Mental Well-Being

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Living Simply

Living simply means different things to different people. Here, we define it as a search for meaning and pleasure in life that is not based merely on consumption. Many people practice simple living out of necessity, while others choose to forego the pursuit of money or material comfort for various reasons grounded in philanthropy, environmental awareness, or spirituality. However it is defined, simple living has been embraced by cultures around the world, and embraced by many of the major religions of the world including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity (see Hebrews 13:5).

The sense of self-sacrifice involved in downscaling daily life will obviously vary from person to person. You may find that a gesture which once might have seemed like a sacrifice instead helps to enrich your life. A few suggestions for simpler living:

  • Give up television or personal use of a computer for a period of time.

  • Carpool instead of driving by yourself. Or try the bus, or walking, or riding a bicycle.

  • Try growing some of your own food, even just one or a few items.

  • Donate clothing you no longer use to a good cause. Try including a few items that still hold meaning for you.

  • Instead of buying a gift, make a pledge to improve your own health!

“Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”  -- Lao Tzu

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