Often we think of simplifying our lives as the act of removing physical objects from our day to day routine. Sure that’s fine and actually great. But take it a step further and really ask the question: when we simplify our lives what are we really doing?
I’ve asked this question many times and the leading answer sounds like this: to simplify our lives we must reduce the number of choices we have.
The power of choice is a new phenomenon. Most of us are very fortunate to have more than we actually need. A complete wardrobe, a stocked pantry full of food, unlimited choices in the pleasures we can indulge in. It wasn't always this way.
The result of having excessive choices every day can be paralyzing. What will I wear for the day? What will I prepare for dinner? What music will I listen to? With the ability to make so many choices every day, one can be left with feelings of regret and wondering if they missed an opportunity.
Various behavioral researchers have confirmed that the increase in choice can be harmful to our well-being. The power of choice is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a stifling and paralyzing option. Many people feel anxious or even depressed after making a decision. Why?Some people report that they tend to second guess their decision leaving them feeling uneasy and maybe even filled with guilt.
A solution to combat the overwhelming amount of choices we have every day is to limit the number of choices we have to make. For example, what you choose to wear for the day- often a tedious dilemma. You may find the “perfect” outfit for the day, and put it on to find out you’re not liking what you see. So you rip through your closet to find another “perfect” outfit. How about taking a moment to analyze your closet and only allow clothing that you know fits just right and makes you feel wonderful? Next time you need to pick out your outfit for the day, the clothes that best suit you will be limited, but will serve as a guarantee in your quest in finding the “perfect” outfit.
You can do this with meal preparation, deciding on what activities to engage in for the weekend and so on. Rather than having an overwhelming number of choices to make, simplify your day by only allowing options that best serve you.
By reducing the number of choices in your life you will not only simplify your life, but you will reduce stress. Life is fleeting, why spend it fretting about things that don’t matter at the end of the day?
A reduction in the amount of choices you have to make in your day allows for more time and freedom to do what you want to do. It creates space for clarity and peace of mind.
Life is complicated enough without the overwhelming amount of choices we have every day. Simplify your life by eliminating excessive choice and instead allow yourself to make choices that matter and serve you best. Simplicity of choice means more time, freedom to be alive and peace of mind.