Life is full of stresses and challenges. It loves to throw them at us when we are least expecting it.
And it’s impossible to avoid them! We’d all love to, that’s for sure. But, we can’t.
All we can do is work to avoid the additional headaches and problems that we create for ourselves – the things we have control over – so life’s unexpected challenges don’t derail us from our overall path.
Simplifying your life can make the stresses and challenges much easier to handle. How do we do that?
1. Keep Working To Improve
Life is a journey. It takes many twists and turns before we reach the end.
There are many people who set a goal, reach it, and decide that they have finally “made it.” So, they sit back and think it’s time to just enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Life happens, difficult situations arise, health problems may crop up, jobs may get lost, relationships may end.
There are a heap of problems and complications that can knock a person from the comfortable nest they’ve fashioned for themselves with their effort.
A person who is continually seeking to improve themselves and their position in life is arming themselves with more tools, knowledge, and experience to navigate these complications when they finally strike.
And they will. They always do. It’s only a matter of time.
Just remember: there is a BIG difference between contentment and complacency.
2. Don’t Let Negativity Color Your Perception
Life is tough. At times it’ll relentlessly beat down on you, hitting you with all forms of stresses and problems.
Then you have everything that comes with living in such a connected world, the 24/7 news cycle and the negativity that is blasted out nonstop.
Social media and the internet certainly don’t help. They provide an excellent medium for people to voice their anger, sometimes valid, sometimes not.
And for people with depression, anxiety, or those that are struggling, these things can drag them into a negative mindset.
You can’t let these things color your perception of the world. It’s easy to fall into the trap of always thinking the worst of the situations or people that will come your way.
Fear has long been a way for people to avoid coming to harm. The problem is that we are so inundated with regular negativity that it’s hard to tell what’s reasonable and what’s not.
We need a place of peace; a retreat where we can get away from all of that negativity. Crafting it in our mind lets us take our place of peace with us!
The point here is not to be fake positive, but to just strive to not be negative, to look at things with neutrality instead of jumping straight to a conclusion.
It takes time and practice – the practice of stopping to think about our thoughts and feelings – to really make it work well.
3. Proactive Beats Passive Every Time
Life is busy. We have so many things to do each day. Maybe it’s building a career, pursuing an education, wrangling the family, or some combination of those things.
Whatever it may be, these things all require the valuable commodity that is time. A person who is swamped with activities and responsibilities can easily let smaller things fall through the cracks.
The problem is that those less pressing matters can easily spiral out into more serious problems.
A proactive approach beats a passive one because you’re regularly cleaning your slate of the small problems so that they can’t turn into serious, complicated problems later.
Try the following tip – if an activity would take less than five minutes to resolve, just do it. Don’t put it off. You’ll find you have far fewer small things stacking up to overwhelm you at a later date.
Life is expensive. It seems like there are always bills to pay and adventures to plan.
It’s a great idea to strive to put at least a little bit of your income away to build a cushion in case life hits you out of nowhere with an unexpected expense.
After all, you’ll pretty much always need money, whether it’s to keep a roof over your head, food on the table, or a smartphone so you don’t miss any of our articles!
A good starting place for an emergency fund is $1000. If you can put $1000 away, you have a decent cushion if you need auto repairs or the refrigerator dies.
After that, your next benchmark should be to tally up your total expenses and save enough money to cover six months of day-to-day living. That way, if you lose your job or source of income, you have some cushion to help keep you afloat while you’re in between jobs.
5. Befriend More Positive People
Life is people. Even the most asocial of us needs interpersonal interaction from time to time.
It may be a best friend, a relative, even a coworker you get along well with. Yet, many people don’t realize just how much of an impact our inner circle has on our lives.
These are the people that we laugh with, cry with, turn to for advice and perspective. And if you surround yourself with people who are negative or constantly drowning in drama, that is going to bring stress and difficulty into your life.
It’s a balance, though. We all have our problems and we don’t want to turn our backs on a friend who is suffering through a difficult time.
There are other times when we know a person isn’t good to be around, yet we’re just familiar with and feel comfortable with their presence, even if it’s destructive.
For that reason, our circle of friends deserves an audit from time to time.
6. Give Kindness, But Don’t Expect Anything In Return
Life is challenging. The practice of kindness can go a long way toward building bridges, mending fences, and bringing joy into your life.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who look at those who practice kindness as potential targets for their own machinations.
To avoid being taken advantage of while practicing kindness, simply give without attaching expectations to the gift. If you can’t, then just say no.
Borrowed money between friends or family is one of the most common ways drama is created. It’s far better to just give the money without the expectation of getting it back if you’re going to do it.
If you can’t afford to give it outright, then say no. Because really, in that scenario, you can’t afford to be making loans to people if it will leave you in a fragile financial position.
Plus, trying to collect money from someone who’s not interested in paying it back is never a fun job.
Kindness is best practiced without expectations. The word “no” is the key barrier that will keep people from taking advantage of you and introducing complications into your life.
Simplifying your life requires you to first identify the things that complicate it and then find ways to adapt the situation – or adapt to the situation.
By doing this, you can lessen the impact of any troubles that befall you. You can prepare solutions in advance to issues that may pass through your life.