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Living a Simple Life Improves the Quality of Life

Updated on December 18, 2014

A Fantasy for Some

What I am about to say is the truth. It will be hard for some of you to believe. In fact, there will be some who will say I am fabricating it all just for the sake of getting views on this article. That’s fine. I have no desire to make you drink the Koolaid if you are not thirsty. Go back to doing what you were doing before I bothered you.

If you are still here, then consider this statement:

I do not have stress in my life.

Not possible you say?

Blow it out your smoke pipes I say, because it is true. I live without stress.

Imagine, if you possibly can, a life without stress. Maybe you can. Most likely you can’t, because let’s face it, life is hard, times are crazy, and stress seems to be a common denominator that is shared by all.

Except I don’t have stress.

According to the Mayo Clinic, stress causes the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment

I have none of these.

I have no stress.

Let’s take a closer look at the causes of stress before I try to sell you what I’m selling.

Worry? What's that?
Worry? What's that? | Source

Causes of Stress

I did my research. I scoured ten different medical sites, and what follows is a list of the agreed upon causes of stress today:

  • Health…chronic illness most definitely will cause stress
  • Emotional problems, such as low self-esteem, depression, grief, etc.
  • Relationship problems
  • Major life changes such as losing a job, or the death of a loved one
  • Family problems
  • Conflicts with your beliefs and values
  • Your living conditions, such as living in a crowded city, or too much crime in your area
  • Your social situation, such as being the victim of bias, or not having enough money to pay bills
  • Your job and unhappiness associated with it
  • Unemployment

Let me repeat….I have no stress.

I suffer from no stress-related health issues. I sleep like a baby every night, seven hours per, 365 days per year.

Impossible? Some may think so, but all I can tell you is my truth.

So, how is it possible?

Allow me to explain.

Something Had to Give

It has not always been so. I knew stress intimately at one time. I felt it in high school, and I felt it in college. I felt it in the workplace and I felt it in relationships. It affected my health and it affected my outlook on life. Many a sleepless night I had when I was younger, and many stress-related illnesses afflicted me over the years, including my favorite crutch, alcoholism, the perfect way to blot out all stress and just escape reality.

This November will mark the eighth anniversary of the night it almost all came to an end in a hotel room in Anchorage, Alaska, the night I almost died.

I needed to change my lifestyle if I wanted to continue living, and if I wanted to live a quality life.

And so I did. I changed my lifestyle. I eagerly embraced the Simple Life.

Enjoying simple pleasures
Enjoying simple pleasures | Source

Do you feel you have too much stress in your life?

See results

How I Did It

Take a look again at the list of causes of stress. I did eight years ago, and I set about changing my lifestyle, so that those causes did not exist.

I needed a fresh start because, obviously, what I was doing wasn’t working.

I took a look at what we all need to survive: shelter, food, water…and a fourth item that I believed to be crucial….love.

Those four things I had to have. Everything else was just window-dressing, and at times dangerous window-dressing. So, I started building a life based on needs rather than wants. I stripped my life down to the basic essentials and began building it in a new fashion with happiness being the guiding light.

Mind you, I was fifty-eight years old when I started this new journey, so please, don’t tell me you are too old to do the same. I won’t listen to nonsense.

The Specifics

Okay, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. What did these changes look like?

I had to work. No way around that one, but I didn’t have to work at a miserable job. I computed how much money I had to have to live, and then I set about finding a job I loved doing that would cover basic expenses. I ended up teaching, and then I followed that by becoming a professional writer. I loved both jobs, and I firmly believe there is no stress when you love what you are doing…or at least there shouldn’t be.

I stripped my life of surplus personal possessions. I tore up credit cards.

I eliminated negative people from my life, and surrounded myself with loyal, loving, supportive friends.

I began exercising and eating healthier meals, and suddenly found that I no longer had nagging injuries or ailments.

I rebuilt myself, gave my self-esteem a boost, and came to enjoy looking at the new guy in the mirror.

