How to Live a Simple Life and Be Happy, Plus Quotes

Surely you have heard the saying, “A simple life is a happy life.”  We are going to examine what this means and learn how to live a simple life and be happy.

Many of us have a desire to simplify our lives, be happier, and experience less stress after years of living ridiculously busy lives. I’ve done some personal research on this subject and implemented some easy changes to start accomplishing this goal of voluntary simplicity. 

If you’re like me, you’ll need to learn how to intentionally simplify your life and actually learn how to enjoy living a stress-free lifestyle. Many of us create our own complications in life without even realizing it. We need a bigger house; we need all the latest gadgets; we need more people around us. Then suddenly one day, we wish for a simpler lifestyle. You know, a simple life is a happy life, right?

Let’s take a look at some easy ways to live a simple life and be happy rather than continue to allow our lives to be so complex and stressful.

a pot of purple flowers with a white framed quote about how to life a simple life and be happy

Key Takeaways

  • We need to monitor our lifestyle choices in the pursuit of happiness to ensure that we don’t choose a complicated life that focuses on all the wrong things.
  • Our inner happiness and peace depend on intentional decisons about simplifying our lives.
  • A simple life is a happy life” suggests that we need to shift our mindset to create a good life in a world that is chaotic and busy.

How to Live a Simple Life and Be Happy

There are hundreds of ways that you can simplify your life and be happy. Many of them are really rather easy, but our overactive minds have forgotten how to think simple anymore. That’s why I found myself on the Internet researching this subject rather than just making common sense changes in my life. Simple and happy really can, and do, go together. It’s a matter of shifting your mindset about how to live a simple life and be happy.

Although there are hundreds of ways to simplify your life and still be happy, I am going to focus on just 8 easy ways that I’ve found helpful. Well, sort of. I’ve actually combined lots of ideas into 8 categories of changes. You can start with these changes and then work toward other changes that may be more specific to your lifestyle and what you want out of life.

So let’s get started with 8 ways to live life simple and happy!

1. Shift Your Mindset

The very first thing you can do to live a simple, happy life is shift your mindset. Focus on the simple things in life and realize that you don’t need mountains of tangible “things” in your life to be happy.

There are three components that will help you shift your mindset…. be present, mindful, and grateful.

Be sure to stay mentally present in the here and now at all times. Being present helps you see the good things that are happening around you. Notice things like flowers and sunshine. Stop trying to multitask 24/7 and take life a bit slower.

Be mindful of what’s going on around you, how you are responding, what you are thinking, and focus on developing a positive mindset and peace of mind. You want to shift your mindset to one of thinking the glass is half full rather than half empty. There are many benefits of mindfulness — mind, body, and soul.

And learn to be grateful for all that fills your life. Gratitude is a powerful tool. It softens the heart and soul so you can begin to see things differently. Show gratitude for “my simple life” rather than focus on what is missing from your life.

Related Article: Why is Life Beautiful? 29 Reasons to Believe!

a potted green plant and a lantern with a small candle in it sitting with a framed quote about how to live a simple life and be happy

2. Reduce Commitments & Obligations

Living a happy life doesn’t mean you have to always be involved in community activities, school activities, family and neighborhood business, church events, etc. The PTA will function without you taking on the role of the Ways and Means Chairperson. Your friends and family will still love you if you start gracefully declining some invitations to dinner or parties. Someone else in your group of friends can share the responsibilities of organizing the monthly birthday celebrations.

Start saying “no” to things that will take too much time away from a simple, happier life. You can easily get enthralled in the go, go, go lifestyle and forget that you can gracefully say “no thank you” to people. Or you can say “I’m sorry but I don’t have time to do that right now.” You’ll have less stress in your life and more inner peace. 

Reducing commitments and obligations will simplify your life, give you more time, and peace of mind. Consider saying no more often. Be selective with your time. Work on finding calm in the chaos.

Make a to-do list for the essential things in your life and stick to it!  This way you’ll be able to get enough sleep, take care of yourself, and develop a more simple way of life. 

3. Declutter Your Home

I’ve been working on this change for a year. And I’m proud to share that my home is almost where I want it to be!

Thankfully, my husband has been a tremendous help in decluttering our home because I become emotionally attached to things that people have given to me. But I’ve recognized that I can’t keep everything everyone has ever given me since I was in elementary school!

That’s how our home got so cluttered and overwhelming. This lifestyle does not align with wanting to live a simple life and be happy. I want to live a cozy, warm lifestyle like they do in Denmark, where the happiest people in the world live! This means reducing material possessions. 

We took artwork and pictures off the walls. I boxed up knick-knacks that go all the way back to my childhood. I donated a carload of blankets that I didn’t really need. Plus, truckloads of other “stuff.” I now have fewer clothes in my closet and less clutter sitting around.  It’s really rather nice. 

