The Complexity of Simplicity
We can all feel overwhelmed by our thoughts, feelings and what is going on around us at times. How would it feel to strip back some of the noise and simplify life? What does it mean to live simply? How can we achieve simplicity in the modern world and a feeling of peace?
To investigate this topic we will take a look at some words that come to mind using the letters of SIMPLICITY
How does it feel when a task feels straightforward and uncomplicated? When everything clicks into place with ease and we simply have an enjoyable experience? We may feel a refreshing sense of achievement afterwards and a rejuvenated energy. It was simple. We may also feel a sense of achievement when something is challenging but too many challenging activities can be draining so it’s important to work some straightforward tasks you are confident you can get done with ease into our day. It can give us a boost and relieve stress.
In yoga practise setting an intention at the beginning of a class is often encouraged. It can be one word, one feeling or one aim for how we want to feel at the end of the practise. By pulling this technique into daily life we can simplify our purpose on a day to day level. Perhaps one day our intention might be to tick off a certain work priority that has been hanging over our heads, on another it might simply be to feel calm. Choosing one intention a day can simplify our thoughts and feelings throughout that day, giving us a focus to come back to when things feel like they are overwhelming us.
With a simple intention each day we have a technique of bringing ourselves back to focus when we feel anxiety building up. And at the end of the day if we have managed to get back to that original intention we can feel a sense of achievement.
A simple life is a manageable one, a life where we can cope both physically and mentally with our day to day tasks without feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. We must all manage our lives as a manager at work manages their staff. Think about how to approach this aspect of life and you may find it leads naturally into our next keyword...
Simplicity takes planning. Consider a camping trip where your purpose is to live for a few days in nature with the bare essentials. It can be a lovely way to get away from the noise of daily life, however, to achieve a comfortable trip you need to plan what you will bring with you; your food, shelter, clothes etc.
If you are feeling your life is too complicated perhaps you could make a plan like you would when going on a trip. A list of essentials and priorities. Think about what you really need and what you can let go of. Back to camping, you may really want to take a special item of clothing, but do you have space for it and is it really necessary? Look at life in the same way. Is this necessary? Is this a priority? If not, put it on another day's list and let it go today.
By cutting out the unnecessary ‘wants’ and focusing instead on your absolute ‘needs’ you may be surprised by how much you can simplify your day with a little forward planning. Be realistic. There are only so many hours in the day and if you are feeling overwhelmed perhaps it’s time to let something go.
Simplicity and a feeling of lightness go hand in hand. By taking the pressure off ourselves through simplification techniques such as managing, planning, setting an intention and focusing on the straightforward day to day we are not so weighed down with worries or concerns that we cannot cope. It is really the result of simplicity.
Of course a simple life and the very nature of simplifying life bears implications. At times we might have to let some things go in order to find peace and simplicity. This can be difficult as we may not necessarily want to give up certain hobbies, work commitments or even social plans but our mental health and wellbeing must come first and if you are feeling overwhelmed something might have to give. This goes back to our planning point and making a list of needs and wants. Sometimes the wants are not achievable and we must try to be as realistic as we can about how much we can manage day to day.
Going back to our first point, the straightforward task, what do you think made it so? Were the instructions clear? Did you also find you had a clear idea in your mind of how to approach the task? The foggier the instructions the cloudier the approach. Clarity of thought also takes planning, ensuring the task is manageable and setting a goal or intention for the result of whatever it is we are taking on. By putting in place some forethought and essentially getting organised it can be easier to think clearly and achieve an enjoyable, stress free experience.
How do you feel when you are doing something you really love? It could be making music, sailing, dancing, creating art, anything that you get joy from. When we do something we are really interested in we can feel lighter in ourselves and energised. It is important to work in time for our hobbies and interests outside of work for wellbeing.
As we just mentioned, planning time for our interests is important in maintaining a sense of wellbeing and on top of this we must make time to rest, recuperate and relax. You may find that the more organised you are with your time, the more time you have. By following the ideas above toward a more simple life time may find itself opening up to you and allowing you space to sometimes just be.
Each day is yours. Taking control over your day to day using the ideas above may help put you on the path to a simpler life. To foster simplicity into the everyday, as we can see from these ideas, is actually quite complex. To reduce the complications of life takes planning and forethought but by giving yourself the time to do so a sense of wellbeing in each day can be achieved.
Good luck and take care.