From Psychology today, by Amy Morin
I’ve spent the majority of the last two years living on a boat. Life on a sailboat has required me to think about what I actually need to be happy in life.
I discovered that having less stuff, fewer obligations, and more time makes room for the most important things. I have more space in my life for people I love, things I appreciate, and opportunities I want to take.
And while living on a boat has lots of benefits, it definitely isn’t for everyone. But no matter where you live or what you do, you can take steps to simplify your life.
Here’s why simplifying your life is important — everything in your life takes up space. Whether it’s mental space, physical space, or calendar space, you only have so much room.
Everything you own, everything you do, and everyone you spend time with costs you something. And when you have an abundance of stuff, it costs you a lot.
Simplifying your life will give you more time, space, and energy. The more space you have, the freer you’ll be to truly enjoy everything. Here are five ways to simplify every area of your life.
1. Declutter your house.
Your environment affects how you feel physically and psychologically. Whether you waste time looking for misplaced items, or you grow overwhelmed every time you open your closet, having too much stuff wastes your resources.
A clean, organized space helps you feel more productive and energetic than when you’re living among heaps of clothes, stacks of papers, and piles of dishes.
When you have fewer items to worry about, you’ll feel lighter. You’ll also have energy to care for the items that you keep. Start decluttering one room at a time, and see for yourself how much better you feel when you get rid of things you don’t need.
2. Get rid of bad mental habits.
Bad mental habits carry a lot of psychological weight. Feeling sorry for yourself, dwelling on the past, and giving away your power are just a few of the unhealthy habits that will drain your mental strength.
Clear the mental clutter and unnecessary chatter. Make space for healthier thinking habits — like gratitude, self-compassion, and realistic self-talk.
When you catch yourself engaging in toxic thinking habits, take a deep breath, remind yourself it’s not helpful, and proactively conjure up a more realistic inner dialogue.