Before starting my journey into simple living, I was overweight, out of shape, and spent all of the “extra” money I had on tech gadgets and other material goods. It felt as though I was searching for something that couldn’t be found. It was an unfulfilling and anxious place to be.
I turned to simple living as a means to help discover a better way to live my life. I knew that I didn’t feel, or act, in a health way, and that the principles of simple living might help benefit me.
I’m not going to claim that simple living is the best and only way to live your life. For me personally though, I’ve found that adopting a simple living lifestyle has had tremendous benefits over the past 10 years.
Key Components of Simple Living
I didn’t start by seeking out a “simple life,” I merely was looking for tactical ways help with the problems in my life: out of shape, spending too much, and not happy. It was not until after years of reading and practice that I distilled down components to what I believe are key to a simple life.
- Defining Your Needs – If you understand what you need, you understand what you don’t need. As you realize you don’t actually need that much in life, your life inherently becomes more simple.
- Being Intentional – Thinking and acting with intention is a powerful way to live your life. When you ask yourself, “what is my intention?” behind what you do, you are actively shaping your life.
- Understanding Your Control – In order to make a change on something, it needs to be in your realm of control. A simple life is one where you act on what’s within your control, and ignore what is not.
As I began to live my life under these core simple living principles, the benefits of this new lifestyle began to become clear.
Health Benefits of Simple Living
The health benefits are the most visible outward sign that somebody has truly embraced simple living. The weight comes off with better eating, and the mental wellbeing is apparent to those around you.
Lower Stress is a large part of improving health with simple living. As you better understand what is in your control, and you act with more intention, your stress levels are reduced drastically. You can make progress on what is important in your life, and ignore the things that don’t actually matter.
You Are Happier by caring less about materialism and taking part in the heavy consumerism culture. Studies have shown that people who are materialistic tend to have a lower sense of well-being. Escaping that toxic culture is a great way to improve your overall happiness.
A Healthy Body is a natural result of eating simply, and making the time to move. I’ve lost over 30 pounds by just eating “food” instead of the processed products that you see on your grocery shelves.
Financial Benefits of Simple Living
It’s hard to ignore the financial benefits of simple living, and it’s often the aspect that draws people to the lifestyle. Wanting to buy less, and save more, is often a desire of many new simple living converts.
Financial Security is often one of the first benefits that comes from simple living. As you begin to consume drastically less, and save more, it’s easier to achieve financial goals. With an emergency fund in place and the successful break of the paycheck-to-paycheck life, financial security is a clear win for simple living.
Understanding of “Enough” is development of simple living, and a starting point for minimalism. What do you really need? Many people find they can afford a life of relative luxury when they really consider what brings them happiness.
Relationship Benefits of Simple Living
Can you simplify your relationships? Of course you can. And I’ve found that as I take a simple approach to relationships, they’ve only grown stronger.
Learning To Love Yourself is the first step to developing healthy relationships. People tend to search for love in others, in a bizarre attempt to overshadow their own personal insecurities. Love yourself, and the world will love you back.
Controlling Yourself, Not Others is one of the biggest benefits you can make to simplify your mindset in life. People will do things that make you angry – this is a fact. However, if you can understand that you don’t have control over other’s actions, you will benefit from much better relationships.
Your Mileage May Vary
The benefits of simple living vary depending on how you choose to adapt your life. I’ve mentioned before that I strongly believe there is not a right or wrong way to live a “simple life.”
What’s important is that you chose to reflect on how you are living. Find ways to understand your intentions, your needs, and how you can be a better version of yourself.