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How to Live a Stress-Free Life: 5 Steps to Create Simplicity

Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by Lori

Is it time to simplify your life?  Worldwide economies aren’t looking too good right now.  Natural resources are rapidly depleting.  We are all feeling the strain on our purse strings from rising prices – I don’t know about you, but I dread each trip to the grocery store!

Perhaps this is a good time for us all to embrace a simpler, quieter lifestyle.  Consider how the five changes suggested below can simplify and improve your life.

Many people dream of living a simpler life.

Some contemplate giving away all of their earthly possessions and spending the rest of their years on a secluded tropical island.

More often, though, we just want to reduce the stress and “business” of our lives.  We want to cast off the tasks we feel we must do in favor of embracing activities we want to do. 

We want more peace and less frustration.

And yet, we struggle with where to begin. 

Simplicity sounds good in theory, but does it mean sacrifice?  Do we have to give away things we wish to keep?  Must we say goodbye to social media, restaurant dining, and new clothes? 

What if we “fail” at simplifying?


I believe the idea of simple living is unique to each individual.  We must each choose what, where, and how to simplify so that it becomes a benefit in our lives, not a negative.

woman walking on beach barefoot, leaving footprints behind in the sand, representing simple steps to simple living

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What are the Benefits of Living a Simpler Life?

The benefits of simplifying life are immense:

  • You will be healthier
  • You will have less stress
  • You will feel more in control of your life
  • You will have more time for the people that are important to you
  • You will have more time for the activities that are important to you
  • You will probably live longer

All of these add up to a life lived to its fullest. Who doesn’t want that?

What are Some Ways to Create Simplicity in Life?

Are you ready to simplify your complex lifestyle to achieve these benefits?

Although there are no right or wrong roads to a simpler life, here are five areas that will help ease you into this new way of living.  Try one, or all, for a period of time and see how they impact your lifestyle.

5 Simple Steps to Simple Living

1. Understand Your Goals and Core Values

This is number one for a reason.

You must understand your goals and core values before you take on any actions to simplify your life.

Why do you want to simplify your life – what is it that you want to achieve?

What is at the core of your desire – a wish for greater control, less stress, financial freedom, more free time?

In what concrete ways does your current life not meet your needs?

How – specifically – would your daily life be different if it were “simpler”?

You must understand your “why” before any real change can begin.  If you just jump in without this understanding, you either won’t succeed at all, or you will simplify in the wrong ways.  This will cause you more frustration than ease.

Once you determine the reasons behind wanting to make changes, decisions become more straightforward.

You’ll know where to focus your energy when you know what needs to change.

You say yes to those things that align with your goals and no to those that don’t.

woman writing goals in notebook, finding her why in living a simple life

2. Reduce the Noise Pollution in Your Home

TVs on all day.  TVs on all night.  Sound coming at you All. The. Time. 

This is noise pollution, and although you might claim you don’t even notice it, or that it helps you relax, you are wrong!

We are so caught up in sounds from all directions – our phones, our computers, radios, electronic appliances, virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri, the list goes on! 

Our brains are losing touch with the sounds of the natural world, and how many of us are able to just sit quietly without external input?  When’s the last time you just stood in line, or sat waiting for an appointment, without pulling out your phone?

We have also programmed ourselves to respond instantly to any noises we hear, which keeps us on edge and prevents relaxation.

If noise pollution is affecting your life negatively (and I’m almost certain everyone will say “yes” to this!), find ways to cut back.

  • Turn off the tv when you are not actively watching it.
  • Put your phone on silent mode when interacting with another human being or pursuing an activity you enjoy.
  • Don’t answer texts or calls during dinner (they WILL wait, I promise)
  • Turn off the buzzers on the washer, dryer, and other appliances.
  • Take a walk or hike somewhere you can hear only the sounds of nature.
  • Learn to sit in silence for at least a few minutes each day.

3. Declutter Your Surroundings

Let go of those things you have only because, well, you have them.  Don’t keep anything “just because”.  Make everything in your home something that you want or need. 

There’s no reason your home needs to look “Scandinavian minimal” or like a model (unless you want it to).  Our homes are meant to be lived in.

That said, your home is LIVING space, not STORAGE space.  There is a difference.


By removing unnecessary stuff from your home, you have better access to those possessions you genuinely love or need. Everything else is clutter and adds to the stress of living in that space.

We get so accustomed to our spaces that often, we don’t realize their condition.  The best way to understand if your home is cluttered is to photograph each space.  Clutter will be so much more obvious in photos than if you just look around.  Try it, you will be surprised at the difference in perspective you will get from a photograph.

If you find it hard to let go of items, box them up and put them out of sight.  Chances are, you will experience a feeling of ease in a room with less “stuff”, and this peaceful experience will reinforce that it’s okay to let things go that no longer add benefit to your life.

2 boxes - declutter and keep, woman sorting things to create a simple life for herself

4. Learn to Live Within Your Means

Let’s face it, paying bills is stressful.

Being in debt is stressful.

Not having money stops you from doing things that are meaningful or desirable, and that is stressful.

You don’t have to be rich to live a simpler life. 

You also don’t need to buy every shiny new thing that comes along.

A simple life is one free from the stress of making money just to pay the bills and buy more stuff. It’s one in which you focus your needs and desires on the important things.  The first step is to become very, very conscious of what you do with your money, and what you would like to do with it instead. 

Given a choice, would you eat at McDonalds every day for lunch, or pack your lunch and go out to a nice restaurant on the weekend? Buy a new wardrobe each season or travel to Europe? These are personal choices, but the point is that they should be choices that YOU make, not random habits that you’ve fallen into without thought.

You need to determine your priorities and build habits that lead to reaching them.  Every choice you make can bring a different outcome. 

Which way do you want to go?

5. Become Comfortable With Being Alone

What does this have to do with living a simpler life?  Becoming comfortable alone is about reducing external stimulation and learning to find comfort within.

The constant stimulation of technology, activity, and people around us teach us to be uncomfortable with being alone.  However, as you learn to rely on only yourself as company, you learn to relax and listen to what your mind has to share.

Spend a few moments alone every day without your usual distractions. 

  • Let your mind wander. 
  • Listen to your thoughts. 
  • Don’t try to do anything, just stay in your head and see what happens. 

It may be uncomfortable for a while, and that’s okay.  You are learning to acknowledge your inner self.  This is how you learn to understand and trust your own thoughts, values, desires, and goals. 

Read More:

Final Thoughts on How to Live a Stress-Free Life: 5 Steps to Create Simplicity

With the issues and instability in the world today, more and more people dream of simplifying their lives but don’t know where to begin.  Are you one of them?

Here are 5 Effective Ways to Begin Your Journey to a Simpler Life:

  1. Understand Your Goals and Core Values
  2. Reduce the Noise Pollution in Your Home
  3. Declutter Your Surroundings
  4. Learn to Live Within Your Means
  5. Become Comfortable With Being Alone

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject of simplicity!


woman walking on beach barefoot, leaving footprints behind in the sand, representing simple steps to simple living
A simple desk and chair with floor lamp, open book, and white wall, representing simple steps to simple living, with pink overlay
A simple desk and chair with floor lamp, open book, and white wall, representing simple steps to simple living

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