The Joys of a Simple Life

Stress is a sign that something needs to change in your life.

If you are in debt, then whether you acknowledge it or not, you are in a state of stress. If you are not healthy, then you are in a state of stress. If you are constantly in fear, anger, pain, sadness, distrust then you are in a state of stress.

Life gets easier and easier the more you look for stress and give it the attention it requires.

Six years ago I was over $50,000 in debt. I weighed over 250 pounds. I was in a miserable marriage and was really unhappy in my job.

I tried to ignore the causes of my stress. I tried denying them. I tried "shopping therapy". I tried to drink myself into a nice cozy hazy numbness every night (and afternoon on weekends). I tried following strict diet plans and workout routines.

By the time I was 30, my unhappiness hit an all time high. I wasn't ready to change. My days were spent feeling afraid, lonely, manic, and my nights were spent comforting myself with food and drink.

I didn't set out to un-stress my life intentionally; but my mind/body/spirit had been craving change and everything I had resisted during my twenties started to fall into place.

My marriage ended. I suddenly had time on my own. I didn't have money to spare and I started taking responsibility of what was in my control.

With so many things feeling outside of my control I was able to focus on four key areas.

1) How I spent my money
2) What I ate/drank
3) Making my surroundings beautiful
4) Strengthening my mind/body/spirit

Each one of these things overlapped and aided the others.

By organizing my belongings I was giving myself a beautiful place to exist, and I wasn't buying duplicate or triplicates of things I already had stashed "somewhere".

I stopped eating out, because it was so much cheaper to bring my own food.

I couldn't afford the gym, so I canceled my gym membership and started walking instead, a long walk was measured in miles instead of from the far side of the parking lot.

I gave up cable t.v.

I gave up my cell phone.

I re-established what a necessity really was and with each thing I let go of, I made another advance of paying off my debt. Within two years my single minded focus had helped me become debt free and I had lost 70 pounds.

If you are struggling, then maybe finding a moment to pick one thing you don't need that you can let go of, could help start swinging the pendulum in the right direction.