Buddhist monks live by a simplicity philosophy: operate mindfully, be grateful, and live simply. This simplicity allows them to find peace and calm in their everyday lives. The surprising thing is that this zen-like style of living can improve your life as well. Try these simple ways.
Zen living means removing items that are not necessary to your life. Do you really need 24 pairs of shoes or eight types of spatulas? Clearing out items that are redundant clears space in both your living area and your mind. As organization author and expert Marie Kondo says, “Keep only those items that spark joy.”
Picture the paintings hanging in a museum and how they are spaced just so to allow each masterpiece to be admired individually. The same concept works at home. Clearing out your home allows space between items and increases your appreciation of them. Allow space between events in your busy schedule for the same appreciation.
Think back when you were a child…you needed very little to survive and had much more time to play and enjoy life. Learning to live without extra clutter in your life actually frees you for larger endeavors, like volunteering, learning, exploring, and time with family and friends. You no longer have to spend time cleaning, sorting or wading through items to get what you need.
Do all things deliberately and focus all your attention on the task at hand. You will find it takes on a zen-like quality. Savor the feel of the water in the morning’s shower, and the first taste of coffee rather than rush through them. These are the little experiences that make up life.
You might be proud that you can answer the phone, cook dinner and help with the child’s homework all at the same time, however, living mindfully also means doing one thing at a time. Focus your attention on doing the best job at the task at hand before moving on to the next one. Create a sacred space for each thing you do, whether you are working, cleaning or simply relaxing.
Regardless of what the commercials say, you don’t have to do it all or have it all, and task lists as long as your arm only set your day off with stress. Think about your main goal for the day and set off mindfully to achieve it.
The benefits of mindfulness and meditation can actually change your brain, reported Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She goes on to report evidence that meditation decreases stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia and pain, and actually increases the quality of life.
Oprah Winfrey has always been a huge advocate of keeping a gratitude journal, every day writing down five things she is grateful for. She says, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
At 123JUNK, we take the zen-like philosophy to heart, and strive to streamline our own business; for example, going paperless allowed us to cut down on clutter. This allows us to focus on what’s really important to our business: our customers.
In this age of consumerism, we are all guilty of having too much in our lives—too much work, too many responsibilities, and definitely too much stuff. While 123JUNK can’t help with some of your load, we can certainly take the extra stuff off your hands. We’re experts at clearing out spaces. Contact us today to schedule your pickup appointment.
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