Disclosure: this page contains affiliate links to select partners. We receive a commission should you choose to make a purchase after clicking on them.
It’s 6 a.m. and your alarm clock starts beeping.
You grab your phone and check social media to see what fresh hell has been unleashed overnight.
You make yourself a coffee and log into a day of work as a wage slave for a corporation that funds smuggling and trafficking.
If you aren’t feeling well, you can’t take a couple of days off work because you don’t get paid sick leave and won’t be able to pay your rent.
You finally finish your workday and settle down to catch up on news so you can have the narrative message of the day beaten into your skull.
Then it’s time to dose yourself on your sedative of choice so your mind can finally relax enough to let you sleep.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Do you ever feel mentally fractured and shattered by your daily life?
Yes? I thought so. And it’s little wonder.
A survey showed that Americans check their phones an average of 352 times a day, and yet many spend little time outside. Many people spend a great deal of their time alone, but we need physical interaction such as hugs to maintain our wellbeing. The average child can recognize around 1,000 corporate logos, but they struggle to identify a bumblebee or more than a few tree species.
Is this what you dreamed that life would be like when you were young? When you were a child, did you paint pictures of chronic depression and existential dread? Or did you paint trees, blue skies, oceans, and animals?
If it’s the latter, you’re far from alone. In fact, you’re one of the millions of people who hate modern society and wish for a simpler life. Sadly, most feel like they’re trapped in urban hellscapes with no escape and that the simplicity of the past is forever lost to them.
Guess what? That’s far from true. You can absolutely enjoy the “simple life” and escape from a great deal of modern society. Furthermore, you don’t have to convert to full-blown Amish or filthy hippie hermit to achieve this. You can find a balance between high-tech shizzle and roughing it.
Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you if your hatred for modern society is getting you down. You may want to try speaking to one via BetterHelp.com for quality care at its most convenient.
The problem with modern society.
We may have many online “friends,” but few whom we could actually turn to for support in a crisis. Furthermore, modern society seems to focus more on dividing people than uniting them.
People say they’re against animal cruelty… until it benefits them, such as medical testing for a medication that might make their life a bit easier.
Debates for and against abortion are raging, with many people violently trying to protect the sanctity of human life, yet they’ll completely wipe another species off the planet without a second thought for the sake of cheap palm oil.
They’ll complain about the high price of ethically made goods, and then they’ll go out and buy merchandise from huge stores that use child slave labor in developing countries.
Just about every aspect of modern society is hypocritical and detrimental, not just to human wellbeing but to the planet as a whole. What other species knowingly poisons its drinking water and food supplies while destroying the very biosphere it depends on for life?
Instead of thriving communities, we have lonely, anxiety-riddled individuals stuck to screens in their overpriced apartments. Our conversations and interactions are more text-based and cerebral than verbal and physical, and many people only get a dose of “nature” if they see a pigeon while enroute to the office job they despise.
This kind of existence isn’t “living,” and it’s doing far more harm to all life on the planet than good.
The benefits of modern society.
We’ve touched upon the worst aspects of modern society, but are there any redeeming features that are worth holding onto?
Well, those phones we mentioned earlier might be toxic to create and intrusive in our day-to-day lives, but they also help us keep in touch with people around the world. The internet—which is allowing you to read this article—is also a blessing in many ways.
Many of the skills my partner and I use on the daily were learned via YouTube and similar tutorials. We have an incredible amount of knowledge and beauty at our fingertips, so we can focus on that instead of the awfulness out there.
If you can navigate around the horror shows and malicious adverts, you can find absolute gems. I’ve discovered incredible books thanks to online reviews and spent many hours playing fun games or watching heartwarming videos of cute animals and acts of kindness by strangers. Many of us have met our partners and closest friends online and have discovered great handmade products through sites like Etsy.
Use these resources to your advantage to connect with likeminded people. For example, check out online forum communities such as Permies, where folks share traditional knowledge and skills with others who are interested in homesteading and self-sufficiency.
How to lessen your hate for modern society while shifting to a simpler life.
One of the best ways you can avoid crippling societal dread is to create a buffer zone for yourself. Focus on what’s going on around you right now, rather than doom scrolling for hours.
Look at what’s hurting your heart the most or wasting your precious time, and stop doing it. Get rid of your social media accounts, and give your email address to people you want to keep in touch with. Those who love you will make the effort to stay in contact with you via that medium.
When and if people in your social circles bring up all the awful things going on in the world, redirect the conversation to something more positive. Or leave and go do something productive.
Most people feel dread and anxiety when they feel that they’re powerless about what’s going on around them. Take back this power by turning your energy toward things you can affect that benefit both you and those you care about.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to sell all your stuff and go live in a hollow carved into a riverbank to live a simpler life in tune with the natural world. In fact, many small adjustments can result in massive, lasting change and growth.