I embraced life, and began to see beauty in the simple things, like going for a walk in the park, or reading a good book by the lakeshore. I did not need expensive vacations, or the latest technological toy to make me happy, and I didn’t count my wealth by the number of gadgets I owned.

And Then the Miracles Started Happening

Suddenly, I had no money worries.

Suddenly, I had time to enjoy life rather than simply surviving.

Suddenly, I had quality time to spend with loved ones.

Suddenly, I had no stress.

Last week my wife and I split two cords of wood and felt great doing it. We stacked it in preparation for winter. We fed our chickens, quail and rabbits. We took walks around the neighborhood and in the nearby woods. We watched hawks flying overheard, and marveled at the leaves changing colors. We spent time with family and friends.

We enjoyed life.

How about you? Did you thoroughly enjoy life last week?

If not, maybe some changes should be made.

The best things in life are free
The best things in life are free | Source

Be Honest Now

Which of these causes you the most stress?

See results

Can You Do It?

I personally know some folks who cannot do what we do. They love their possessions, and they work long, hard, stressful hours so they can pay for their big home, their three cars, and their playthings. That’s all great if that’s truly what floats their boat, but there is stress that accompanies those lifestyle choices, and that stress is evident every time I meet with them.

I no longer want to live that way.

Life is too short for me to live that way.

I have no idea how you feel about this. I just know that living a stress-free life works for me.

Can you do it? I’m pretty sure you can, but it takes a willingness to completely change your life, so….are you willing?

Of course there are those out there, reading this, who have major health issues that cannot simply be wished away. I get it. Of course there are those out there who are living in abject poverty, and all the positive thinking in the world won’t change that. I get it.

But I know for a fact there are millions out there who are living lifestyles that are harming them, and they are capable of changing, and yet they don’t. This article is for them.

Think about the stress in your life. Take a few minutes and jot down the things that are causing you stress. Can you change any of them? If so, you might consider doing that, because, quite frankly, stress is a killer.

Me, I’ll just kick back and keep living my simple life.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, the fact that you love your job counts for a great deal. As long as that is true I think you have a great life. Thanks for your thoughts. I always appreciate you stopping by.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Stella. I love it...you can't play the furniture. LOL Too true my friend.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Just found this hub and it intrigued me. I work long hours because we need the money just to pay the bills

      But I'm not worried about paying the bills so guess on one hand I have stress but on the other I love the job so I'm not stressed about it

      Taking the simple life option really does work. We do it as much as we can. Awesome hub

      Lawrence

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 2 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Bill, you got it right, everything you said was true. I went from a big house down to a small one. Instead of all that furniture I had I now have my favorite guitars. I can play and enjoy them I can't play furniture. I liked my job but never loved it, when I started to teach in 1981, I found my true passion. I make a little money and do what I love. You have a great hub for people to take serious. After I got the parkinson and heart disease, my life is simple. I live each day stress free. Stella Have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deborah, I love happy endings, don't you? Hooray for you. I'm sure there was great stress involved in making those decisions, but look at the end result. I am celebrating with you.

      A Happy New Year indeed!

    • Deborah Demander profile image

      Deborah Demander 2 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

      Great article!!!

      As this year came rolling to a close, I took a close look at my stress filled life. I determined that the two biggest stressors were my job as a newspaper reporter, and my alcoholic husband.

      I took a big breath, and decided to eliminate both from my life.

      My husband reacted with disbelief. My boss laughed, saying that he couldn't believe I would leave a real job to pursue my hobby.

      Now I teach yoga, am a full time massage therapist, and a writer. Now I get to write what I want, when I want, without artificial deadlines.

      My life is stress free and I love it. It can be done.

      Namaste

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ideadesigns, it worked for us and I hope it works for you. Best wishes and thank you.

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 2 years ago

      I would love to be more "simple" in life... I use cleaning and organizing to feel more simple, but rarely works. Remove unnecessary things is a key. Thanks for sharing!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Most definitely, Mary, and I'll do the same. Thank you!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi, Bill. May I link this Hub into the one I wrote about growing up in a frugal society? Thanks in advance.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I would call that a win/win situation for sure. Good for you....good for us....now to convince others of the wonders and benefits of the simple life. Thank you!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      My life is less stressful now that I downsized from a four bedroom house into a small apartment. I gave all my treasures to my children, and I was thankful they love antiques and Hummels as much as I love them.

