Life can often feel like an uphill battle. Modern society’s constant stresses and pressures have created an epidemic of unrest, anxiety and discontent. We hustle through each day, trying to check every box and control every detail. Yet this excessive busyness and need for perfection only generates more angst. We end up making existence much more complicated and burdensome than necessary.
The truth is most of the hardship we experience is self-imposed. We suffer when we overthink, overanalyze, and try to micromanage life to the smallest detail. By loosening our grip, going with the flow, focusing on the joy, practicing gratitude, and fully engaging in the present moment, we can transform even the most difficult circumstances into opportunities for growth.
This blog post will explore the root causes of unnecessary anguish we heap upon ourselves. You’ll discover how shifting perspectives, expectations, and self-talk can profoundly change your life experience. Simple principles can guide the way toward fulfillment, ease, and inner peace if we’re willing to let go of rigidity and self-judgment. Taking responsibility for our mindset and reactions makes hardship much more manageable. Read on to learn how you may be the one making life more complicated than it has to be.
Life Doesn’t Have To Be So Complicated
Life is already full of challenges and difficulties. Don’t make it even harder on yourself by overcomplicating things. Often, we get stuck in our heads, analyzing every little detail and meditating on all the what-ifs. This creates unnecessary stress and anxiety. Learn to let go of the need to control everything and go with the flow more. Focus on one thing at a time rather than getting overwhelmed by everything at once.
Stop Overthinking Everything
Overthinking is one of the biggest causes of unnecessary hardship in life. It leads to extreme worry and poor decisions and prevents us from enjoying the present moment. Try to catch yourself when you start spinning excessive thoughts in your head. Bring yourself back to the here and now. React to situations as they come rather than playing out every possible scenario. And make decisions based on your intuition and values rather than analyzing all the options to death.
Learn To Go With The Flow
Life never goes exactly as planned. Rather than stubbornly sticking to schedules and goals, learn to adapt and go with the flow. Of course, you should have Structure, but leave room for spontaneity and flexibility. Don’t micromanage yourself and others. Be open to unexpected changes in circumstances. And view obstacles as opportunities rather than sources of stress. The more you can adopt a laid-back attitude, the less hardship you’ll experience.
Focus On The Positives
You have a choice of where to focus your attention. Concentrating on the negatives creates unhappiness, complaints, and resentment. Focusing on the positives fills you with gratitude, hope, and joy. Make a conscious effort each day to notice good things, no matter how small. Express thanks for the people and blessings in your life. And look for the silver lining when faced with challenges. This perspective shift lightens your spirit and makes hard times much more bearable.
Let Go Of Unnecessary Worries
So much of what we worry about are hypothetical situations that will likely never happen. This useless worry only robs us of enjoying life in the present. When spiraling into “what-if” thinking, gently bring yourself back to the here and now. Remind yourself of probabilities. And release fears to your higher power. Practice living one day at a time without anticipating hypothetical problems. You’ll gain tremendous freedom and peace.
Simplify Your Routine
An overcrowded, chaotic lifestyle adds so much stress and hardship. Simplifying your routine removes unnecessary burdens and hassles. Cut back on nonessential commitments. Reduce clutter and activities that drain you. Keep your schedule relatively open and flexible. Focus on obligations vs. unimportant tasks. And give yourself plenty of time for relaxation and recharging. The simpler you can make life, the more ease and joy you will experience.
Take Time To Relax Each Day
Make relaxation a non-negotiable daily habit. Set aside at least 30 minutes to decompress and do an enjoyable activity with your full attention. It may be reading, listening to music, gardening, meditating, or any hobby you love. Scheduling this “me time” prevents stress buildup and gives you something positive to look forward to each day. Taking a break from your worries lifts a heavy weight from your spirit.
Don’t Try To Control Everything
The desire to control everything – situations, people, outcomes – is an endless source of angst. Although we wish we could control life, variables are always beyond our control. Learning to accept this gives enormous freedom. Release the need to know, manage, and perfect everything. Instead, bring your entire presence to the current moment and handle difficulties calmly as they arise. Relax, knowing you have the inner resources to deal with any challenge.
Accept What You Can’t Change
Trying to force or resist realities beyond your control is a recipe for misery. If there are circumstances you cannot change, acceptance is critical to easing hardship. Release wishing things were different. Flow with conditions as they are. Refocus your power on adapting your attitude and actions. Everything changes in time. Do your best with the present situation while remaining open to better possibilities. Acceptance brings peace and preserves your joy.
