Living a Zen lifestyle sounds great, but let’s face it, the modern world we live in makes it a little easier said than done. It appears everything is moving a million miles a second and we spend most of our time trying to catch up. We are constantly bombarded with information on our social media accounts, overwhelmed with school, work, being a parent, having a social life, staying fit, paying bills, etc. It seems endless.
Living a Zen lifestyle is about simplifying your life, knowing your limits, cutting out the noise and just doing what really matters to you. It may be difficult at first but in the end, you will find yourself happier, less stressed and more at peace. Let’s get started!
No More Multi-Tasking
It doesn’t matter if you are the best multi-tasker out there, or if you work better under pressure. Stop doing 5 things at once and focus on one task at a time without rushing. If you are eating dinner, turn off the Netflix, get off Facebook, lose the Instagram feed and just eat dinner. When you are doing multiple things at once you are overworking your mind and adding more stress. You will find your mind more at ease when there aren’t 7 different things to focus on. Try it out. When you shower, just shower. When you drive, just drive.
Manage Your Time
No, this doesn’t mean have a schedule of an endless list of tasks and appointments. The goal here isn’t to see how much can you get done in one day. The goal is to have a realistic schedule that has a day’s worth of work, chores and winding down time that you actually follow. The schedule isn’t overwhelming, it’s comfortable. The problem with endless task lists is that you find yourself rushing everything. You are blazing through it all without fully processing and when you don’t get everything done you find yourself stressed and feeling incompetent. That’s why it always feels like there is never enough time in the day. But there is always enough time if you make it that way. Your schedule should reflect what you know you will get done in the allocated time. Your work should end when work ends and your chores end when you have completed them. There’s no more work that is added and no less work. You have enough to last one day and that’s it. You will notice the days flowing better, your tasks will get done with the attention they need and you will feel more accomplished than before!
Make Your Own Rituals
Being Zen also means having your own rituals for how you do things to relax the mind and develop a sense of importance. This applies to how you clean, exercise, meditate, or even cook. You have a certain way of doing it every time. This ritualistic approach is very calming and acts as a form of meditation. For example, cleaning can be very stressful. You are scrubbing, sweeping and rushing to get it done so it can be over already. By creating your own cleaning ritual you can turn this stressful chore into something relaxing. You are no longer rushing or stressing on getting it done because you already have your own set method on how to do it.
Tidy Up Regularly
Zen doesn’t mean ignoring the dishes, letting clothes pile up, or letting furniture get dusty. Zen means keeping order and living tidy. The environment you live in and your cleanliness affects your stress levels and the way your mind functions. The best way to be more mindful and more productive is to keep a tidy home. Clean up regularly, keep your living space in order. The space will breathe easier and be a more welcoming environment for an orderly, meditative lifestyle.
For those of you who enjoy retail therapy or might be a little bit of a hoarder, this will be the most difficult step. Living Zen means only keeping the essentials in your life. That means getting rid of all the things that you don’t really need. Do you really need all those old t-shirts or different colored pumps in your closet? Probably not. Get rid of the things that you don’t need and only keep the stuff that’s necessary. It is all about living a simple lifestyle. You purchase the necessities and get rid of the excess. Slowly, you will notice you no longer feel the need to consume, and that definitely puts your mind at ease.