      Now I have more time to spend with my family and my little doggie!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It sure is, Glimmer. Writing is a wonderful outlet for stress....and helping others is another way. Thank you so much. You have been very busy this morning and I appreciate it very much.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      Oh boy, you nailed it with this one. I know first hand what stress can do to a person. Luckily my stress level is pretty low, but I have a tendency to stress when I don't need to. At almost 50 I'm still learning how to handle that, but there are times in life when it can get overwhelming and something has got to give. Writing is one way I try to handle it!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Deb! Many people can't, or won't, do that. :) Happy Thanksgiving my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Sounds like you are definitely living the right way for you. Congratulations on finding yourself. Many people can't do that.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, giopski. Nicely stated. I'm all about spending my time on things that are really important.

      Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    • giopski profile image

      giopski 2 years ago from Oakland, California

      This is wonderful advice. In the Christian perspective we have what we call "asceticism." What it is basically is trying to cut down on things that we do not necessarily need in life. By being detached to those things, we become more attached to things that are more important in life especially LOVE as you pointed out.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Sharilee. I would love to live in the woods as you are doing. We are a couple years from that happening, but we are getting closer.

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 2 years ago from Canada

      Bill, love it! As you know, we are on the journey to a simple life, too, and like you say, it's not easy. You have been one of the ones I look to inspiration for my own journey towards it. I love that you are actually stress-free. I am not there yet, but working towards it. Sharing this one, and am linking to it, too, from my blog. Blessings, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, self-inflicted wounds are my forte, but not as much as they once were. Peace be with you, brother.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Good for you Bro.

      Hats off, I say. I struggle, sometimes, but all self-inflicted. A great Sunday to you both. Salaam!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It is indeed, Pinoy! I love the simple life.

    • PinoyMom profile image

      Shiela Gerona 2 years ago from Philippines

      I agree with you about this. It's good to live a simple life with less worries.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suzie, it's a killer. You don't need me to tell you that. My life took a serious turn for the better the day I realized that and made changes.

      It sure is nice having you here, dear friend.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 2 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Thanks Bill,

      Oh how I hate that 6 letter word as it seems like stress is used so much these days. I too have found myself banding the word round. Life is too short and it is a phrase I use whenever I think "stress" is around the corner or not faraway.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you cliffordillis...and yes, it helps and I happen to agree with you.

    • cliffordillis profile image

      cliffordillis 2 years ago

      Yes, i do believe that stress can be a killer, however we need to go deeper as to what causes stress. Stress is caused because fo the mental picture we draw about circumstances in our lives and how we interpret them. And since it is mental we can change the picture at will and thus change our stress level at will. Hope this helps

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I highly recommend it.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very inspirational hub filled with excellent advice, Bill. Living a life free of stress is a wonderful goal!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      travmaj, I love that you are in a good place. Your secret is safe with me my friend. Thank you.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Lovely Bill, I feel the peace - your lifestyle zings with calmness and energy. I have this knowledge that if I shout about my happiness the Gods would wallop me. It's a recurring problem. The last time I felt so in tune with my life I had an altercation with a motorbike and lost. I have the best of two worlds but I'm not admitting it. Ok, I'll work on my thinking process...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, vkwok. I hope you are as well.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I believe that's true, Vellur.....that is a mighty big "if," however. :) Thank you!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Glad you're living a wonderful life, Bill!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      It is true the simpler the life lesser the worries and stress. The thins as you have asked "can you do it?" is the big question. I guess we all can if we try to put our woes to rest. Great hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Iris, I love your attitude and outlook. We will see better days in the pay department. In the meantime, we are doing what we love to do, and not many people can say that. Thank you for being here my friend.

