Put your hand up if your life is complicated. Whenever I ask this every hand goes up. We are all unique individuals and have very different lives, but one thing we all have in common is that our lives are complicated.
It’s a symptom of modern society and it’s because we have so many choices. Having choices is a good thing, but it can make it hard to make a decision, and when we’ve made a decision we sometimes agonize over whether we’ve made the right one.
Too Much Choice?
It starts when we’re children; “Which sweets shall I choose?”, “What shall I ask for on my birthday?”, “Should I watch TV or play on my Xbox?”. When we’re grown up it gets even worse; “Should I apply for promotion or look for a different job?”, “Should I have a baby now or wait until I have more money”, “Which university should I go to?”, “Should I even go to university or get a job?”.
We are lucky to have so many choices but it can also bring it’s own stress, and sometimes we look back with envy to when life was simpler; to when there was no internet, no mobiles, no Blackberries, no iPhones and no emails, harrassing us 24/7.
Throw Out Your Gadgets?
The answer is not to become a luddite and throw out all our technological gadgets, tempting though that may seem at times! Your emails and phone messages are just a reminder to you that your life is complicated, not the cause. We need to simplify our lives, but how?
Simpify Your Life
Simplifying your life is one of the most compelling reasons to de-clutter your possessions. When we’re surrounded by mess and disarray, when we can’t find what we’re looking for, when we don’t have enough space, it makes us feel stressed. It’s not really the complexities of our lives that is the problem, it’s our feelings of being unable to cope with it all. An excellent book on simplifying your life is “The Simple Living Guide” by Janet Luhrs [UK Amazon Link] [US Amazon Link], a book which has greatly influenced my own life.
We Feel Like We Can’t Cope
We can’t juggle our complicated lives properly if we’re stressed out, because we risk making bad decisions. I suspect that the reason Britain and the USA have problems with obesity is not because of the availability of junk food, but largely because our population is stressed out and we turn to food for comfort.
Take Back Some Control
Removing all the physical clutter from our lives will also remove stress, because we will feel on top of things. We can’t feel in control of our lives if we can’t even control our possessions. In addition, being in a room that is spacious and uncluttered is incredibly soothing and calming. Whilst a cluttered room makes us agitated. Although we may be so used to it that we don’t even notice.
Start small so that you don’t add to your stress levels, but start today. Start to simplify your life by removing your clutter, one bit at a time. The more you remove, the calmer and lighter you will feel. Then life will seem more controllable, less complicated, and simpler.