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How Minimalism Can Reduce Stress

by Nov 8, 20214 comments

Your home should be the antidote to stress, not the cause of it.

Peter Walsh

Simplify and Feel Calmer

Declutter to De-stress

During the past couple of years, COVID restrictions have limited our movement. As a result, most of us have spent much more time at home. That has led us to become aware of changes that we want to make to the way we live and work,  especially around how to make our homes work for us. We have observed ways that we want to be more organized and less stressed at home. Simplifying your surroundings with less stuff and less clutter will create a more comfortable and relaxed space as you discover what matters most to you and put your priorities in focus. There are many ways that simplifying will help you de-stress. These are some of my favourites..

Less Visual Clutter

When there are items cluttering your space and spreading out everywhere, it will undoubtedly have a negative impact on your state of mind and your energy. You might be used to seeing it and accept it as just the normal state of things but when you take steps to change it will make a noticeable different. Seeing piles of stuff clutters your mind as well as your physical space. And this can create stress or anxiety. On the other hand, reducing stuff to make spaces free of visual clutter, offers a sense of calm because you can concentrate on the important things that you want to accomplish.

More Mindfulness

Mindfulness has become a central idea in the world of personal development. It refers to being present in the moment and accepting what you are feeling without criticism or questioning, and using that awareness to make decisions that align with your priorities and values. When you start to make your decisions with more thought and intention, you will find that mindfulness helps you be more confident with your decisions and, therefore, more at peace.

Fewer Regrets

One of the reasons that people have a hard time letting go and paring down is the fear that they will miss objects and regret not holding on to them.  This can be a source of stress.  However, If you have made considered choices, you’ll be much more likely to be more accepting of yourself and your circumstances. In addition, you will be less inclined to have post-purchase regret or second guess your choices, which means less competition or FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

More Appreciation of What Matters

By giving thought to your priorities and values, you’ll get clarity about what brings you happiness or satisfaction and, equally importantly, what you can live without. This can be freeing and allow you to let go of a lot of stress. As you gain more confidence about your choices, you will find that you no longer worry as much about what others are doing or buying. That will bolster your self-control and your ability to resist what does not serve you, which might be things, or time commitments or digital assets. When you understand that what you have is enough, you will soon develop a genuine sense of peace and gratitude that will be a powerful tool for relieving stress.

More Self-Awareness

Seeking clarity about what you want in your life makes you really think about what matters most. This helps you understand what people and things you want in your life. It might even make you rediscover old passions. Deciding what you want to hold on to and what to let go of can be difficult. Choosing what to add to your life, or remove from it, is made easier with examining your motivations and goals. You have to delve deeply into your values. This self-discovery continues with each decision about what to buy, how to spend your time, and other day-to-day choices. At first, you might find this a challenge but your self-examination will increase your confidence in your core values and your decision-making, making you more comfortable with your choices. You’ll have less worry that you are doing the right thing for yourself and your family.

Discover

 

These points illustrate how minimalism and simplifying can reduce the stress in your life. Notice how these changes work in your life. It might be interesting and valuable to journal or otherwise to track what changes you notice in your mental state and attitude as you apply these new practices.

Take Action

Challenge Questions for Day 8

Sometimes, we make a decision by not making a decision.  Or, perhaps more accurately, sometimes we are forced into a direction. For example, we you go back and forth and don’t choose between different options until one option is no longer available, the decision is usually made by default.  This can be stressful and lead to regret.

Have you done this?  What was the situation and what did you learn from the experience?

Think about a time when knowing your priorities helped you make a decision.

What was the decision and what was the outcome? How did the two situations compare?

Declutter Challenge for Day 8

Clear Your Mind

Take 15 minutes to find peace through quiet reflection or with a guided meditation.

Banner photo by Andrea PiacquadiofromPexels

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Mary Elizabeth O'Toole

Educator, Artist, Storyteller

4 Comments

  1. Larada Horner-Miller

    I love your consideration of how I need to declutter my life and mind. Great ideas. You’ve challenged me to get rid of stacks! Thank out!

    Reply
    • Mary Elizabeth

      Thanks for your comment, Larada – and good luck on the journey.

      Reply
  2. Florence Callender

    Hi, Mary Elizabeth, I’ve always known that clutter crowds my mind and slows me down. About 16 years ago, I moved and decided to simplify my home and life. I have never regretted it.

    Regarding your challenge question, I believe that not making a decision IS making a decision.

    Reply
    • Mary Elizabeth

      I know what you mean about the clutter crowding your mind. Moving is a great incentive and opportunity to simplify isn’t it. I agree with you that not making a decision is, in fact, making one – though I think not really taking control. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply

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