How to edit your life for increased happiness. White flowers in vase on wooden side table next to white covered bed.

How to edit your life for increased happiness

‘Could I do with a little Life Editing?’

This is the question posed by Graham Hill in his TED talk ‘Less stuff, more happiness’.

It inspires us to take a closer look at what we have, why we have it, how we live and, most importantly, how we dream of living.

When life is weighing us down with physical clutter it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, burnt out and ready to quit.

So, what is physical clutter?

If you say the words ‘physical clutter’ aloud, what images spring to mind?

You might visualise a hoarder living in dark, dingy accommodation packed from floor to ceiling with ‘stuff’, or a garden filled with old bikes, broken fence panels and a rusty fridge.

Of course, this is an extreme case and probably only enters our minds because of television shows we’ve seen. 

Perhaps you visualise an older person surrounded by years of memorabilia, photos, hundreds of books and a shed filled with bric-a-brac that’s sure to ‘come in handy one day’. 

Or maybe you picture a large family home with each room bursting at the seam with endless toys and games….

A kitchen filled with every gadget and electrical item.

A garage so full that the car can no longer enjoy its rightful home.

Bathrooms packed with multi-coloured plastic bottles for every body part, for each member of the tribe. 

And it’s not just physical clutter…

In this digital age, we’re bombarded more and more with data clutter. Newsletters, sales emails, special offers and messages all enticing us to ‘sign up NOW!’

We have multiple tabs open on every device; not to mention upgrading these devices every 18 months just to keep up.

It’s time to stop cluttering our lives and instead enjoying more freedom and joy.

In his TED talk, Hill primes us with the notion of the joys of less.

When you’re travelling and only have an overnight bag in a hotel room, how do you feel?

I’m guessing…

Free. Relaxed. Creative. Enthusiastic. Calm.

How do you feel when you walk back through your front door and straight into the noise, clutter and chaos? 

It’s draining.

Like your life source is instantly sucked out from within you and leaves you feeling weak, tired and numb or stressed, angry and impatient for change.

So, what can you do? 

In addition to considering living ‘smaller’ and more efficiently in a multi-functional space that suits your needs, Hill suggests we should ‘edit ruthlessly’.

This is not just about getting rid of stuff, but reducing the flow of new items into your space and being far more aware of what you buy and how it will make you feel. 

(Read more about my personal journey in this blog ‘Why I love thrift shopping’.)

Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home, suggests a similar first stage to living a more efficient, joy-filled life by learning to REFUSE and REDUCE the quantity of goods you acquire. 

Simply recycling and selling or donating what we have isn’t enough.

This is about a complete mindset shift towards being aware of how we act as consumers and the intention in how we live our everyday lives. 

Still not convinced? 

In America the average family has three times more space they had fifty years ago and commercial storage units have become a $22 billion industry! 

We’ve now each got more debt, a higher carbon footprint and considerably more stress than ever before. Plus, we’re not even as happy!

I believe that now is the time to take drastic action and begin living a life that feels aligned to your soul and good for your family. 

It’s the time to live happier lives with less stuff, more experiences and more of the important stuff that actually makes your heart sing. 

We must make a pact to live intentionally and to share that knowledge and experience with others.

Stop. 

Breathe. 

Because it’s time to live the life you deserve and the life you truly dream of; a life filled with joy.

Are you ready to edit your life for increased happiness?

Lorraine xx

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