Satisfaction in Simplicity
Creating peace of mind and satisfaction is a cornerstone of the work.
Reducing stress is a huge part of that.
Here are my ideas of how to live a less stressful, more satisfying life.
1. Depth above breadth.
Trying to do lots of things at once causes stress. Allowing your mind the space to focus on one thing will reduce your feelings of stress immediately. Plan your schedule in timely, rather than task based chunks and you will get more done. By this I mean tell yourself you will spend one hour on your project, rather than finishing a particular task, and you will feel less stressed. It will allow you to be more present with the task in hand, rather than focussing simply on completing it. Yes, I know a deadline is great for motivation, but most of us leave stuff to the final hour and it feels stressy. So many people I have worked with tell me stories of getting really good results by leaving it to the last minute, but we are kidding ourselves, because the raised levels of cortisol can become addictive. Do you really want to approach every important task in your life with a feeling of stress attached to it? It is up to you, you can choose to do it differently. So, choose one thing to do, put your phone away and close other tabs on your computer. Multi-tasking is a myth.
2. Get clear about what you can and can’t control.
Much of what we concern ourselves with sits within what the ancient Greek philosophers The Stoics describe as our ‘sphere of influence.’ A place in which we can influence outcomes, but not control them. Instead we can do our best in a situation and be clear about what we CAN control, which is what we say and what we do. Outside of what we say and what we do is everything else. Rather than worrying about things outside of our ultimate control we can think of future events and outcomes as possibilities rather than expectations. When the expectation isn’t there, then the disappointment lessens. Building our resilience towards uncertainty will stand you in good stead. Anything we can do to stop our brain worrying about these ‘outside of ourselves’ things will drastically ease the stress in our minds and lives. We can then feel less stressed about trying to control how others see us, what others think or do or how they react to us; all of these things we most definitely cannot control.
3. Move your body.
Do what you can, when you can. Prioritise movement everyday. It creates endorphins and reduces cortisol. Even just stretch your arms right now.
4. Drink more water.
2-3 litres (3.5-5 pints) a day and you’ll notice that you feel brighter and calmer. It is a lot of water, but your body will really thank you for it. I drink down a pint of warm water 15 mins before every meal.
5. Do less.
Streamline your work. Get rid of non essential tasks. Rest more. When I work with my clients we zone in on non-essential tasks and practice simply letting them go.
6. Go outside every day, if you can.
Human beings are meant to be outside. We feel better when we remind ourselves of our inherent connection to the rest of the living world.
7. Get to know your money.
Spend less money, pay off your debts or get OK with having debts. Find free fun things to do. 😉 Martin Lewis, the money saving expert advises to pay off high interest debts before trying to save money. When I looked at my mortgage statement and say how much I pay every month in just interest I set myself a goal to pay off my mortgage early. I prioritise over paying my mortgage, so that in the long run it’ll save me so much more money than I would ever gain in savings or even in investments.
9. Give things away.
Even if you don’t have loads of money, there will still be someone with less than you. Give away what you can to charity or the thrift store. Giving things away feels great. Give unconditionally. When we are surrounded by stuff we can sometimes feel safer, more secure, but all that stuff can be visually and mentally distracting too. Look around your home, does your stomach clench when you look at certain things in your home? Do you have a stress reaction or a positive reaction to those items living beside you? By stockpiling stuff we are actually exacerbating our beliefs around lack and stress. Having enough can be relaxing, have enough in your home so it feels great, be aware of the story you have going on about your stuff- awareness is key. Set your timer for 20 mins, fill a box with stuff you honestly don’t need and hand it on or sell it.
10. Stop trying to shoe-horn tasks in before other tasks.
It can often make you rush and be late for things. I admit to doing this one far too much. These small in-between-tasks always take longer than I first think, and then I don’t leave myself enough time to prepare for my next task. Instead, give yourself time and space to do one thing at a time at a more leisurely pace. If you feel like you can’t, it isn’t true. Be early and give yourself time at the other end to just be, rather than doing all the time, you will feel so much less stressed in the moment and in the long run.