Ease has been one of more core desire feelings for a couple of years now.
But only in the past year or so I’ve started to actually explore how to consciously and intentionally cultivate ease in my life.
I want ease in my life because I don’t particularly enjoying feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed and I’d much rather feel…
And for me, ease really encompasses all these things.
In this post, I’ll be sharing how to bring more ease into your life, including 10 specific ways, with heaps of examples and practical tips from my own life, plus some insights from some awesome humans on how they attempt to have more easy in their lives.
1. Accepting that balance is a myth.
I don’t think complete life balance actually exists. And even though I knew that perfect life balance was unrealistic, for a long time I persistently (and unsuccessfully) continued seeking it.
It’s been really useful for me to accept that perfect balance is unattainable, and instead just focus on being gentle with myself and just doing the best I can with what’s going on.
I love the way Danielle Laporte articulates in this video how there’s no such thing as life balance.
I know that sometimes I will have a lot more going on in one area of my life and be unable to devote a lot of time to another area.
And sometimes life will be gloriously full, and other times gloriously empty. And that’s okay.
2. Surrendering to what I can’t control.
Giving up trying to control the things that are out of my control is definitely something that has helped me to bring a whole lot more ease into my life.
Choosing to embrace and accept what I’m experiencing (even if it’s unpleasant) instead of resisting it has helped me go with the ebb and flow of life, and ultimately makes like more calm and less stressful.
This is easier said than done, but with devotion and persistence it does get a whole lot easier to just “go with the flow” more.
3. Being mindful.
To me, mindfulness and ease go hand in hand. Being mindful helps me to bring more ease into my life, and when my life is full of ease I’m more mindful on a moment-to-moment basis. It’s a beautiful cycle really.
I intentionally bring more mindfulness into my life by:
∞ Meditating regularly (however, I don’t believe you need to meditate in order to be mindful).
∞ Taking little pockets of time during the day to meditate (eg. when waiting in line, travelling on public transport, waiting for the kettle to boil, etc.)
∞ Listening to Sonesence meditones, the only (and best) meditation music I listen to.
∞ Taking time out to just BE.
∞ Bringing my awareness to my breath and what is going on in the present moment as often as I can remember.
∞ Giving my undivided and full attention to what I’m doing, and not multi-tasking as much as possible.
∞ Doing activities that promote mindfulness for me, and my latest favourite way to do this is by colouring in mandalas, these ones by The Fifth Element Life are my favourite.
4. Making decisions that serve me.
A lot of the time we can feel out of control with all the things we have going on, but it’s important to remember that it’s our responsibility to ensure we make decisions that serve ourselves.
For example: If you’re feeling overwhelmed and have too much on your plate, know that it’s okay to decide to cancel commitments. And if you know that you have a super busy week coming up don’t say “yes” to extra commitments when you know it’s going to lead to overwhelm.
You need to be responsible for encouraging and maintaining ease in your life.
And you definetely don’t need to wait until you get burnt out or feel completely overwhelmed to start making a change. Instead, I find it more effective to make a conscious effort to make decisions and take actions that are going to prevent overwhelm from happening in the first place, I do this by:
∞ Not over-committing myself
∞ Scheduling in non-negotiable white space for myself, where I can do whatever I want.
∞ Taking time every day to relax and do something for myself.
∞ Getting used to saying “no” when a commitment doesn’t feel good to me or makes me feel like I will be too stretched. Here’s a great post by Naomi on learning how to say no.
∞ Making sure I make time for my priorities and what’s most important to me, as Stephen R. Covey says “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
5. Focusing on myself first.
I’ve mentioned before how I believe that the secret to doing your best work is to create from a full tank. And I also think it’s important for bringing more ease into your life. Make yourself and your needs a priority first, and then when they’re met you can focus on meeting the needs of others.
What might this look like?
For me, this looks like taking some down time before meeting with clients, where I might meditate, go for a walk or read, so then I can show up fully and to the best of my ability for my clients.
I’ve also taken this approach and applied to my to-do list. So instead of prioritising things for other people first, I make a conscious effort each day to focus on the things I need to get done for myself.
For example, writing blog posts before I respond to emails or getting my newsletter done before I complete some interview questions for someone else.
This way my commitments to myself get done, and then I can focus on getting things done for other people.
I know it can be difficult to put yourself first, but I love the way Kate Northrup puts this in her awesome book Money: A love story…
6. Letting go of the things that aren’t serving me.
When I’m feeling out of balance I’ll often work out what I want more of and what I want less of in my life. This helps me to identify the things in my life that are working for me and what really isn’t serving me. Then, based on these insights I can start making small (or big) changes to feel more aligned.
