In our ongoing quest for happiness and contentment, we often find ourselves accumulating ever increasing piles of
“stuff.” However, the more “stuff” we accumulate, the more we begin to realize that we don’t feel happier at all; we feel overwhelmed, crowded and scattered.

How easy it is to forget that when it comes to happiness, simplicity is key! Even though we know on some level that all this stuff won’t make us happy, we still keep getting pulled in by clever marketing and our own constant yearning for something more.

But what if the “something more” we crave is not more “stuff” but rather simplicity and order? What if, by simplifying our lives we could finally enjoy a deeper sense of freedom, peace and happiness?

If you’re ready to stop living under the hypnotic spell of “acquisition,” here are three easy ways to begin simplifying your life and enjoying a happier, more peaceful way of life:

1. Clear out your home, vehicle and workspace. – Are you surrounded by stacks of books you’ve already read, DVDs or videos you’ve seen dozens of times and miscellaneous clutter covering every available surface? Is your vehicle a catch basin for trash and belongings you haven’t put away? Is your workspace crowded with old paperwork? Clear it all out! When you start clearing out your surroundings, you’ll notice immediately that you feel lighter and less scattered.

2. Clear your mind. – Are you constantly burdened by worrisome or negative thoughts? A chaotic life can increase anxiety and stress, which can make you feel scattered and forgetful. Begin a daily practice of clearing your mind through meditation. Set aside 10 minutes once or twice a day to let go of anxious thoughts and focus on nothing. Sit in silence or listen to soothing music, but focus only on your breathing and being in the moment. Doing this on a regular basis will help you feel more centered, calm and focused.

3. Achieve closure. – Do you have a lot of unresolved issues, unpaid bills or otherwise unfinished projects? When did you last file away old paperwork or kiss a bad habit goodbye? When we leave things unfinished in our lives, we tend to carry them with us mentally and emotionally until we “officially” release them. Over time, you’ll feel the weight of these situations if you don’t resolve them once and for all. Start by thinking about your old relationships. Have you left things unsaid? Have you refused to let go of someone emotionally even if you have moved on physically? Write a letter and tell those people everything you want them to know. You don’t have to mail the letter so you can easily use the process for people you no longer see or even those who are deceased. Simply write out your thoughts and feelings on the matter, then either burn the paper or rip it to shreds and throw it away. As you do so, affirm that you are releasing the situation once and for all, and you are now free from any lingering emotional or mental burdens regarding it.

Also be sure to achieve closure on everything else that you can, like canceling old memberships or subscriptions you no longer need, filing away paperwork that is no longer needed, and completing projects you’ve started. With closure comes peace, and with peace usually comes greater happiness!

Peace and Love, Jim

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