I enjoy driving to work on weekend mornings. Traffic is minimal, and there is a calmness that you don’t experience on weekdays mornings.
I take a street that is lined with beautiful old houses. When the weather is nice, I often see a man and woman sitting in rocking chairs on their front porch, leisurely drinking coffee and reading a newspaper.
They look so relaxed, so content, so unrushed.
The familiar sight of this couple, with their simple and relaxed routine, puts me at ease.
They inspire me to do 3 important things for improved health and well-being:
It's the simplest things in life that bring us the most joy. Despite this, our culture constantly encourages us to do countless tasks, rush from one activity to another, acquire as much stuff as possible.
Unfortunately, all of this doing and all of this stuff can cause a lot of stress and take a negative toll on our health.
Sometimes the best thing we can do for our health is to simplify, get rid of the clutter, free up our time and space, and focus on what is most important.
2. Make Good Use of What You Already Have
Most of the houses I pass on my way to work have beautiful, large front porches. Yet the house I mentioned above is the only one I ever see with people actually using their porch.
Many of us have nice things that are rarely used. Examples include:
A porch, deck, or patio that doesn't do much entertaining
A dining table that doesn't see enough family dinners
Neglected gardens or flower pots
A fishing pole, tent, volleyball net, croquet set, etc. that's just collecting dust
A nearby park or nature trail that never gets visited
I think it’s important to ask ourselves, What health-promoting treasures do I already have, and how might I make better use of them?
3. Set the Tone
Just as the couple on the porch makes me feel calm, I know that my mental state affects those around me.
If I'm rushed, irritable, and stressed, those around me will feel that stress too. But if I'm calm and relaxed, those around me will feel at ease.
We set the tone, especially in our own homes.
I certainly have my moments of rushing around, impatience, and irritability. But I think it’s important to consciously create an environment of calmness, comfort, and peace at home.
How About You?
How does simplification, making good use of things you already have, and setting a calm tone make a positive difference in your life?
This post was originally published on March 31, 2017.