Updated: Nov 11, 2019
You’ve probably at least heard about the minimalism trend, but you might have brushed it off because you don’t want to just throw all your stuff away.
I get it. I worked hard for everything I own and I really didn’t like the idea of tossing anything to the side. Little did I know, this new journey I was on would change the way I felt completely. You would be surprised at all the health benefits of minimalism.
Don’t worry, I’m not saying you should donate all your worldly possessions to charity or anything like that, but maybe there’s something to this whole “less is more” trend.
Declutter Your Life, Declutter Your Brain
We all have things we collect that don’t really serve a purpose outside of the fact that we like it. When things get out of hand, you end up with tons of clutter. Did you really need all those things in the first place? While I love the idea that we’re strong enough to thrive even in disorganized chaos, clutter negatively affects your brain.
Yes, you read that right. Having trouble focusing on work? It could be a cluttered desk. Stressed out when you look around your home? Clutter could be the culprit. Studies have shown that a cluttered environment, including digital clutter like notifications on your phone, overloads your brain. I can tell you firsthand that these all contribute to stress. I am the sticky note queen so they end up all over the place and even worse, I can’t always find the information I need because...yup you guessed it...it was on a little sticky note.
Less clutter in your brain means you focus better, stress less and just feel better over all. Ultimately, less stress means fewer headaches and better focus which means you get more done in less time, making you feel more accomplished and so much lighter. I threw out the sticky notes and cleared up some counter tops and corners in our house and guess what? It feels amazing.
Improve Your Relationships
After researching minimalism, I discovered something shocking – it helps you improve your relationships. Sound crazy? I thought so too at first. But let me tell you, it’s very true. Think of all the time you spend cleaning all the stuff you have. How much time do you spend re-organizing your home to make room for more stuff? How often do you blow your budget on some random thing only to have nothing left to go out with friends later? You could be using that extra money for trips, investments, making debt disappear and more.
One of the most surprising health benefits of minimalism to me is better relationships. While that may not sound health related, stronger relationships make you a stronger, healthier and happier person. Still don’t believe it? Well I can tell you that ever since I got rid of half of my stuff (and I’m still going), I have more time to prioritize my relationships. I’ve learned that the less time you spend on clutter, the more time you have for the important people in your life.
Let Go Of Past Stress
Stress really is one of the things I hate most in life. In fact, it’s even listed as an illness on WebMD along with nasty symptoms like headaches, insomnia and a poor immune system. It can even cause a variety of weird symptoms like sneezing. Believe it or not, it negatively impacts your reproductive system and is a huge contributor to the inability to get pregnant.
What if a minimalist lifestyle could help you get rid of some of your stress? Not only does having too much stuff cause stress due to clutter, but it’s also a constant reminder of the past. I fully believe you should learn from the past, but dwelling on it never helped anyone. Maybe you still have a box of stuff from an ex that you were sure was the one or you’ve stashed away old papers or photos that remind you of a time in your life where you failed.
All these negative reminders aren’t good for you and just cause you more stress. It’s time to just let it all go and free your space from negativity. You are unbothered and don’t forget it!
Spend More Time On Your Health
The less time you have to spend cleaning and organizing, the more free time you have to spend on your health. Think of one of the health benefits of minimalism as the time you get to focus on you. Plus, without as much stuff in your way, you have more room to try out new exercises. Now might be the time to finally try yoga, zumba or crossfit (my personal favorite). You could even get adventurous and try an augmented reality game and take your stress out on zombies hiding in your living room or something.
You have to clear some things out of your life first though. From physical clutter to emotional clutter, let things go so you have the time you need to be a healthier, happier you. I know I have and I’m definitely not looking back.
Work Less, Play More
Personally, I don’t even want to think about how much I’ve spent on things I don’t need over the years. Let’s face it, I never actually needed all the shoes or clothes I had, but I was a hoarder holding onto the past and kept buying new ones because I liked them anyway. But, I have to admit that I probably could have used that money on other things, like massages and vacations. When you have less to pay for, you don’t have to work all those long hours if you don’t have to.
This leaves you more time for play and who couldn’t use more play in their lives? Think about how great it makes kids feel. Play is not only fun, but incredibly healthy for adults, as long as you don’t bust your butt in the process. No one needs hospital trips.
While I may never be a complete minimalist, there are tons of benefits from just cutting back a little. Give it a try to see how it benefits you.
Signed – The Unbothered Goddess, a woman who’s been where you are