Those who live within their means suffer from a lack of imagination. - Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde must have used the above mentioned epigram in a humorous context in one of his plays, but many people often confuse austerity with lack of ambition or what they call in popular culture "loser attitude". Living simple is often looked upon as a mark of giving up your ambitions, but the reality is that austerity is a virtue which not only helps us in enriching our lives but also contributes a bit in making this world a better place to live. To know the advantages of living simple, you first need to accept austerity as an attribute, because the absence of this very reason may make the idea of living simple shallow and unappealing.
Benefits of Simple Living
Peace of Mind
Simple living ensures that unnecessary things are out of your life and you focus on the real factors that affect the quality of life. If money would have been the most important factor for happiness, then the happiest people in the world would have been our businessmen and celebrities. Simplicity allows you to see the positive side of life, things that might you never be able to realize when your mind is full of clutter. You can engage yourself more creatively in several activities, which can make you feel contended. Austerity allows you to stay grounded and prevents you to develop feelings of ego, jealousy, greediness, and negativity. You no longer feel the need of 'Keeping up the Joneses', or getting into unnecessary competition which is superficial and temporary.
Time for your Loved Ones
Most of us become so busy in our lives that we forget to spend time with our loved ones. This causes us to lose out on the warmth and love that one experiences in the presence of our dear ones. People who desire materialistic pleasures often become so immersed in their pursuit that they become oblivious to the importance of relationships, and when the realization dawns upon them, it is too late. People who believe in simple living are often content with lesser materialistic pleasures, and instead, cherish the time spent with their loved ones.
Improvement in Health
By choosing to be austere, you relieve yourself of the stress that has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in our daily lives. Simple living gives you a new perspective on things and helps you to indulge in creative activities apart from getting rid of the clutter. It allows you to devote some time to recreational activities, physical exercises, meditation etc., which are immensely beneficial and help us in leading a healthy life.
Living simply allows you to have a retrospective view of life. It makes you aware about your strengths and weaknesses. 'Most people do not live; they just exist', as they never have the time to look back upon the precious moments of their lives. People who aimlessly pursue materialistic pleasures are often not sure about what they exactly want from life. They never have the time to analyze themselves which leads to ignorance about the self. Living simple helps you to stay happy with what life has had to offer you and helps in creating positivity in your life.
Cutting down on your expenses can ensure that you are doing your bit for the conservation of environment. If all of us make a few compromises on our daily dependence on electricity, petrol, fossil fuels, all of which are derived from environment, in one form or the other, we will be able to stop the degradation of environment.
These were some ways in which the simple living can prove to be beneficial for us. It is important to remember that adopting a simple lifestyle does not mean that you give up your employment and start living in the countryside hut, but what it essentially means is that we spend our time, energy and efforts on important things in life. We can be easily lured by the glimmer of money, but we have to also remember that humans have an infinite desire for possessions, and it is never-ending. One thing creates the need for another, and when we realize that we cannot possibly get everything, we feel dejected and unhappy. So, the idea should be to limit what we want, so that we can take better care of our needs.