Constantly streaming news, social media notifications, emails, text messages, phone calls, online shopping…it’s almost impossible to escape the overwhelming nature of today’s ultra-connected society. But if you want to live a happier life, you must.

4 Ways You Can Simplify Your Life Starting Today

So much of the stress in your life is controllable if you just know when to let go. While you’ve conditioned your brain to think you need these things, you probably don’t. By simplifying your life, you can start living a more enjoyable and fulfilling existence. Here are some practical ways to start the process of cleansing your life:

1. Get Rid of Your Smartphone

For all of the wonderful benefits a smartphone provides, it’s probably one of the biggest stressors in your life. Think about how frequently you check for text messages, email, and social media notifications – even when you don’t feel it ring or buzz. Until you really spend time thinking about it, you probably don’t even realize just how much anxiety your smartphone causes.

Want to stop feeling like there’s a magnetic connection between you and your phone? Get rid of your smartphone and kick it old school with a flip phone. Believe it or not, there are plenty of high-quality flip phones, like the Kyocera DuraXE, which have everything you need to communicate without introducing unnecessary stress into your life.

2. Declutter Your Home

When you add up every single item in the home, from pens and pencils to cars and lawnmowers, did you know that the average household has nearly 300,000 things? And of these 300,000 possessions, did you know that the average family has thousands of things that could be thrown away, as well as $3,100 worth of unused items that could be sold for profit?

Just reading these numbers probably stresses you out. If you want to simplify your life, one of the smartest things you can do is declutter your house and get rid of the things you don’t need. At first, you might find challenging to get rid of possessions. But after you break through the initial fear, you’ll discover that it actually feels really good.

3. Stop Watching the News

News flash: the vast majority of topics and stories discussed on the national news are depressing, divisive, and unnecessary. If you want to enjoy a happier existence, stop watching/listening/reading!

Some may argue that this makes you uninformed, but the reality is that almost everything discussed on the news has no effect on your daily life. (Seriously! Think about all of those issues discussed during the 2016 presidential campaign and consider how many of them have actually impacted your day-to-day life. For 99 percent of the population, nothing has changed.) Avoiding the news is the best thing you can do for your mental clarity.

4. Spend Time in Nature

Did you know that spending as little as 15 minutes in nature can make you happier? Do you have more time than that? You stand to benefit even more.

As TIME explains, “Recent studies led by Gregory Bratman out of Stanford University found that walking 50 minutes in a city park boosted people’s moods as well as their working memories and attention, while a 90-minute walk yielded changes to their brains in a way that can protect against depression.”

Stop Overwhelming Yourself

You can’t continue to
live your life at full speed and expect things to slow down. If you want to
eliminate stress and enjoy a more carefree existence, you have to learn how to
simplify your life. The techniques highlighted in this article are just a starting
point. Identify relevant areas in your
life and get to wo