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Happy With Less: Try Living With One Less Desire

desire


How much does it take to be happy? And how much is too much?

Money, houses, cars, TVs, phones, computers, video games, stereo systems, furniture, clothes, shoes, food, sex, sleep, drugs, and more – there’s no end to the amount of things we can want and desire.

Of course, we can’t live a life without an experience of desire. We see something, we want to experience it, so we take the necessary steps to fulfill that craving. We all have needs and wants, and one part of happiness is satisfying these needs and wants.

But anything in life we can become too addicted and too attached to. To the point where we don’t just want it, but we think we need it to be happy.

There’s a very simple rule to happiness: the more you need to be happy, the more work it takes to fulfill that happiness. Often becoming more happy is just as much about letting go of certain desires, as it is about fulfilling them.

This article describes the benefits of being happy with less – and some actionable steps you can take to begin this process.

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5 Reasons to Calm Down Your Analytical Mind

analytical mind


Our “analytical mind” is the thinking part of our brains. It mostly takes place in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with complex decision-making, problem solving, critical thinking, and self-monitoring.

Basically, it’s the part of our brains that makes us step back and think, “What should I think here?” or “What should I do here?”

It’s a very important function of a healthy mind, but it’s also not the only function. In certain situations, it can actually be useful to calm down your analytical mind.

Sometimes being too analytical and too rational can inhibit you from tapping into other mental resources. This article summarizes the main reasons why it can be unhealthy to be too analytical sometimes.

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4 Ways to Create Meaning in Life Without Religion

meaning


Although I grew up as a Roman Catholic, I’ve always been skeptical of religion for as long as I can remember. By the time I reached high school, I had largely considered myself an atheist.

I’m not against other people being religious. For many, it provides a sense of meaning and belonging, and recent studies (like this, this, and this) show that religion can improve mental health, including minimizing stress and depression.

There’s no doubt that religion can have its benefits – but it’s not for everyone, and it wasn’t for me.

However, by the time I became an atheist I was very lost in my life. I felt that I still had a gap that needed to be fulfilled for me to be happy. I discovered this gap was a lack of meaning.

When many people start off as atheists, they fall into this trap. They begin to see a world of just atoms bouncing around, and they forget to create meaning in their lives and see the world from a bigger picture perspective.

Here are the main ways I’ve found you can add meaning and purpose to your life without religion.

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Grit and the Need for Achievement

need for achievement


We humans have many needs. Our most commonly recognized needs include food, water, sleep, shelter, and comfort to survive, but we also crave a lot more than that out of life.

Aside from our basic needs for survival, we also have many psychological needs. These include needs such as confidence, meaning, and love. These things aren’t necessary to live, but they are often necessary to be happy and enjoy life.

One often overlooked need we share is a “need for achievement” – this is our desire for significant accomplishment, mastering of skills, or achievement of high expectations.

We don’t have to be good at everything to be happy, but we usually like to be good at something. We all crave a type of passion, skill, or talent that we can excel at and rise above the norm. It helps us define ourselves as individuals.

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The Power of Moving Slower

slower


I often find that the people who make the most mistakes in life are the ones who try to move too fast. They also happen to be the most stressed, anxious, and distracted.

Focus is about moving slower. It’s about taking your time and doing every single action deliberately and consciously.

It starts with paying attention to the simplest of actions, such as putting your keys down somewhere, or choosing a word carefully, or answering a question on an exam.

Because what happens when you make a mistake? Your mind is usually wandering and drifting – and you aren’t fully there in the moment.

Your body is putting down your keys, but your mind is thinking about what to eat for dinner. So the next morning you wake up and find yourself saying, “Where the hell did I put my keys?”

This is a result of trying to move too fast and jumping ahead of yourself. And a lot of it can be avoided if you just tried to move a little slower throughout your daily life.

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