LIVE TO BE HAPPY, NOT TO COLLECT ‘THINGS’ that only clutter your life. The physical ‘things’ are not what bring you joy. It’s your mindset, your level of gratitude, and your commitment to using strategies to help you live a simple, happy life.

beautiful pink peonies in a white pitcher vase with a framed quote about happiness and simplicity from Socrates

4. Quiet the Digital Noise

This is probably the toughest change of all. Admittedly, I need to commit to this change also! Commit to less television screen time one night a week. Take a social media break a few times a week. Stop checking email every few hours.

Stop having multiple text conversations at one time. People can wait a bit for you to reply to a text message. Consider putting your phone away for a designated amount of time each day and respond to messages and texts at a predetermined time each day.

Learn to screen home phone calls. Don’t answer the phone if you are making dinner. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message.

Think about how digital noise impacts your life. If you are like most people, there is always some kind of digital noise occurring around you. Take a break. Get it under control. Your life will be much simpler and much happier as your brain starts to relax.

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5. Forgive and Forget

Let go of drama… past… present… and future. You are the only person you are hurting by holding on to anger, hurt, resentment, or jealousy. It’s taking up valuable space in your brain and damaging your soul.

Live to be happy, not angry or resentful. Your happiness should be your main goal. But if you are having trouble forgiving and forgetting things that take up negative space in your head, then happiness will be very difficult.

If you are living a life of gratitude with a positive mindset, it will be easy to forgive and forget. And your life will be much simpler and happier.

Related Article: How to Leave the Past in the Past

a silver pot of white roses and a simple framed quote about how to live a simple life and be happy

6. Embrace What You Enjoy

Be sure to embrace that which you enjoy in all aspects of your life. Spent time doing things you enjoy doing, not things that you ‘think’ you should be doing.

Be yourself, not someone people expect you to be. Enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Spend time with loved ones who value and love the uniqueness of you.

Your beautiful spirit will be more fulfilled if you embrace what you enjoy doing in life and it will lead to greater happiness without the need for extravagance or riches.

You may want to check out 50+ Inspirational Quotes About Living Life on Your Own Terms to learn more about making choosing options in life that feel right for YOU.

7. Slow Your Roll

If you truly want to learn how to live a simple life and be happy, you’ll want to slow your roll. Slow down your brain. Slow down your activities. Be willing to live a quiet life rather than a hectic, crazy, overwhelming life.

Simple living means leading a minimalist lifestyle with fewer possessions and fewer things to do in life. Slow living involves thinking less, doing less, and being less complicated.

Do what you need to do to stay healthy and happy, but do it with less intensity and more casualness. Stop focusing on getting the next best thing.

8. Monitor Your Physical Health 

As you work on living a simpler and happier life, it will be highly beneficial to monitor your physical health.  We’ve talked about emotional and mental health in the steps above, but it’s also important to pay attention to your physical health.

Your daily routine should include some kind of physical activity that supports better health.  Additionally, a healthy diet that includes the five food groups will have a positive impact on your overall health. 

Start with simple food that you can prep on Sunday for the entire week.  If your meals are made ahead of time, you will make better choices and develop healthy habits over time. Learn to make intentional choices about the food you put in your body and be sure to drink plenty of water every day. 

potted plants and a framed quote about how to life a simple life and be happy

Inspirational Quotes: A Simple Life is a Happy Life

Like I said earlier, if you want to learn how to live a simple life and be happy, there are HUNDREDS of changes you can make and strategies you can implement in your life.

These 12 simple life quotes touch upon some other ideas and concepts about the benefits of simple living. They are some of my favorite quotes. Take some time to reflect on the meaning of these words to determine what other changes you can make to live a simple, happy life.

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.”

Charles Spurgeon

“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of what they have.”


“Simplicity boils down to two things: identify the essential and eliminate the rest.”

Leo Babauta

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”


“Never discard anything without saying thank you and good-bye.” 

Marie Kondo

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Leonardo Da Vinci

“Collect moments, not things.”


“Less stuff means less to clean, less to organize, less to store, less mess.”


“If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”


“You can do anything, but not everything.”


“Discard anything that does not spark joy.”

Marie Kondo

“A simple life gives birth to more clarity, inner peace and meaningful relationships.

Margo Vader
beautiful white flowers and a framed quote about how to be happy

Final Thoughts: How to Live a Simple Life and Be Happy

Living a more simple life should be a great accomplishment in today’s chaotic world. It’s kind of crazy in itself that we have to research how to live a simple life, or how to live a happy life. The world has become so complex that we’ve forgotten how to live simply.

There is even scientific research that supports the concept that “A simple life is a happy life.”  One study comes out of Princeton University Neuroscience Institute and finds that small simple things ultimately produce happiness. 

Live life simply and happy. It’s really quite easy when you think about it. Don’t over-complicate life.

an ornate white frame with a quote about being happier with less and pearls and flowers around the frame

I hope you have enjoyed reading how to live a simple life and be happy in 8 steps. It’s just a start, but we all have to start somewhere, right? Plus, making small changes can lead to big changes in the future!

Be happy, my friends!

Love to All! ~ Susan

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