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Simple life: how to enjoy the essentials

In this age of stress, noise and technological saturation, which invites accumulation and ostentation, the famous law of “less is more” may seem unfeasible to us. But simple is still the best choice. Going back to the essential, to the natural, is the only way to calm.

Cultivating as far as possible the art of simplicity is always convenient. The reason is that As a human species, we have a certain tendency to complicate and even excess.

This is mainly due to a greater mental and imaginative capacity with respect to animals, who are content to cover their basic needs instinctively. Human beings, for better or worse, always aspire to more and You can create multiple situations and modify your environment.

It seems difficult to put limits on our desires: not even millionaires are usually satisfied with what they have, and there are even those who are no longer satisfied with living on earth and aspire to inhabit other planets.

in common parlance a simple person tends to be seen as faint-hearted or unintelligent. We say that someone is simple or says simple things. However, you don’t feel like dealing with “complicated” people. We prefer simplicity and naturalness.

We know that simple is often the best choice, but we are tempted by the desire for novelty and ostentation. Appreciating simplicity in all areas of life is what EF Schumacher reminds us of in his book small is beautiful.

A simple life in a complex world?

Simplicity is not necessarily the opposite of complexity. In nature we observe, for example, endless chromatic variations, but essentially there are three basic colors (red, yellow and blue) whose combinations create innumerable nuances.

And to a greater surprise, that apparent nothingness that is white contains them all. The harmonic complexity of nature, entails an inherent simplicity. Just as all possible numbers derive initially from one, diversity is an expression of unity and tends to return to it.

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The path of simplicity could be summed up as a return to the essential, fleeing from the superfluous. It is an area that covers various levels: physical, psychological or spiritual.

The key components would be: authenticity, detachment, sobriety, order, serenity, centrality, contentment… It also includes a transpersonal attitude: move away from egocentric patterns and feel united with nature and our fellow men.

Ordering time and space is important. Keeping the house clean and tidy makes life more enjoyable. Everything in its place, avoiding that the furniture and decoration are overwhelming, that a relaxed atmosphere is breathed.

In the same way, distribute your activities on the agenda (work, family, play…) saves physical and mental energy. It makes possible even those ineffable moments of “doing nothing”, equally valuable.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle stated that wisdom consists in avoiding extremes. It is the secret of the rider who gallops without falling to one side or the other of the horse, although it is inevitable that the body oscillates.

Searching for balance in its various forms allows progress on the path of simplicity.

How to go back to simple

Keeping things simple usually gives the best results.. The cultural tradition of humanity until the era of industrialization is based on this principle.

It is not necessary to reinvent every moment: Useful knowledge (technical, artistic, culinary) is transmitted, which is usually simple. Traditional crafts thus have the virtue of unite utility and beauty.

In the list of inventions that have made work easier, many also add simplicity and effectiveness, like the hammer, which by its own weight together with the movement of the arm makes the point of the nail easily go through the wood. Or another of the most simple and great: the little clip with which we order the papers. They are just a sample that, certainly, less is more.

of course many seemingly simple resultslike playing an instrument They have required hard training.. What fascinates us in these cases is the ease and coordination in its execution.

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A trapeze artist should adopt a graceful demeanor and jump naturally into the void, knowing that another synchronized trapezeist will come to his aid. Part of an initial complexity that is simple at the same time, provoking our admiration.

It all starts in the mind says the Buddha. Depending on your thoughts and desires, there will be actions with their corresponding results: positive, negative or neutral.

The way of simplicity is to keep a clear and calm mind with which to enjoy life and at the same time deal with the ups and downs that it brings.

That’s why serenity and contentment are essential. Appreciate the good that you have, without envying anyone. savor the moments of simple fullness and joy that undoubtedly come. Solve the abnormal situation without despair if a specific event is unavoidable.

We cannot change everything to our liking. Hence the importance of modestywhat does it mean to be simple, and at the same time as firm, as the land we walk on.

Simplicity vs stress, noise and technological saturation

To counteract this sensory invasion and maintain a balanced it helps us not to stray from simplicity. Avoid physical, emotional, food excesses… Find inner peace fleeing mental dispersion.

Everything in life follows cycles.: light and darkness, systole and diastole of the heart, activity and rest.

The current problem lies in the loss of balance between Yin and Yang, the expansion and contraction of natural rhythms according to ancient Taoism. We want night to be day, for everything to grow indefinitely, to live in a virtual parallel reality.

That’s why we need to bring back the simplicitydisconnect from mobile and networks to return to an experiential world to which we belong Think less abstractly and appreciate concrete things, without living surrounded by a multitude of unconnected sensations. Do not lose contact with nature and its energies It is key to maintaining the roots.

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Life can be compared to a journey. To enjoy it, you have to combine interest in what we find along the way and patience to overcome the pitfalls. also have a piece of luggage that contains everything you need, but that is both simple and light.

How to develop a contemplative attitude

1. Enjoy the here and now

Look for moments of physical and mental stillness. Stop attending the screensfocus on the here and now instead of mentally being in other places.

meditation and yoga they will help you, or practice a certain forgetfulness of yourself: melt into the immensity of the sea, the starry sky or the lonely forest. The silence surrounds and comforts us.

2. Breathe calmly

There is talk of not wasting money, but also time, voice, thoughts, or even breath are wasted.

Both rapid, shallow breathing and mental agitation lead to anxiety, while slow breathing and slowing the flow of thought relaxes. Breathe slowly, calm will accompany you.

Simplicity implies moving away from egocentrism and feeling united with nature.

3. Focus on what’s important

The difficult situations they promote changes, they allow us to differentiate what is important from what is superfluous. They are an opportunity to establish an adequate hierarchy of values. What things do I not want to lose or what do I aspire to achieve in this life?

Move away from empty consumerism: Rich is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

4. Achieve stoicism

The main figures of this philosophical current (Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius) advocated the intimate contact with nature, frugality and the simple life. His goal was to achieve a state of undisturbed serenity, the ataraxia.

One of his sentences was: “If it’s not right, don’t do it; if it’s not true, don’t say it.”

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