An example from my own life:
A couple of years ago I was spending way too much time on social media, mindlessly scrolling, and it was really contributing to an overall feeling of overwhelm. So I reevaluated if social media was serving me and then decided to completely revolutionise the way I used it starting with introducing small incremental changes (you can read more about that here and here).
Letting go of what’s no longer serving you may involve:
∞ Doing this literally, by decluttering your belongings.
∞ Reevaluating who you choose to spend your time with.
∞ Letting go of beliefs and habits that are not working for you.
7. Being organised.
For me that involves two parts:
1. Identifying what causes me to be stressed/overwhelmed.
2. Then, coming up with solutions on how I can best be prepared to help reduce these feelings.
For example: if you get home from work and always get stressed by the idea of coming up with an idea for dinner and then cooking it. You could start meal planning each week, doing your grocery shopping in advance, planning what to have the night before, or you could even put dinner in the slow-cooker in the morning.
There’s always things we can do now that will benefit us later. And I have found that being organised in advanced is really useful at bringing more ease in my life.
8. Setting boundaries that serve me.
Sometimes setting boundaries can feel over-the-top and way too rigid for people who want to have more ease and flow in their lives. However, I’ve personally found that boundaries have been a powerful way to bring more ease into my life.
I approach this by getting clear on what’s most important to me and what I’m currently doing that is really not working for me based on my priorities. Then I can come up with boundaries for myself, that serve me.
∞ Getting my most important work done is important to me, so I will only check email after I’ve finished my most important tasks each day.
∞ Getting enough sleep is important to me, and because I have difficulty sleeping I need to make sure I spend time relaxing at night time before going to sleep, so I will not coach clients late at night.
By having boundaries in our lives we can ensure that our needs are met, we are happy and it also helps us to show others how to treat us and what they can expect from us.
I love how Alexandra Franzen starts with “what is making me feel resentful?” when coming up with clear and loving policies for her business and life, brilliant stuff.
9. Remembering that everything is impermanent.
The truth is everything is always changing and nothing ever stays the same. I learnt about this concept at a Vipassana meditation retreat and it has been really powerful in bringing more ease into my life.
I remind myself of this often, and it really does help to maintain perspective when you’re experiencing something you don’t want to experience. Accepting that everything is impermanent really helps to surrender to what’s going on as well.
You can also get some perspective by asking yourself: How will I feel about this or will this really matter in a month? In a year? In 5 years?
10. Approaching my work in a way that works best for me.
For me, this means using the Pomodoro technique every single day. I have found that it is the best way for me to be my most productive self as well as maintaining a sense of ease about my day.
However, I honestly battle with the do I really deserve to take a 5-minute break every 25 minutes ALL the time. But when I commit to working in chunks and taking breaks I’m more productive, less overwhelmed, and my day just flows better.
You can read more about how I approach my work here.
However, I highly recommend working out the way you work best and what approach helps you to work with ease and without overwhelm.
“First off, ease if VERY important for me. I bring in my ease by arranging my life in a way that I have only a few commitments, and my commitments have been very consciously chosen. ie only what really needs to be done, not what people tell me ‘should’ be done.” — Elizabeth from Savouring Simplicity.
“One of my favourite practices to intentionally bring more ease into my life, is to check in with my body several times in a day and ask myself – Am I relaxed? This allows me to slow down my breath and let go of any tension in my body (i.e. shoulders, back), relax my stomach instead of clenching or tightening the muscles. This brings me back into my body and as I become more present, it allows me to flow with life instead of trying too hard to control what’s happening.” — Vickie from Heartflow.
“Ease is relatively new to me and I’m still feeling my way around saying ‘no’ to further commitments. It’s about learning to recognise that my body and mind have had enough and politely saying no and not feeling guilty about letting others down.” — Rosa from Rosa Palermo Wellness.
“I bring ease into my life by practising mindfulness. I used to feel so cluttered because I was always trying to plan and think ahead and I couldn’t sit comfortably in the moment and just enjoy it! Being mindful isn’t always easy, but it does bring ease into my life in such a beautiful way.” — Rachael from Rachael Kable.
And I’ll leave you with these incredible words by Danielle Laporte, because sometimes we can easily get caught up in thinking that things have to be hard. Yeah, they might be sometimes, but they don’t have to be. And if you’re someone who wants to bring more ease into your life you’re the one that needs to allow it to happen.
Now I’d love to hear from you:
How do you intentionally bring more ease into your life?
As always, looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.
Love & Gratitude,
PS. You might also enjoy: How to get unstuck and start moving forward (with FREE worksheets!)
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