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Yes, Bill. We're doing what we love. It doesn't pay the bills quite yet, but it will soon! It's been an exciting past few weeks my friend. Thank you for the encouragement. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, thank you for the kind words. There are probably some people who are wired in such a way that they can't avoid stress, but for most of us, it is a choice. Stressful situations and people can be avoided if we want to. As for you, well done on that doctorate and best wishes on the board exam. I have no doubt you will nail it.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 2 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Well first off Bill I would like to say happy upcoming 8th birthday and glad you are still among us. You are absolutely right about life's potential to add additional stress and you are proof that it is a choice to live it or remove it. I have found the more I rely on my higher power (for me it's God) I do not experience the same stressors as in the past. In my recent past and probably my coming future I will have some understandable stress since I just finished my doctorate and will be sitting for my board exam shortly but those are events rather than a constant presence of stress. I hope that with all I have done I can live a life of freedom shortly!! Have a great weekend, and try to relax :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So, Iris, would you say that you are doing work you love? LOL I love it....stay focused and keep that goal in sight....and blessings to you always my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes it can, Dora, and I hope you and others follow this path. I'd like to have you all with me for many years to come.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan. I just think that to live a happy life, stress needs to be eliminated....and then new possibilities become...well...possible. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jen, hopefully you have a lot of years, and you can build towards a simpler life. Keep the goal in sight and keep working at it my friend.

      Thank you for your honesty.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, I don't even know what to say to such kind words. Thank you doesn't seem enough, but thank you.

      As for your new life, congratulations. It sounds to me like you found heaven on earth.

      love,

      bill

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 2 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Bill, thank you for sharing your personal journey and the pain you experienced prior to making changes for yourself. My husband and I are in the process of simplifying-transitioning into work we love, reducing expenses and debt, transitioning into work we love, being more connected to people than to things (by transitioning into work we love). Oh, did I mention, that doing work we love is our number one goal?

      To my great surprise I have found that as we single-mindedly focused on transitioning to doing work we love some of the other objectives have been met or are gaining traction. And it's all because we simplified our objectives and simplified our lives so that we could live them and be the people that we want to be in our community.

      A wholehearted amen! to your ideals. Voted up and sharing.

      Lastly, I heard a phrase years ago that really stuck, "If you spend your health to gain your wealth, you'll have to spend your wealth to regain your health." Hmm, you're idea wins!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great message illustrated by your wise choices and selfless example! It can be done.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I completely agree with your title, that simple life improves quality of life.

      I myself try to live a simple, stress free life and encourage others also to do the same.

      You made some very important points in this hub. Thanks for sharing another wonderful hub!

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      Amen, Amen, Amen. Stress is literally killing us, myself included. Still trying to figure everything out. I don't mind work outside of writing--I just wish I had less of it, but then there goes the vacation time and health insurance. Still looking for my soulmate. Maybe one day life will feel a little more settled, until then, I'll just keep writing and building this income.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      When I moved from Nashville back to California I left everything including my beautiful grand piano. Everything includes designer clothes, paintings, upscale furniture, even my awards - everything. In return, I now live the glorious, stress-free, simple life. I love it! I share a quaint, log cabin-style home with my lovely daughter and her husband right smack in the middle of a breath-taking forest. I breathe clean air, eat sparingly, take long amazing walks with my Dalmatian and sing to the trees. I feel about simplifying life as you do.

      I'm proud of you Bill. You've overcome a huge life-sucking, destructive disease and become a giant among men (and women). With your magnificence, you remain humble. You continue to be the teacher we all need.

      A superb hub and enjoyed the videos. More than anything though, I enjoy your writing. The integrity that runs through your veins, shines through and lights a path for us all.

      Thank you Bill for everything.

      Love,

      Audrey

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Faith. While reading your comment I thought of some words taught to me long ago....let go and let God! I'm always better off when I remember those words.

      blessings my friend

      bill

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Stress is a killer! We had our three lovely grandchildren up for the weekend plus an extra day and a half, and the joy is always overflowing, although we are worn out, but it is a good worn out ... like chopping your wood, you are worn out, but it feels good! Worrying is a waste of time and does not change the situation, so I always cast all my cares to the Lord and then sleep like a baby.

