As we go through Life, we tend to pick up some wisdom. Hopefully we learn a more stress-free manner of living, a style of engaging more confidently, with less conflict to our days.
Below are five tips on how to move in this direction of personal peace, and they will change your life if you implement them.
1. Identify what’s most important to you. Eliminate everything else.
We have so many choices in our lives, from TV shows, cereal boxes, restaurants, digital toys and the clothes we wear. We as a generation were told we could have everything, but that can be stressful just trying to keep up with it all.
If you identify what’s important to you – is it exercise in the morning? A nap in the afternoon? Continuing education? Seeing your grandchildren regularly? Animal rescue? – then it’s easier to eliminate all those other things that fill up our lives and wear us out.
At first it might be hard to “prune the tree” or cut back on your calendar of events, but if you are feeling exhausted, stressed or scattered, the peace you will achieve by doing this tip will be worth it.
2. Declutter on a regular basis
Clutter has a way of crowding out our minds and bodies and making us feel chronically stressed and closed in. Time is lost trying to find an object, and the frustration level rises. There are lots of books on the value of Decluttering and how to do it effectively.
Try this: Pull everything off a shelf or out of a drawer, and clean the shelf or drawer. Go through items you have pulled out and be merciless and efficient. Make a ball out of all that string, put rubber bands into a plastic bag. Throw away anything broken, unusable or that does not ring your chimes. Have two bags handy – one for the trash, and one for the give-away: Church, Goodwill, the school down the street, the assisted living center.
If you declutter on a regular basis, you can take a shelf or drawer as a project and it can be done in a short time. Do another drawer next week. Soon the simplicity accumulates and you will be feeling less stressed and more at ease.
3. There’s no wrong decision here
Sometimes we get paralysis of analysis, and we just don’t seem to be moving forward with something. Maybe we feel that our decision has to be perfect or that the outcome must be guaranteed. We might be afraid of the results of our decision or that we might be perceived as less than intelligent.
In most situations, just make a decision. Get off the block of inertia. Sometimes you just have to get the energy moving, and then more ideas come in. You can always change your mind, or make improvements, or learn something new or gather more information which will guide you to your next step.
If you take the viewpoint that there is no wrong decision, it will be easier for you to flow through life with less tension and guilt.
It’s easy to fall into a comfortable routine – tennis twice a week, a favorite restaurant on Friday night, bridge game on Thursdays… It gives us a sense of security, knowing what to expect out of our days and weeks ahead. It can make us feel calm, lulling ourselves to sleep and soon the comfortable routine becomes a rut!
How did that happen?
Taking a different route to the grocery store, trying a new food item on the menu, taking an impromptu trip to the mountains or to the beach can interrupt that sense of security and be a bother. Or it can enliven you, challenge your mind, and maybe cause you to meet someone outside of your social circle.
Even deciding to walk on the other side of the street, or utilizing your non-dominant hand brings changes to your brain that are beneficial. New neurological pathways are created and that’s a GOOD thing!
Try saying “yes” to new things a little more often and see how it enriches your daily life.
5. If things aren’t going “according to plan,” it’s time to change the plan.
We’ve all been there.
In a situation where things are difficult, nothing is working, everything seems to be frozen stuck. Taxi arrives late, the traffic is awful, a car hits a puddle and our white clothing is covered in street muck. We like to call this feeling “Pushing the elephant up the hill.” And that’s a LOT of work.
If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it.
What can you change? The restaurant you were going to for dinner? Your airline tickets to a new location? Take your dog to the groomers on a different day? Reschedule a meeting?
Changing your plans in times such as these will bring you such a sense of relief. You can let that elephant do what it wants and you are no longer in charge of it getting to the top of that hill.
The break in tension will be so palpable that you might just laugh out loud.
And that’s a GREAT idea.
Editor’s Notes: Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.