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August7–13

National Simplify your Life Week – August 7-13, 2023

National Simplify Your Life Week is observed yearly during the first week of August. This year it takes place from August 7 to 13.Though its origins are unknown, it is abundantly clear that the week is for decluttering and simplifying one’s life, which involves getting rid of physical and psychological clutter that may hinder one from living a peaceful and stress-free life.

History of National Simplify your Life Week

National Simplify Your Life Week has an unclear history. However, its purpose is obvious — encouraging people to rid their lives of physical and psychological clutter. This week is for simple living and eliminating things that cause stress and unnecessary chaos. It not only focuses on physical aspects but also pushes people to remove mental and emotional blockages. These could be toxic relationships, negative thoughts, or unhealthy work environments.

Unlike what the term connotes in modern parlance, ‘stress’ was originally a physics term. In physics, it refers to the strain on a physical object from a force exerted on it. For instance, when a piece of plastic undergoes stress, it bends and breaks. Hans Selye borrowed this term and began using it in the 20th century concerning humans after completing medical training at the University of Montreal. He observed that patients in the hospital, despite having different illnesses, all had one thing in common — they all looked sick. Thus, he surmised that they were under physical stress. He proposed a theory that stress was a non-specific strain on the body caused by an irregularity in normal body functions, leading to the release of the stress hormone. Several researchers had a problem with the word ‘non-specific,’ arguing that psychological factors could also cause stress.

Later, researchers conducted experiments and discovered common elements that generally caused stress — whatever the specific stressors may be. These elements were ‘novelty,’ ‘unpredictability,’ ‘threat to the ego,’ and ‘sense of control,’ forming the acronym ‘N.U.T.S.’ Selye also propounded the “General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS)” with three stages — alarm reaction, resistance, and exhaustion. To date, this is one of the most popular stress theories.

National Simplify your Life Week timeline

18th Century to 19th Century
Stress is Associated With the Sciences

‘Stress’ is commonly used in the physical sciences, including engineering and physics.

1887
Simple Life Gains Popularity

Edward Carpenter popularizes the phrase ‘simple life’ in his essay “Simplification of Life.”

1946
Stress Becomes a Psychological Concept

‘Stress’ is a psychological term.

1946
Selye Publishes GAS

Selye publishes a paper on the General Adaptation Syndrome “GAS.”

National Simplify your Life Week FAQs

Can too much stress cause death?

Stress itself may not immediately cause death; however, accumulated stress can lead to health complications that eventually cause death.

What is the stress hormone?

Cortisol is known as ‘the stress hormone.’

Which country has no stress?

With its idyllic setting and high literacy rate, Iceland tops the list of stress-free places worldwide.

National Simplify your Life Week Activities

  1. Do something you love

    Simplify your life by doing something you love — watch a movie, attend an event, or simply lie down thinking about nothing. Take some time out for yourself.

  2. Clean up

    Go ahead and declutter parts of your home or office and experience the coolness of a clean space. A clean space equals a clear mind.

  3. Disconnect from social media

    In these modern times, most people tend to be on their phones almost 24/7. Disconnect from social media and connect with real people. Enjoy nature or do things the old-fashioned way. Set apart a few hours daily to take a break from your gadgets and live simply.

5 Important Facts About Hans Selye

  1. Birth

    He was born on January 26, 1907, in Vienna, Austria-Hungary.

  2. Education

    He graduated as a doctor of medicine and chemistry from the University of Prague in 1929.

  3. Career

    He pioneered work on stress at Johns Hopkins University, McGill University, and the Universite de Montreal.

  4. Nobel Prize nominations

    He was nominated seventeen times for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine but never won.

  5. Death

    He died on October 16, 1982, in Quebec, Canada.

Why We Love National Simplify your Life Week

  1. It promotes relaxation

    National Simplify Your Life Week allows us to retreat from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. A simple week of rest promotes relaxation and tranquility.

  2. It promotes efficiency

    Decluttering our lives of toxic and unnecessary things also promotes efficiency. When we get rid of unwanted elements, we can focus on things that matter.

  3. It promotes wellbeing

    Stress impacts our health negatively. It is necessary to maintain a positive balance to live healthy, comfortable lives.

National Simplify your Life Week dates

YearDateDay
2022August 1Monday
2023August 7Monday
2024August 5Monday
2025August 4Monday
2026August 3Monday

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