Discover how to live a simple life in today’s fast-paced technology-driven world and be happy.
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In this day and age where our electronic devices reign supreme, it can be very difficult to unplug from it all and just be. Julia Drake will show you how to live a simple life even in today’s fast-paced technology-driven world.
Born in the Black Forest, Germany, Julia Drake grew up roaming the woods in search of stories and she hasn’t stopped. Together with her husband Jared Drake, she runs Wildbound PR, a California based literary publicity company that represents writers that venture into the wilderness of the mind to move us, shake us, and bring us stories that enrich our lives.
After 17 years of living in Los Angeles, the couple moved to Lake Tahoe, where Julia spends her free time enjoying the outdoors, chasing her toddler boys, or chopping wood.
She’s been quoted and written for many publications, including Publishers Weekly, the Independent Book Publishers Association Magazine, UCLA Magazine, SEO Nation, and the Travel Examiner. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in film from UCLA and a Master’s Degree in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute.
The first thing I noticed after fulfilling our life-long dream and moving to the mountains of Tahoe, was “The Silence.”
My husband and I could hear it, feel it, and sense it vibrating inside of us, like rippling water. It filled us with peace, but also a bit of panic.
After 17 years of living in Los Angeles, we’d gotten so used to the hum of sirens and cars and city that it had become part of our routine. Now, faced with “The Silence,” we looked at each other, somewhat uncomfortable with all this open, breathing space, clearly not waiting to be filled with noise, but just being there for us to enjoy.
This was the first lesson I learned about living a simple life in a fast-paced technology-driven world: Learn to enjoy the silence.
Learn to Enjoy the Silence
Our often noisy lives have morphed into our security blanket; it actually makes us feel weirdly at ease to hear sirens and alarms and jack-hammering, because it saves us from listening to our inner thoughts, to the present moment, to being without doing.
It takes practice to extricate yourself from this false security, like unlearning a Pavlovian Dog response by not reacting, undoing, unthinking, just sitting and breathing space.
But the process that will allow you to live a simple life doesn’t have to be hard or even time-consuming.
Just sit in the silence for five minutes a day. Stop wherever you are, sit down, take a deep breath, listen to “The Silence.”
Every silence will be different.
The silence of the mountains will be different from the silence of the city or the silence of the beach.
Do this in the middle of the day when life frequently feels like a high-speed train.
And if there is a lot of noise and you just can’t get away to somewhere relatively quiet, try to expand your focus to the spaces in between the noise.
Shut Down Your Devices
Your computer, iPhone, iPad, TV, and any other favorite piece of technology are not human, they don’t need sleep, but the human body needs it to simply function.
Somehow we think we need to keep up with technology, and as a host of studies shows, our lack of downtime is causing all sort of physical and mental health issues, sleep deprivation, and emotional imbalances.
There is something about turning off your devices that will help you turn off too. Like cutting a rope of connectivity, turning off that blue light, freeing yourself from being available, reachable, and always on.
I suggest setting a specific moment at night where you do this.
An old-fashioned alarm clock is all you need to wake up in the morning.
Go For A Walk in Nature
No matter where you live, you should be able to find a piece of nature in your vicinity. Even if you live in the city, you can find some trees or a park somewhere. That’s all you need. Something representative of the natural world.
Go for a walk, slowly, feeling your feet on the ground, being aware of every step, perhaps there’s a breeze, perhaps it’s hot, feel the temperature on your skin, keep walking, and exploring.
Then, halfway through your walk, find a place to sit in front of a tree or plant, and just contemplate it. Hold it with your eyes. Notice that it doesn’t matter what day you are having, the tree/plant stays the same.
There is something grounding about nature, about its way of life compared to ours – foreseeing, present, yet also ancient. If you tune into that frequency, that panting technology brain of yours will stop hamster wheeling, even if it’s just for a few seconds.
If you find yourself hooked again by some worry or stressful thought or daydream, come back to nature.
Strip Your Household Back to the Basics
Do you really need a bread cutting machine? Or clap to turn the lights out? How about that astronomically expensive electric massage chair, the electric trash can, bottle opener, or the new bubble blower machine for your kids?
We continue to automate our actions to make life faster and easier, but then we just end up stuffing any time we might save with more to-do lists and more things to buy that we don’t need.
In contrast to what we might think of as becoming “more advanced,” we’re actually becoming worse at doing things for ourselves, thinking for ourselves, learning, adapting, progressing, and dealing with the challenges of life itself as technology starts living life for us.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for technology.
The key is balance.
For everything automated, do something manually. Write a letter by hand, chop wood, use the stairs, bake bread, build a fort with your kids instead of buying one on Amazon.
It will make you feel more in control, empowered, and independent, your pocketbook will exhale in joy, and you’ll realize how little you actually need to be happy.
De-clutter Your Social Life
It’s important to have friends and maintain a social life as it nurtures your mind and soul, and stimulates new ideas, and promotes a more expansive, positive outlook on life.
It’s also great to look at your social profiles and see all these people following you.
But when social media becomes a rabbit hole of mindlessly scrolling “just a little,” commenting on one post, leading to the next post, suggested by a friend, to lead to another article to comment on, and three hours later leaving your brain on hyperdrive, drained of any in-person interactions, you’re not actually connecting with anything, but just wasting a lot of precious time.
That’s when it’s probably a good idea to think about who you really care about and who really cares about you. These are the relationships you should grow and nurture as they will fulfill you emotionally and mentally, and offer a real support system you can count on.
How To Declutter Your Life In One Week – A step-by-step guide that will teach you how to declutter your whole life in one week.
Final thoughts on how to live a simple life
And there you have it: a few concrete ideas that can help you navigate this modern, digital age.
Have you tried any of these?
Which ones were your favourite?
Share your experiences with us in the comments section below and if you love this post, please do share with your friends and family.