In today’s world, we’re bombarded with responsibilities, relationships, purchases, possessions, and clutter, both physical and mental. There’s so much noise and chaos around us that our minds and bodies are in a constant state of overdrive and stress.
It’s time to do something about that. By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you can make the switch from stressful for serene, from frustrated to focused. We have some advice to help you on your journey to a more simple, more peaceful life.
What is Minimalism living?
Minimalism is not extremism – it is not denying yourself things that bring you pleasure. Minimalism is centered around embracing self-control, and an approach that’s not dependent on material possessions that bring no real joy.
This “live with only the things you need” philosophy covers more than just decluttering your home (but that’s a great start). It can cover your job, your wardrobe, your possessions, your social media life, your relationships, and finances. Minimalism allows you to focus on the most essential things in your life.
Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle
Once you commit to living a minimalist lifestyle, there will be an adjustment period as you start releasing unneeded things and habits. But after that, you’ll discover you’re living in an atmosphere of greater happiness, peace of mind, and confidence. You’ll feel a weight lift from your shoulders and notice a greater sense of freedom to pursue your passions without being dragged down by unnecessary “stuff”
You’ll find the space around you more expansive as you let go of physical things that merely clutter up your rooms, your closets, and your life. You’ll find more time to invest in activities and relationships that really matter.
Minimalistic Lifestyle: How to Start
Adopting a minimalist lifestyle isn’t an immediate, overnight change. It’s an ongoing process with missteps and forgiveness, setbacks, and progress, all enveloped in self-love and acceptance. We’ll show you ways to start tackling some of those stressors in your life.
Define your Vision: Why, How and What
Before you jump into simplifying your life, take some time to reflect: why are you doing this? Is it for better health, less stress, better control of your environment or your mind? Do you want to lessen that emotionally exhausted feeling, akin to a computer with too many tabs open, unable to process?
Make a list of the things in your life causing stress. Are there things you can do to start reducing the stressors in your life? Would you like to “declutter” both physically and emotionally? Set concrete, but attainable goals and then post your list somewhere visible, and reflect upon it daily. Some people like to create vision boards, complete with words and pictures, of how they see their future life of minimalistic simplicity.
Change your Mindset
Embracing the life of a minimalist will involve both time and effort as you change your mindset, and you may find yourself slipping back into your previous thought processes. But simplifying your life will slowly become an everyday attitude and automatic activity.
Prioritize essentials. What’s important to you? What do you care about the most? For you, this may be the people you love, or a specific activity you’d like to explore more, a new skill you’ve yearned to learn. What are those things you care most about? As you zero in on your essential priorities, it becomes easier to set aside things that aren’t as important.
Eliminating some of the complexities in your life can become rewarding. Life has a way of throwing curveballs at us. There will always be challenging situations, but keep an awareness that these difficulties won’t last forever. Focusing on your priorities and gratitudes may help challenges become more bearable, allowing space to embrace and enjoy the here and now.
As a budding or experienced minimalist, make it a practice to reduce your stressful schedule. Try thoughtfully building a more intentional, reachable daily routine, which is mindful of what you want to accomplish each day. A planner helps with this.
Manage your Expectations
We all want what we want. We have high expectations for ourselves, and society expects that we pursue it all, at great cost to ourselves. The pressure can be intense as we push on toward all those goals, causing distress and discontent.
When you take on a minimalist’s outlook, you can reduce the number of “wants” to a manageable level, especially when you keep your essentials in mind. It also helps usher in peace and an appreciation for what you have already.
Up Next Week: “How to Apply a Minimalist Lifestyle at Home”
If you’re stressed about downsizing, Caring Transitions is here for you. We offer compassionate assistance with relocation, downsizing, and online auctions.
by Stacey Himler, Owner of Caring Transitions of Southern Delaware
Get in touch: AskStacey@caringtransitions.com