to do:
1. Connect to Mother Earth
This is not just hippy talk although hippies were considered to have known the true definition of a simplistic lifestyle. Well known for their non-materialistic attitudes, they knew that they didn’t need many things to be able to live comfortably and were closely connected with nature. Hippies worshipped Mother Earth and managed to achieve a certain level of harmony with nature.
2. Reach out to people
Is there anything better than being around the people you love? Apart from water, food and sleep this is the only thing you need to survive. Having people around you who care about you can relieve stress and make you feel content. Not only that, but also hugging and holding hands with people that you care about is surprisingly therapeutic. This comes from a study conducted by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, which also supports the concept that a massage can strengthen your immune system and make you happier.
3. Be yourself
It’s much easier when you are just being yourself. Embrace your individuality and weirdness and stop pretending who you are. Fulfillment only comes from being yourself and you should always remember that. If you wish you were someone else, someone who’s wealthier or more popular, you’re wasting the person you are and the opportunity to create the life that you deserve.
4. Let go of attachments
You’ll never be ready to start living a simple life if you are unwilling to let go of what you’re used to. Although this is easier said than done, it’s possible, and if you really want to unclutter your life you from all of the things you don’t need you should let go of attachments that hold you back. This might include giving up your TV, smoking or overcoming your addiction to the internet and social media.
5. Seize the moment
There’s an inspiring saying that goes like this: ‘If not you, then who? If not now, then when?’ The easiest way to ensure that you are living a simplistic lifestyle is to seize the moment. The right time to make it all happen for you is now. Accept your past and have no regrets, handle the present with confidence and look to the future without fear. That’s where you will find freedom and true happiness.
6. Control your desires
There will always going to be a newer iPhone, a tablet or a newly-launched wearable device that you’d want to buy. Before doing so, though, think about whether you truly need it. Or if this is going to be another substitute product that will only make you happy for a little while. Essentially, this is the secret to living smartly and simply. Get to know what it is that you need and only get what you need. Learn how to control your desires and say no to your materialistic alter ego.
7. Stop overthinking
Learn how to find peace without having to know everything because let’s face it nobody does. Try not to over-analyse things and just learn to live in the moment. Don’t think about the past or future; instead focus on the present moment and make the most out of it. After all, this is all you’ve got.
8. Enjoy your own company
If you make friends with yourself, you will never be alone. Only when you feel okay with being alone, will you find true happiness. Accept yourself and convince yourself that none else can make you happier than the person who lives in your body. You are in charge of your life, and you can make it whatever you want. Stop depending on other people and discover the power within you. That’s when you are going to be most in control and the happiest you’ve ever been.
It’s not about the money, but yourself and who you have in your life that makes every day brighter and enjoyable. Being happy with what you have is a choice you make. If you’ve managed to find contentment in the little things in life, then you are one step ahead of the rest of us who are still trying to figure out where our true definition of happiness lies.
Finally, check out this inspiring TEDx Talk by Erin and Dondi Harner who’ve experimented in living simply moving into a tiny house and loved it all the way!
So, what makes you happy? Unless you want to become a hippie and live in a VW bus, what changes are you willing to make in your life to ensure that you are living truly and fully? We’d love to know your thoughts so leave your comments below…