There is nothing more magnificent than a simple life.
Our modern world offers endless distractions: products, services, advertisements, TV shows, social media, fashion, news, politics. These endless demands for your attention deprive you of clarity. At the end of each day, don’t you feel overwhelmed from all the news and notifications?
Here’s the thing: the sense that there’s always more to do creates anxiety, rooted in fear that you don’t have the life you want.
There’s a luxury in stripping down to the essentials. Living well takes nothing more than a few simple practices done with intention. For the next week, add these three habits to your day and see how you feel.
A quiet mind is the foundation of a peaceful life. Meditation brings you a unique inner calm that quiets negative energy.
When you wake up this week, don’t reach for your phone or check the news. Instead, find a quiet place, sit down, close your eyes, and spend 10 minutes focusing on your breath.
Your mind will try to distract you with thoughts, fears, anxieties, desires, regrets. Watch them pass without engaging. When you get caught in a thought, notice it without judgment, then let it go and return to your breath.
Practice meditating daily. Over time, your mind will quiet. You’ll begin to act from a place of unshakeable calm, taking life as it comes. It’s a transformational way to reduce stress and enhance your life.
In style, as in all else, simplicity is beautiful. Fashion changes with the seasons. Following trends, shopping, deciding what to wear every morning — these can become serious burdens.
Simple clothing is timeless. It’s humble. It lends you a sense of quiet confidence without stress or effort. It invites people to consider you as a person, instead of getting distracted by what you wear.
It also clears your mental and physical space. A minimalist wardrobe means you can get dressed in the dark. You have few clothes, and everything goes with everything. No stress.
Choose three colors you like — say, purple, blue, and grey. Get a shirt and a pair of pants in each color. Slim down your shoe collection to two, one light and one dark. And maybe settle on a black jacket you like.
You can also find a black tee and black jeans that fit you perfectly. Buy two of each, and rotate through them.
Dress minimalist every day this week. Doing so will free up mental space you can use to focus on the more important things in life. The difference it makes is more profound than you might think.
Preparing food is a tantalizing journey through the senses — the vibrancy of fresh herbs, the smell of mingling spices. The sizzle of oil hitting a hot pan. The luscious mouthfeel of a well-made sauce.
Hone the art of cooking for the next seven days.
Recipes don’t need to be complicated:
Explore how easy it is to turn simple ingredients into decadent food that nourishes your body and soul. Take your time peeling, slicing, caramelizing, and searing. Plate your food with elegance. Savor every bite. See if you can notice the flavor and texture of each ingredient, as well as how they play off each other.
Then, take a few minutes to sit in silence after your meal and reflect.
Cooking offers a rich tapestry of experience that’s easy to miss. Each night this week, set aside an hour to cook. Put away distractions and lose yourself in the elegance of a good meal.
Simple living is luxurious. A quiet mind, mental freedom, and intention come together to give you the power to enjoy the essentials in life.
It’s a pleasure to let go of distractions that don’t serve you. Doing so allows you to focus on handling day to day challenges from a place of inner calm. It reduces stress.
Simplify your life. Free yourself from burdens of unnecessary choice, and instead put care into your daily habits; you’ll find it unlocks the humble but extraordinary richness they contain. Cultivate the essentials of a good life, and give yourself the time to enjoy them.
Originally published at medium.com