Simplifying your life is often not about adding “simple” things to your life, but more about removing things that make life less simple. Things, behaviors, emotions, etc., that make it harder for you to live a life with less needs.

So if you are trying to embrace a simple life, here is my list of 10 things that will make your life less simple.

1. Not Understanding Control – One of the most unproductive things you can do is try to change something that you have no control over. When you worry about politics, celebrities, or what your boss is doing, you give up a piece of your sanity for nothing in return. Understanding what you have control of allows you to use your energy and emotions in a way that best helps you improve your life, and the life of those around you.

2. Living In the Past – The past has come and gone. Previous events can certainly have an impact on your current situation, however, there is nothing you can do about them now. Good or bad, you need to let go of the past and learn to live in the present.

3. Living in the Future – On the other end of the spectrum, the future is yet to come. Letting yourself get worked up about possible, or even certain future events is not a productive use of your time in the present. That’s not to say you shouldn’t build a life that creates a better future, but you shouldn’t live for the future either.

4. The Wrong Relationships – Who you spend your time with has a profound impact on your life. Friends, family, and coworkers can cause stress and turmoil in your life. You can simplify your life by being more choosy about who you build relationships with.

5. Unhealthy Living – You only get one body. When you have poor health, it negatively effects your emotions, your finances, and your general quality of life. Living healthy by eating well and exercising enables you to live to your full potential.

6. Debt – I really hate debt. It’s a financial instrument that encourages overconsumption and enslaves the borrower for years of their life. Despite the fact that we have normalized debt in our culture, living without debt is one of the best ways to simplify your life.

7. Social Media – Scientific studies have shown us that using social media is addictive, makes us anxious, and encourages discontentment in our lives. It’s technology that is designed to maximize our time spent on it, increasing the number of advertisements we see. If you are serious about simplifying your life, you should strongly consider quitting social media.

8. Comparison Living – You were not meant to live somebody else’s life. You are supposed to be living your life. When you start to compare yourself to others, you do yourself a disservice by losing part of your identity. Instead, you should be comparing yourself to yourself. Learn how to improve your own life based on your own values.

9. Reactive Emotions – You cannot control what happens to you in life. However, you can control how you react to things. Staying calm and acting appropriately with your emotions enables you to live a more simple life. Learning how to control your emotions will help you have better relationships with people, and overcome challenges that life throws at you with grace.

10. Not Knowing Your Values – Who are you? On a personal and spiritual level, what do you value? Developing personal values allows you to live a more intentional life. Without knowing your values, you are much more likely to drift through life, make poor decisions, and over-consume as you search for meaning in the wrong places.

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