Twenty years ago cell phones were a bit of a rarity, social media didn’t yet exist and the self driving car was something found only in the realm of science fiction. It seems that just about everything has accelerated at an unimaginable pace changing the way we work, we communicate and the way we live. We now have more access to information, travel has become cheaper and easier, advancements in healthcare mean that fatal viruses and diseases of decades past are now survivable, machines and robots have replaced many dangerous jobs, but are we any happier?
According to a study described in Psychology Today, adults are less happy than they were in the recent past. Much of this can be attributed to the pressure of people following their dreams, which usually means achieving unrealistic expectations. The American Dream is a great example of how our expectations have changed, it used to mean having a steady job, starting a family and owning a home, today it has transformed into having instant fame and unrealistic wealth.
New trends in slow living and reverting back to a more natural way of life are becoming more prevalent, but it’s just not that easy for most of us to pack up our things and move to a cabin in the middle of the woods. So what can we do to reduce stress and live life in a more natural way without becoming a reclusive lumberjack?
For most of us this may seem unrealistic, but putting down your phone, turning off the tablet and closing your laptop when you don’t need them is a good start. The average American spends north of 3 hours on their phone daily, most of that dedicated to messaging and social media.
Think about it, that’s 3 hours more you can spend on a hobby, with friends or a walk in the park.
2. Cut The Cable
The average American spends almost 4 hours daily in front of their television, burning time with mind numbing content, consuming commercials telling you how to live and what to buy.
Getting rid of cable can save you some serious money, and you can pick up a book instead, go to a cafe or take up some exercise. It will most definitely be a more healthy way to spend your time
You are what you eat so you have to cut out the junk. The basic principals of reverting back to a more natural diet means cutting out processed food, junk food, fast food, and sugary drinks. You don’t need to follow a diet trend or fad to eat healthy but the bad foods in your life need to go. Just about every supermarket has bio and organic foods, many people have access to farmers markets, and if you own a home and have some property, following steps 1 & 2 will give you the time you need to grow some of your own fruits and veggies.
4. Cut Up Your Credit Cards
Now this may be a hard one, but credit cards push us to live beyond our means and buy things that we really can not afford and usually don’t need. They also place a burden on us by pushing us further into debt and increasing our levels of stress. This may be a cliche, but if you can’t buy it for cash, don’t buy it at all.
5. Take Care Of Yourself
Whether that means traveling more, spending more time on your passions and hobbies, seeing your family more often or just getting that massage once a week, you need to do the things that truly make you happy and feel good. Disconnecting and unplugging should give you all the extra time you need to take care of yourself, and if you are happy and content you’ll be a better person for your family and friends.
We only have a limited amount of time and money, living life in a simpler and more natural way is a really good start to having more of both.