In this scaling back series, you’ll learn how to:
- Accept and learn from your mistakes;
- Train your mind to replace negative thoughts with positive ones;
- Declutter your surroundings;
- Minimise stress;
- Create stronger relationships with family and friends by living in the moment;
- Take control of your own happiness;
- Reap the benefits of meditation;
- Be grateful more often;
- Choose foods that boost good mental health;
- Gain control of your finances, and
- Remove toxic people from your life.
Do you want to learn how to accept your current situation and work with what you have to result in leading a happier life?
Before you can begin to transform your life into a simpler and happier journey, it’s crucial that you learn to accept your current situation.
Acceptance doesn’t mean that you’ll need to learn to be completely happy with your lot – some situations you may never be able to feel completely satisfied with. Regrets are a natural part of human life, no doubt.
Admitting and accepting your mistakes is the first step towards viewing them in a new, positive manner. Dwelling on mistakes and looking at them in a negative way can create feelings of guilt, regret and even shame.
Scaling back means simplifying your mind and removing those negative, toxic feelings regarding both past and future mistakes. Instead of thinking ‘what if?’ and dwelling on the ‘if only or should have’ part of a situation, channel your feelings into a more positive dimension.
Replace ‘what if?’, with ‘what can I do now?’
Replace ‘if only…’ with ‘I accept the situation’.
Replace ‘I shouldn’t have done that’ with ‘I will learn from this to make sure I don’t make the same decision again’.
Training your mind to accept your past mistakes and your current situation isn’t something that happens overnight.
Do you feel positive and confident in yourself to make the changes that you need to make, or are you skeptical about the whole thing?
Do you rely on other people for your happiness and well-being, or can you accept that you as an individual are the only person responsible for this?
‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight’ – this should be your motto. Positive people don’t give up on themselves, and they never view themselves as failures no matter how many setbacks they experience on the journey to achieving their goals.
If you think you won’t make it to the finish line, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Instead, believe in yourself. Change your mindset to start with a ‘can-do’ attitude. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt that you’ll be a happier person by scaling back and simplifying your life and mind.
Allowing yourself some praise and recognition for achievements which you are proud of is essential when you’re on the path to scaling back and becoming happier. Not only should you be scaling back the things in your life that take your happiness and inner peace away, it’s also crucial that you cut down on the amount of self-criticizing thoughts which you have and allow yourself to replace them with self-motivating and self-appraising thoughts. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of yourself, whether it be for getting through a day without feeling regret regarding the past or successfully completing a six-month healthy living plan.
The aim of the game is to simplify and scale back in order to become more content, happier and find your inner peace with yourself, your life and the world. Think about that for a second – it’s a huge goal! Many people spend all of their lives searching for the happiness which you’re trying to achieve, and a lot of people never find it because they have the wrong mindset.
Setting your sights on the one, huge end-goal is likely to be very overwhelming. The key to obtaining your goal is to do so by creating a set of mini-goals which you should view as stepping stones to your ultimate goal of a happier life.
Achieving goals in your personal life which pertain to your own happiness should be something that is done at your own pace. Never let anybody else tell you how long you should be spending on each goal – it isn’t their place to say, and only you know how much time you need to change a part of your life or your mindset.
Don’t approach your goals with strict deadlines, as this will only encourage negative feelings and guilty emotions if you don’t achieve the goal within the time-frame that you have set for yourself. Instead, be patient with yourself Slow and steady wins the race – ultimately, your mindset should always be about making effective changes in your life rather than quick ones.
There’s no denying that technology is changing the way that we live. Currently, we’re living in the digital revolution where smart technology is playing a huge part in the way we communicate, shop, and complete tasks amongst many things.
By advising that you ‘unplug’, we’re not suggesting that technology isn’t beneficial. In fact, quite the opposite – technology can help to lift your mood by putting you in touch with old friends and family, providing lines of communication to important people who enrich and fulfill your life, and giving you the opportunity to learn new things.
However, the downside to technology is that it can often create a disconnect from the real world. Studies show that the average smartphone user checks their device several times an hour – and if you’re checking for just five minutes at a time, that’s a lot of time spent on your smartphone.
In the morning, try to avoid technology and gadgets as much as possible. Instead, go about your morning routine and enjoy the calm and quiet which comes with no television blaring or smartphone buzzing with notifications. Rather than spending thirty minutes checking your smartphone when you awaken, use the time to do something which will contribute to a calmer state of mind such as meditation, enjoying a longer shower or eating a healthy, nutritious breakfast.
Sure, switching off all gadgets and devices in the morning might not help you earn brownie points from your kids if you’re a parent, and at the beginning you might even hate it too. But, by lowering the level of distraction in the morning as well as keeping the noise down, you’ll soon begin to appreciate the calming of early morning chaos and being able to begin your days without being stressed out before your feet even hit your bedroom rug.
One of the simplest and easiest ways to start scaling back your technology use on your pathway to becoming a happier person is to take up activities which you can’t use your smartphone or another device when you’re participating. Activities such as hiking, swimming, yoga and meditation are all utterly incompatible with electronic devices, and they can also help towards making you feel better about yourself and happier on their own.
People these days tend to do everything from behind the screen of a smartphone whether it be communication or even viewing events that are unfolding right in front of them. Think about it – if you were to see something completely amazing right in front of you, what would be the first thing that you’d do? If you’re like most people on the planet today, it’s be to reach for your smartphone to take a photo or video and upload it to social media.
The truth is that whilst being able to create awesome memories and keep them permanently is a wonderful thing, there needs to be a balance somewhere between capturing the moment and living in it. Limit your ‘capturing the moment’ scenarios to things that really deserve to be captured, and start living in the moment more often – for example by putting your smartphone away and leaving it there when you’re out for dinner with friends.
If your family and close friends seem to be a little distant with you recently or annoyed with your lack of attention, it could be the screen that’s coming between you that’s hugely contributing to the problem. Learning to put your smartphone down and give people your full attention can significantly impact your happiness and well-being.
Taking the Next Step. If you need practical assistance, guidance or motivation Clear & Clutterfree can help you save both time and money getting organised and staying organised.
About the Author. Karen Perkins is a Life Coach and Personal Hands-on Organiser. She enjoys helping busy people achieve results through effective lifestyle choices that improve their personal and professional lives.