It’s up to every individual to find their “sweet spot” between what they want to hold on to and what they want to let go of as far as modern society goes.
Below are a few examples of what my partner and I did when we were still living in cities. These helped to ease us into “the simple life,” if you will, and made transitioning to living in our mountain cabin a lot easier.
1. Pare it down.
Try to stop thinking about “stuff” as having much importance in your life. One good way to do this is to consider what you’d pack into a bag if you had 10 minutes to get out of the house in an emergency.
This doesn’t include pets or loved ones, but rather items that are of the utmost importance to you. Write a list of the things you know you’d take with you. Then look around at all the other things cluttering up your home environment and ask yourself why you’re holding on to them.
Get rid of whatever you don’t use on a regular basis as well as anything that doesn’t hold sentimental value for you. To help pay for things you’d rather do later on, sell or trade your belongings if you can. You could invest in higher-quality clothing and tools or buy land.
Everyone needs clean water, good food, shelter, and solace, as well as a vocation that they can put their life energy toward. All else, although pleasurable or nice, is extraneous.
I’m not saying this hypothetically either. I came to this realization thanks to some intensely challenging life circumstances. They were difficult to live through, but I’m grateful for them because they changed my life for the better, permanently.
In my early 20s, I was living in a city and couldn’t find work. I found myself homeless and surrounded by what I can only describe as a form of constant “static.”
Everyone was focused on what I felt were the wrong things. They were chasing high-status jobs and buying cars instead of living in a healthy, heart-focused way. Many were also demeaning to those who chose different life paths.
Because of my perceived social status, anything I felt was wisdom—such as having clean water and decent food, being good, being kind—was laughed at.
In contrast, my now-partner had a high-paying career in PR, hobnobbing with celebrities and travelling regularly, and she hated every second of it because of how empty it was.
The two of us experienced both sides of this extreme and came to the exact same realization about what’s truly important in life. As such, we discarded the trappings we despised, turned our focus to what we felt was more important, and made the changes needed to make our life goals a reality.
2. Go au naturel.
And by this, I don’t mean wandering around naked, unless you want to get arrested. Rather, it builds upon paring things down. Choose natural materials in your home and on your body whenever possible. Check out studies on how artificial fabrics and materials affect people’s health long-term, right down to how insidious microplastics have become one in our own bodies.
Replace plastic kitchen items with metal (steel, iron, copper), wood, glass, ceramic, and stone. Instead of polyester or acrylic clothing, go for cotton, linen, hemp, wool, bamboo, etc. You wouldn’t believe how amazing and flexible wool trousers can feel in wintertime or how linen lets your skin breathe when it’s 110° outside.
Replace your plastic water bottles with glass or metal, and try to eat whole, organic food whenever possible. These can often be more expensive than standard groceries, depending on where you live, but if you cook for yourself and eat simply, it ends up being a lot cheaper in the long run.
Besides, you’re making an investment in your long-term health. Pay a bit more for grass-fed beef and organic avocados today and you’ll likely have fewer health issues 20 years down the road.
3. Eat locally.
If you don’t (yet) have the means to grow or raise all your own food, that’s okay. There are many others who do, and you can support their work while living more mindfully and healthily by eating food produced within about 100 miles from you.
Many health-food stores carry items produced by local farmers, and if you’re lucky, there will be farmer’s markets you can visit on a weekly basis to stock up.
4. Grow whatever you can.
Every single person on the planet is capable of growing at least some of their own food, even if it’s a few potted herbs on a windowsill. Grow climbing peas or beans around a window, sprout seeds on your countertop, and so on. Use whatever space you have available to grow all you can.
5. Live seasonally.
Modern societal life demands that we behave in the exact same way in July as we do in January. This means having the same amount of energy when we have 18 hours of sunshine to enjoy rather than 4 scant hours of grey haze. Are you full of energy at 9pm on a Thursday in the dead of winter? Probably not.
As such, try to live in harmony with the seasons as much as possible. This is a bit more difficult to do if you have a 9–5 job with a commute, but adaptations can be made for any lifestyle.
Our ancestors let solar cycles dictate their life’s rhythms, and this is a surprisingly healthy and harmonious way to live. In wintertime, get to bed as early as possible so you can enjoy semi hibernation mode. Your body needs more rest during these months, so let it get what it needs.
Furthermore, sleeping for 10+ hours a night will cut down on your energy bills. You can turn the heat down, and you won’t be using electricity for lights and entertainment either. Be sure to drink a lot of clean water during the day, as proper rest and hydration may help counteract the ageing process.
