Simplifying your life doesn’t mean that you have to go without. It may, but it doesn’t have to. Minimizing is not always about relinquishing all your worldly possessions, or living cheaply. It can also be about slowing down to experience a more balanced, focused and mindful way of life. There is more and more research piling up in favor of simplifying your life to reduce stress.
It’s no secret that stress can take a toll on your physically and mentally. Numerous studies show a strong link between stress and illness. One such study conducted at the University of California at Irvine illustrates this point. This study was published in the 1998 edition of the Journal Psychosomatic Medicine. It indicated that men and women with highly stressful occupations had higher blood pressure levels than those with less stressful occupations by an average of 10 points.
Too Much Stuff Taking its Toll?
Mental health professionals have joined the movement focusing on simple living. Doctors like Roderic Gorney, MD, PhD agree that stress can cause many problems. Including insomnia, restlessness, neck and shoulder pain, chronic fatigue and many more. Gorney states, “Too many things can increase stress. The message that we get is that without lots of ‘things’ in our life, we are not worthy or loveable.”
The mental health community is trying to bring this awareness to light. The purpose is to help those who can be labeled as “consumption addicts,” to help shake off their addiction for excess. Just acknowledging that you need to simplify things won’t solve the problem. It’s a good start though. You may be so behind on time and energy that you can’t stop to think about solutions. If this is the case may the following suggestions can help.
For many, it can be hard to escape email, text, face time, call forwarding and so on. The temptation to stay productive can be more tempting than the prospect to pace ourselves. This can lead to overstress. Many people are stressed and overwhelmed because they are over connected. This is a result of the ways that technology has affected our lives. Globalization has led to an era where we have constant access to information. We can work from anywhere at any time.
The technology resources that are common today weren’t even around a few years ago. Simplifying your life doesn’t mean you have to avoid everything. You won’t need to ditch your cell phone, tablet and email account. But you should establish some boundaries.
· Turn off your cell phone when you don’t want to be interrupted.
· Don’t take a cell phone to an appointment or meeting when you are focusing on someone else.
· Only use your cell for outbound calls. Don’t give out your cell phone number.
· Screen your calls with caller ID.
· Take calls from the office only at specified times or emergencies.
· Take work-free vacations.
· Only answer emails at certain times of the day.
Most of the time we focus on phones and computers being the source of information overload, but let’s not forget television. Limit the amount of time you spend watching TV. Being flooded with stimuli all the time is stressful. You may not even realize how much extra time and energy you are spending on useless television programs.
Simplify Your Life
Stress is here to stay. The trick is not to remove all stress, but to manage it. We need to learn how to decompress as well. Some suggestions for simplifying your life and reducing stress are:
· Make a list of tasks, prioritize your to-do list and remove things that serve no useful purpose in your life.
· Get help. You can’t do it all yourself. Maybe you need to delegate some chores at the home or office.
· No one is perfect, don’t be stressed out if things don’t always turn out the way you imagined. Let go of the myth of perfections.
· Nurture relationships with people that support your and help you succeed. Avoid being exposed to negative or toxic people for too long.
However you choose to simplify your life, remember that simplicity is not about poverty or deprivation. It is about discovering what is truly necessary and valuable in your life. Your health care provider will work with you to determine what course of action is best for you. Total Home Health can connect you with experienced health care experts who are ready to help you live a long, healthy and fulfilling life. Join today to learn jumpstart a longer, healthier life.