Minimalism is a word that gets mentioned a lot. It’s one of those buzzwords that seems to come in waves. A few years ago, we were all obsessed with Marie Kondo, asking ourselves whether the things in our home brought us joy.
Unlike many buzzwords, minimalism isn’t just a passing fad or trend. It’s actually something that can have a remarkably beneficial effect on your home, and also on your health and happiness.
What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is about living with as little as possible: fewer clothes, fewer books on your shelves, and generally more order in your life.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s about throwing everything out. Instead, living a more minimalist life encourages you to take stock, and to think more about what is important to you. A big part of living a minimalist life is living more mindfully and thinking more carefully about the things in your life. We rid ourselves of the excess stuff that has been bogging us down, to achieve lightness.
Minimalism and Mental Health
Decluttering your home can help you to declutter your mind. A more minimalist home gives your body and mind more chance to relax, and less to hold on to. The act of decluttering can reduce tension, and a more simplistic home can help you to tune out the noise of your life, aiding wellness, and positive mental health.
Clutter and Overstimulation
Having too much stuff can cause overstimulation, which is the enemy of mental wellbeing. Look around your home; if you are surrounded by stuff, there is always something to look at, something to tidy, and something to do. We’re bombarded by sensory information, and we struggle to find peace.
Visual stimuli all around us trigger memories and intrusive thoughts, making it hard to relax and triggering anxiety. Living a more minimalist life decreases the risk of sensory overload and overstimulation, reducing anxiety, and improving your sleep cycles.
Declutter for Self-Discovery
You may worry that by clearing out some of your possessions, you are losing memories and even parts of yourself. But, it’s actually quite the opposite. By decluttering, you are giving yourself a chance to realise what is important to you.
Then, with fewer possessions at home, you are free to discover who you really are, how you think and feel without excess stimulation, and what, or who, you truly love.
Getting to know yourself like this can improve your mental health and reduce anxiety tremendously.
It’s so hard to focus when you are surrounded by stuff. At work, when our desks are cluttered, we become easily distracted, and we work far less productively.
At home, when we have less stuff, we have greater focus. When we’re surrounded by stuff, we’re pulled in different directions, and finding the mental space to relax can be hard.
You may choose to use this focus for meditation, or simply to concentrate on yourself, and what your body and mind need. You may want to spend more time with friends and family, or you might want to read a book, learn something new, or practice a creative hobby. All of which can give you a sense of achievement, boost your confidence, and improve your mental health.
Building a more minimal home isn’t a magical cure for mental health issues, and it won’t automatically lead to happiness. But, it can help you to move in the right direction, and give you a better chance to achieve peace and an anxiety-free life.
Why not give it a try?