6. Disconnect whenever possible.
Turn off things like Wi-Fi or data roaming whenever you’re not actively using it. First of all, leaving it on is both a waste of energy and will wear down your electronics more quickly.
Secondly, it will discourage you from looking at your mobile devices or other screens as often as you do now.
Come nighttime, put your devices on “airplane mode,” and/or keep them out of the bedroom when you sleep. This should mean you aren’t able to check your device when you should be sleeping.
Consider performing this test: Turn the Wi-Fi off in your home every night for a week. Drink plenty of clean water, eat well, and take a half-hour walk daily. See how you feel after that week is over.
Read printed books instead of e-readers, and play tabletop games with friends and family. Take up a craft that you can do in the evenings, maybe listening to audiobooks or classical music instead of binge-watching shows.
Get outside and look at the night sky. Enjoy the stars, learn about the constellations. In the small village where I grew up, elder folks always knew where North was, regardless of their position at the time. This kind of awareness only develops when we spend a fair bit of time in nature.
Furthermore, establish greater closeness with other human beings—hugs really are good for your health.
7. Take note of your transferable skills, and work with them.
Many aspects of our ancestors’ lives have overlap with modern skills. As such, you may be able to find endeavors that suit you by looking at the skillsets you already have.
Are you good at math and precise measurements? Then try baking, as it requires precision with measurements and timing. If you enjoy computer coding, you may do well with fiber arts or woodworking.
Use what you’re good at, and redirect your focus toward it. Just about every modern skill has an analog, traditional twin out there somewhere.
8. Determine how you want the rest of your life to unfold, and work toward that.
We’ve established that you hate many aspects of modern society, but do you like aspects of it as well? Are there ways in which you can find a middle ground for the future?
If you love the city but you want a break from it now and then, take regular trips to the country. See green things and take a break from the onslaught of negativity from the screens around you. Exercising in nature enhances your body and experience while helping to further ground you with the outdoors.
If you’re planning to extricate yourself from most of modern society, take into account how you’re going to make a living, as well as what skills you do and don’t have, so you can learn what’s needed. We currently work remotely as writers for various clients, but balance that out with growing our own food, foraging for medicinal plants, and selling/trading the items we create from natural materials and ingredients.
Spend time with people who have the life skills you want to acquire. Learning online is great, but watching others and having them teach you is ideal, especially since they can correct your missteps and save you valuable time!
Working holiday visas are ideal for things like this. For example, you can spend a summer doing a WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) program on a farm or get a seasonal job in which you’ll learn traditional techniques. As an example, my partner learned spinning and quilting while working at Pioneer village recreations, and she learned herbal medicine both through online schooling and hands-on training with herbalist mentors.
If you’re lucky enough to buy a good chunk of cheap land in a remote location, having a core group of long-term, trustworthy, capable, loyal friends is more valuable than anything I can think of. Reward them with a free area they can call their own and build on (perhaps a couple of acres each), with the firm understanding that everyone is to come together to work the land and complement one another’s skills.
Everyone needs down time, and both illness and injuries are inevitable, but creating a functional village takes a lot of hard work and dedication.
WWOOFers, or local workers, can be employed to ease the burden if close friends aren’t available, but be careful about whom you invite over. Once someone knows where things are, it’s a lot easier for them to rob you. Experience has taught us that 9 times out of 10, theft comes from someone you know who’s familiar with the layout of your property.
9. Follow your heart.
You’re going to get a lot of negative flack from people who don’t understand or support your choice for a simpler life. In fact, some may even try to sabotage your efforts.
Those afraid of change will try to hold you back. People may guilt-trip you to keep you near or imply that you’re not smart, strong, or brave enough for this to work. They might want to do the same but are so afraid of failure that they won’t try, and they resent anyone who makes the effort.
You’ll need to be able to stand firm in your resolve, and work toward what’s important to you. Modern society isn’t the only life option out there, so follow your heart. You’ll get there.
Still not sure how to overcome your hatred of the modern world? Talking to someone can really help you to handle whatever life throws at you. It’s a great way to get your thoughts and your worries out of your head so you can work through them.
Speak to a therapist about it. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to explore why you hate society so much and develop a plan with you to transform your life to something you’re more content with.
BetterHelp.com is a website where you can connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.
While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.
Too many people try to muddle through and do their best to overcome issues that they never really get to grips with. If it’s at all possible in your circumstances, therapy is 100% the best way forward.
Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.
You may also like:
- 11 Signs You Are A “Slave” To The Modern World
- 9 Ways Modern Society Is Causing An Existential Vacuum
- 20 No Nonsense Simple Living Tips That Are Practical And Work!