Simplify Your Life This Week

The first week in August is Simplify Your Life Week

Simplicity in your surroundings makes it easier to keep your mind clear and open. Astronaut Images/ Getty Images

The first week of August is celebrated as "Simplify Your Life Week," but really, any seven days in the year can be a great week to focus your personal resources on simplification. Simplifying is important because of the toll that clutter takes on our minds, and even on our bodies. When we have to wade through the physical clutter to find what we need, it drains us of time as well as energy. All that drained energy adds up to additional strain on your resources and, ultimately, additional stress.

Clutter can also be psychologically draining. The mental clutter of planning our next move when we're not sure what our resources are, of feeling overwhelmed and needing to think about where our priorities lie from moment to moment (as in "should I spend these spare few minutes in meditation or by cleaning up that mess that's been stressing me for days?"), and of not knowing when we'll be able to simply relax are feelings that trigger the body's stress response. (This is also known as decision fatigue.) Clutter can also make us less able to make decisions from a proactive state of mind and are more likely to create additional problems for ourselves. 

When our fight-or-flight response is triggered, the psychological toll of clutter becomes physical in many ways. 

If simplicity can tame some of this stress, isn't it worth taking a little time to proactively cull the clutter of our homes, our schedules, and our minds? The following information, strategies, and solutions can be implemented this week (and every week, really) to pare down your busy schedule, cluttered home, or otherwise 'messy' areas of your lifestyle. Try something new this week, and start leaving behind whatever is unnecessary in your life.

Shortcuts to Simplify Your Life

If you're looking to simplify your life, you're also taking a big step toward a less-stressed life. But the act of simplifying life should be simple, too. The following 'simplify your life' ideas provide you with relatively easy changes you can make that will bring significant results in the future.

Streamline Your Lifestyle

One of the best ways to simplify your life is to create systems that take care of themselves. Here are a few ways to streamline your life so that you don't have to constantly think about what needs to be done--it's taken care of automatically, at least to an extent. For example, signing up for an exercise class takes the decision-making and need for self-motivation out of the equation, to a certain extent. It's on your schedule, and maintaining a workout habit becomes easier.  

Simplify Your Mind

Mindfulness meditation can be done at any time and any place and can help you to rid yourself of 'mental clutter', at least for a few minutes at a time. One of the great benefits of mindfulness, however, is the fact that regular practice brings long-term benefits. Over time, you'll feel less stressed, even when you're not practicing mindfulness at the moment!  

Life Plan Strategies for Those Who Are Too Busy

If you're looking to simplify your life, you might want to address your schedule. Do you really have time for the things that are most important to you? If not, there are some targeted ways to cut down on commitments so you'll have more freedom to do what you really want to do and to invest in stress management habits as well. Starting with examining your values, you can find a clear path here to a simpler life.

Go Deeper With These Stress Management Resources

Stress management and simplicity can be ongoing projects that bring increasing rewards the longer you stay with them. Don't stop after this week--here are some ways to get more through social media and online resources that can help you simplify and manage stress.

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