Stop Being So Hard On Yourself
Self-judgment and criticism are a form of inner violence that makes life much more complicated than it needs to be. Would you talk to anyone else in such a harsh, relentless way? Give yourself the same compassion you’d give a loved one. Accept that you’re human with flaws and limitations. Appreciate your efforts, and cut yourself some slack. See mistakes as opportunities to learn rather than reasons for self-reproach. Respond to difficulties with patience and care for yourself.
Make Room For Spontaneity
Scheduling nonstop activities leaves no space for rest, creativity, and fun. Make room for spontaneity by keeping your calendar relatively open. Resist over-planning your days and weeks. Allow time to relax and see where the moment takes you. Follow your impulses to try something new. Welcome unexpected detours and opportunities that arise. Embrace playfulness, curiosity, and presence. Spontaneity adds joyful adventures to your life.
Appreciate The Little Things
In the busyness of life, it’s easy to overlook the steady stream of little blessings. Intentionally devoting attention to simple pleasures cultivates enormous happiness over time. Savor your morning coffee, the sunset, time with loved ones, a good meal, children’s laughter, and relaxing hobbies. All these small joys add up to a life rich with fulfillment. Choose to focus on what’s going right rather than what’s missing. Gratitude transforms hardship into gifts.
Live More In The Present
Dwelling excessively on the past or future is a surefire recipe for unhappiness. The present is the only time you have direct power over it. Make the most of each moment instead of worrying about what’s already happened or what’s to come. Appreciate what today has brought you. Find meaning and beauty all around you right now. Living fully in the present frees you from unnecessary suffering caused by periods beyond your control.
The key is to let go of rigidity and loosen your grip – on control, timelines, perfectionism, and self-judgment. Flow with life’s circumstances, accept what you can’t change, focus on the joy, practice gratitude, and add more joy and spontaneity to your days. Hardship is often a result of overcomplicating life and being too hard on yourself. Please keep it simple and go easy on yourself. Fulfillment comes from embracing each moment just as it is.
Case Study: Jules Learns to Make Life Easier
Jules is a 32-year-old accountant who has always been organized, driven, and detail-oriented—she habitually overplan her days, micromanages projects, and catastrophizes about hypothetical worst-case scenarios.
Recently, Jules has been feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and burned out. She worries constantly about work deadlines, finances, relationships, and even minor health symptoms. Jules also sets unrealistic expectations for herself and feels like a failure when she can’t do everything perfectly.
All this stress and self-judgment is taking a significant toll. Jules has insomnia, intestinal issues, and frequent headaches. Her productivity at work is declining. She has no energy for hobbies, friends, or relationships.
Jules realizes she needs to make some changes before she has a total breakdown. She decides to implement the advice from this blog post to loosen her tight grip on life.
Jules starts saying no to nonessential commitments to simplify her schedule. She blocks off time daily for relaxing activities like reading, yoga, or listening to music. Even 10 minutes helps calm her nerves. Jules catches herself when worrying excessively and redirects her thoughts to present moment gratitude.
When challenges arise, she avoids catastrophic thinking and handles difficulties one step at a time. Jules also eases up on criticizing herself for imperfections. She speaks to herself with more patience and compassion.
The changes feel uncomfortable at first for someone so used to rigidity. But Jules soon experiences increased energy, less anxiety, and more work-life balance. Her health improves as her whole being unclenches. Jules feels proud of herself for letting go of control and self-judgment to create more ease and joy.
In just a few months, Jules goes from burnt out and joyless to feeling fulfilled, peaceful, and better equipped to handle life’s ups and downs. She continues practicing flexibility, self-care, and mindset shifts to prevent falling back into perfectionistic overdrive. Jules now embraces the mantra “go with the flow” to maintain perspective when hardship arises.
- Don’t overthink everything or try to control every situation – go with the flow more.
- Focus your attention on the positives rather than constantly worrying
- Practice letting go of hypothetical “what-ifs” that cause unnecessary stress
- Make time for relaxation and fun each day – don’t overschedule yourself
- Accept circumstances you cannot change rather than resisting reality
- Be kind and patient with yourself instead of self-criticizing
- Welcome spontaneity – leave room for unexpected joys and adventures
- Appreciate small blessings in the present moment
- Live more in the now instead of dwelling on the unchangeable past or future.
The root of much anguish is self-imposed through attempts to control everything combined with rigid expectations. True peace and contentment come from releasing perfectionism, loosening our grip on life’s circumstances, going with the flow, focusing on the positive, practicing self-compassion, and fully embracing the gifts of the present moment. Accepting life as it unfolds naturally reduces unnecessary suffering we heap upon ourselves. With more flexibility, self-care, and room for joy, hardship becomes much more manageable.