Voluntary Simplicity: 5 Mindfulness Techniques For Living Simply
Our desire to accomplish goals and the fear of missing out (FOMO) often motivate us to see more, do more, travel more, earn more, and achieve more. Many of us set unrealistic goals, overspend, overwork, seek validation on social media, or overcrowd our homes with things we don’t need.
The more (credentials, money, material goods, connections, etc.) we have, the greater admiration and social status we earn.
But modern multi-tasking life can wear you down if you put great energy into it. This go-getter mindset can complicate your life, causing tech overload, work-life imbalance, self-limiting attitudes, stress, anxiety, and burnout.
Choosing to live simply can help you declutter your environment and mind, which can help you live a more mindful and stress-free life.
What is Voluntary Simplicity?
Voluntary simplicity is a philosophy of living with roots in Buddhism. The terms “voluntary simplicity” or “simple living” describe a way of life that rejects consumerism and the pursuit of material goods. The idea of voluntary simplicity comes from the realization that abundance is a state of mind and that, in fact, a person doesn’t need much to be happy.
Instead of focusing on accumulating wealth, power, and status, people who choose voluntary simplicity progress by developing their minds, hearts, and relationships with others. They seek non-materialistic sources of satisfaction and happiness. They are willing to accept a lower income and withdraw from consumer society in exchange for more freedom to enjoy things that don’t rely so much on the money. This can range from choosing to live sustainably in nature to quitting a well-paying job to work in a field that makes you happier but pays less.
It’s no surprise that many people are turning to voluntary simplicity these days. We tend to turn to and focus on simple things in life when we are stressed-a walk in nature, a good book, a quiet evening at home, or a hug from a loved one. Yet, voluntary simplicity shows us how important small steps toward self-care are for our overall health and happiness.
How Embracing Simplicity Helps You Live a More Mindful Life
Embracing simplicity allows you to shift perspective and focus on small things that help you be happy with yourself. It teaches you that by clearing your mind of the clutter of daily life, you can take a conscious break and focus on the beauty of the present moment, reaping many benefits from being “here and now.”
Choosing simplicity whenever possible can help you live a more mindful life by encouraging you to let go of perfectionism, self-limiting beliefs, anxiety, and fear of the future and instead make the most of every moment of your life.
Material possessions will make you happy for a short period of time. However, as time passes, you will remember the places you visited and the peaceful moments you spent contemplating in silence. The good times you had with your family and friends, rather than the cars you drove or the things you bought.
5 Voluntary Simplicity Mindfulness Techniques
Here are five excellent ways to introduce simplicity into your life and embrace living mindfully.
1. Take a Minute to Count Your Breaths
Studies show that deep breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus, and promote relaxation.
Deep breathing can help you ground yourself in stressful times, allowing your body and mind to recuperate while bringing a sense of calm. Focusing on your breathing for a few minutes helps you live more simply and mindfully by giving you a chance to make a conscious pause, think about your feelings, and let go of stressful thoughts.
2. Focus on Sensations and Sounds Around You
Mindfulness lets you be fully present and aware of what you are sensing, thinking, and feeling in the present moment without interpreting or judging it.
Focusing on sensations and sounds around you can help ground yourself, reduce stress and anxiety, boost your mood, and help relax your mind and body. To focus on sensations and sounds around you, try the following simple grounding mindfulness exercise:
- Position yourself comfortably (preferably sitting or lying down)
- Look around you, notice and name:
- Five things you can see
- Four things you can touch
- Three things you can hear
- Two things you can smell
- One thing you can taste
3. Practice Gratitude
Taking time to count your blessings can increase your happiness, improve your mood, and help you embrace living simply.
Most of us tend to dwell on things we lack in life, feeling that we are “not enough.” Unfortunately, this way of thinking can keep you from attracting positive outcomes and living a happy life.
To live a more mindful life, you must learn to be grateful for what you have. So, start your day by writing down three things you’re thankful for. This practice can help you focus on the simple things in life that bring you happiness.
4. Spend Time Outdoors
According to the American Psychological Association, a sense of connection with nature can increase happiness, and reduce stress, and depression. In addition, spending time outdoors can help you think more clearly or distract you from negative thoughts.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help you feel better. Time spent outdoors is a great way to be more mindful and live in the moment.
5. Take Time to Declutter Your Space
Mindful home organization means spending less time looking for things, and more time doing something you enjoy.
According to experts, clutter in your home can create “mental clutter.” As a result, physical cleaning can help you think more clearly, feel more optimistic, and be more productive. In other words, removing unnecessary items from your home can help declutter negative thoughts in your mind. When you see order around you, you will feel order within yourself.