      Sweet dreams.

      This hub reminds me of that song by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Simple Kind of Man" ... perfect!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, I think that is remarkable that you are that close at your age. One year, two, you are still way ahead of the game. And when you do finally get that acreage that you want, the transition will be so very easy. Well done my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ahh, Jackie, the simple life of a chicken farmer. :) I love your last statement...hard to miss something that has never existed. :) Thanks for being here my friend.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 2 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Bill, Funny you should write about this right now. The last few weeks I have been thinking hard, talking to my mom and brother, about living simpler, downsizing, wanting to enjoy life more. I had planned to pay off this house this past summer, but jobs changed, and I've been struggling. It will take many years now. So I've been slowly getting rid of stuff as I have time (hoping to have more time next semester) with the possibility of moving back to my first house (that I'm now renting out) for a while, until I can save for the little place with a few acres away from town a bit. My little house is less than half this house's size, with little storage. The idea may not happen, but it gives me hope to think about being debt-free with a house paid for and minimal expenses. I could teach part-time and work on my writing! And visit my parents more. Etc . . . . I'm trying to simplify, getting rid of stuff I never thought I would part with. Who knows what the next six months, the next year will bring? Keep the simple life articles coming! They're inspiring!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Some days I wish I didn't have five chickens and two kittens to worry about every day but that is not often; mostly I am thankful for them and the relaxation they have brought me. So I am right there with you for the most part; riches mean nothing to me. Life is good and we can never miss what we never had when the hard times fall. Right?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wednesday-Elf, it sounds to me like you are rich in all the things that matter. Thanks for sharing your thoughts...right on my friend.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      My life is quite simple these days in my retirement. Not having to work = a more relaxed, stress-free lifestyle. I don't have a lot (money - possessions - etc.) but never have and never really needed more. Today I find the best lifestyle for me is keeping busy, loving my family, thinking positive, and avoiding negative people. As you and others here have said, nothing brings you down or feels stressful like having to deal with negativity. Most excellent article!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, Alicia. That's why I write articles like this one, to let people know that it is possible and it is rewarding. There is far too much stress in the world...and I'm glad you are getting there.

    • AliciaAH profile image

      Alicia Alarco-Hernandez 2 years ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      Great article, personally I feel like I'm getting there, slowly. I have to make more changes but I'm a lot better then I was yesterday. I've made some changes such as writing more, which has been a great outlet. I hope to reach a complete stress free life. You're an inspiration, that it's possible. Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I think the older we get, the more this makes sense. You could have never convinced me of it when I was younger.

      Thank you for being here, as always.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I agree with you, Ruby, writing is a great stress-reducer. I'm so laid back now, I'm almost comatose. :) Have a great day my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks, Bill. I've got family whittled down to a pretty small number, and we all get along, so that helps.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Have fun at the carnival, Ann. It sounds like oodles of fun. :)

      bill

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      You give some great advice here. And it's so true that simple leads to less stress. I still have some in my life, but it's getting easier to change things for the better.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      When I was working full time as a nurse, I was stressed much of the time, now that I'm retired I'm more laid-back. Writing is a wonderful stress reducer. Loved this. Thank you..

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Very happy for you. In retirement, I've found most of the stress is gone. Some necessary family relationships do provide barriers that occasionally bring some stress. Great advice. ;-)

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      We've had some sunshine but I hope it's going to last as it's carnival night on Saturday in Bridgwater. You should see it, it's great!

      Any day is a good day to write but it's much easier if it's raining outside!:)

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anne, you learned that lesson much quicker than I did. Bev splits right alongside me, and she learned to rely on momentum as well. It is a great exercise for clearing the mind and settling into a rhythm.

      Thanks for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Heidi, I'm happy to hear you have made positive changes. I'd like to be reading your articles for many more years. :) Thank you my Chi-Town friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, that is my hope, that by writing about it, I can help someone see the wood and make changes. Yes it is hard, but for me, it was much easier knowing it was either change or die. I wasn't too fond of the second option, so change I did. :)

      Thank you my friend. The rain is coming down in copious amounts this afternoon. It's a good day to write.

      bill

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      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      Such an inspirational hub. I learned to split wood the other day, and as soon as I realised it was not strength but momentum I needed, the whole process became one of meditation. Thanks for encouraging me to ive more simply

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      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Forget most of the dreaded diseases most people fear. Stress is THE biggest health threat ever. Unfortunately, to that I can personally attest. After making some positive changes and coaching, I've been able to reduce many of the stressors and their negative effects. Here's to the simple(r) life!

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      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Very wise, bill, as ever. Stress is a terrible thing. I've had plenty but now I don't have much at all but I am worried about some family members. It's difficult to change your life when you're young and have a young family but it's so rewarding if you can. I need to help others to look at things and see what they could do. I think stress also blots out that spark of hope that things can get better. Seeing the wood for the trees make such a difference.

      Wishing you a continued stress-free life and a great evening, bill!

      Ann

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you, Venkatachari M. Interestingly, many people think it is impossible to do...they are so accustomed to living a hectic life that they can't envision a slower pace....but it is possible, and you and I are perfect examples.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No coincidence at all, Carb.....that's the way it is and always will be. We chase our tails until our tails eat us. :) Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks buildreps. I've seen both sides too, and I'll never return to the rat race.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Colorfulone, what a great story with a happy ending. Good for you my friend, and thank you for sharing that. I absolutely love the joy in your words.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      True dat, Larry! Been there, done that, and yes, that is heaven!

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, that is about as succinct as one could hope for...and true. :) Thanks buddy.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, I am truly sorry for your situation. You've worked hard all your life, only to struggle with pain when you should be enjoying life to the fullest. Thank you for sharing your message so that hopefully others can learn.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ArtDiva, I love the minimalist lifestyle. It's amazing how much enjoyment can be found and it doesn't cost a thing. :) Good for you my friend. Thanks for your thoughts.

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      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Wow!!! A great one once again. You have put it so clearly and honestly and appealing. I also like the simple life and try to be stress free. I advise others and canvass for simple living whenever I feel and whenever they are ready to take my advice.

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      Linda Lum 2 years ago from Washington State, USA

      It is said that the more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you. My grandparents had very little and lived to their 90's. I can easily name a dozen friends who have the cars and boats, big toys and McMansions and they all suffer from hypertension and heart disease. They drink too much, eat a less-than-healthy diet, and seem basically unhappy. Coincidence?

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      Buildreps 2 years ago from Europe

      Bulls eye, Bill. Simple living is the only way to be happy. I know both ways of living and sure 100% agree with you.

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      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Billy, I am so glad that you are living the simple life, stress free. Yes, it is possible. I striped myself down over a year ago, giving most of my belongs away, I'm a giver. I saved nothing for the way back when I moved back home into the wilderness to care for my, Mom. This has been a dream come true for me, so I am living my dream. And, the miracles as you say, just started happening and I am blessed because I caused the change. I have some chronic health problems, but they are more manageable now then ever. Otherwise, I have no stress in my life, because all of the things I really need are mine to enjoy a simple life once again. I am so glad to be out of the city, this county girl was out of her element there.

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      larry kitzmann 2 years ago

      Is this heaven--It's Iowa----Iowa---Yah---could have sworn it was heaven.

      (Field of Dreams)-------------Just Saying. Take care my friend

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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Stress is for sissies who have not the courage to change their life.

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      MizBejabbers 2 years ago

      Oh, dear Bill, how I do envy you. Stress is my middle name, no, it’s my first name. We dream of my retirement and leaving the city and getting back to the basic life from whence we came, but apparently that is not our path. Sometimes I just want to say “to Hell with it all!” and run away. We aren’t in debt, but you can’t run from health problems. Mr. B is facing more surgery that could render him an invalid or be the death of him. It’s ironic because I need his physical strength because of my injuries sustained in a bus accident. I can’t do housework, including loading a dishwasher without pain. Instead of moving to the country, we may have to move into a patio home (ugh!) or worse yet, assisted living.

      So I will gladly back you up. To the ones blessed with their health, I will say de-stress while you can. Get rid of the gadgets, big house, fancy cars and rental property (if you have such) and live life while you can. Better yet, move to a mountaintop and breath some clean air.

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      Good morning! I was forced to take early SS at age 62, living on it alone. Downsizing was not an option. Now a minimalist, and other friends following the same path. Less is more. Life is full.

      Good, well researched article.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LMAO....DJ, that is as hard as I've laughed in a very long time. Oh my goodness, I'm closing the drapes now so it will look like nobody is home. With any luck, the UPS driver will return the package and my life can continue to be stress-free. :)

      bill

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, if you are living stress-free, then you are doing something right. No to negative people...I don't have time in my life for that drama....thanks for sharing your thoughts. No wonder I hang with you. :)

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Sally! Living off the smell of the oil rag.....love that line. I'm glad you have found peace and happiness in the simple things.

      bill

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      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Bill, you speak with authority from having lived through an incredible amount of stress. You figured out a different path and put into practice

      actions to change your world. After changes were made, love found you.

      I believe a stress free life is possible for many people. It is wonderful to give hope to people who are struggling with life. Your words can be the very thing someone needs to hear to give them encouragement.

      *******

      I want to thank you for giving me new ideas to bring some peace and

      tranquility into my life.

      My son is tied and taped and being transported via UPS to your front door. I am already beginning to feel the peace around here. I am more relaxed and may take my dog on a walk through the park. Peacefulness is all around me.

      Be sure and give him a drink of water when he arrives. Then, put the tape back over his mouth.

      Thanks,

      DJ.

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      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent article, Bill. I think one of the key changes to make - and one we can all do - is to avoid negative people. They bring you down, make your blood boil, and cause stress. The other areas you mentioned make sense, but not all are easily attainable. Right now I'm not in a position to strip myself down to the bare minimum. I'm about as 'minimum' as I can handle at the moment. But, as you say, we're never too old to learn or to make small changes until the ultimate goal is achieved.

      I will say, tho, that I'm pretty much stress free. I have moments, but for the most part, stress isn't an issue.

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      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Billy,

      Living a simple life is definitely the way to go - fortunately I never hanker for material things - I am still living off the smell of the oil rag though occasionally I indulge and buy myself some lovely perfume off the car boot, it has a much nicer odor. I prefer a simple things in life anyway and I know it is definitely the answer.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Zulma, that picture is actually from Yellowstone National Park, but where I live has mountains and river valleys as well. It is a beautiful area and we can't imagine leaving it.

      I'm glad you are living better now...off the pain killers, which I am very happy to hear...sounds to me like you are on the right path my friend. Thank you for sharing your experience, and have a spectacular Thursday.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      First off, beautiful picture. You actually get to see this everyday? I'm jealous. I live in the middle of farm country; not to many hills or mountains to break up the scenery. :( That's I why I so look forward to our holidays in Cornwall. Beaches to laze on, woods to explore, quaint villages to visit...if you can find joy in that, then Sweetpea you just ain't trying.

      I got off that crazy merry-go-round a couple of years ago and we are so much happier for it. The sleep is improving, I've don't need pain killers anymore and I can indulge in crafting and writing to my heart's content; after the housework is done, of course. Work before play. My family is closer than ever. Like you say, some people can't or won't stop living they way they do. Let's hope someday they can and reap the benefits of a simple life.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bravo, Mike! I love hearing stories like yours. We worked hard, played hard, stressed constantly...but we have a happy ending to it all. Well done, buddy. Thank you for sharing part of your story with us. Yes, it is possible. You and I are living proof.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, it seems to me your life is pretty darned simple. If you are happy, sleep well, and enjoy your time, I'm guessing stress is pretty absent in your life. :) Carry on my friend, and thank you.