Thursday, May 5, 2016

Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle


Minimalism is
          Simple
          A lifestyle - finding happiness while loving, being driven, and adapting to change.
          A choice - living with less, is more.
          A philosophy - a practice of keeping elements that only bring value and enjoyment.
          Uncomplicated - and less stressful.
          Organized - thoughts and spaces.
          A tool - to find freedom.
          Peaceful - enjoying life and focusing on what truly matters.

Minimalism is not about owning a certain number of items. The lifestyle is about being happy with less. If that means you are happy with a 20 piece wardrobe or even 288 objects, then you are well on your way to becoming a minimalist. The main idea is to erase negative influences, mainly clutter and people. Disclaimer: I do not literally mean erase people. I may not like them, but they're good to keep around. Sometimes. ARgh, you get the point. Anyways, minimalism is a choice which also has many positive benefits, which you'll understand by the end of this post, I hope.

The effects of clutter and negative energy:
Visual stress
Anxiety
Too much time wasted looking for items
Not enough time to do anything
Working too hard and too long
Unhappy feelings and emotions
Wasted money and food
 
What is Visual Stress?
Visual stress is the difficulty in distinguishing objects due to disturbing visual patterns.
"It can be responsible for print distortion and rapid fatigue when reading."
- www.ceriumoptical.com/vistech/visual-stress.aspx
This fatigue is exactly what occurred along with anxiety, as I stated above. It mentally hurt looking at my own possessions and caused psychological discomfort because the mind is trying to organize or process all of the items, especially in the photos below. Minimalism is a philosophy and therapy needed, to reduce the clutter, and release negative influences from clouding your vision.

Before

After

http://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/
The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
These gentlemen work as a team to define minimalism and enjoy a meaningful life with less stuff. Their blog has a plethora of information regarding the basics of being a minimalist, getting rid of life's clutter, wardrobe essentials, money, and so much more. I highly recommend digesting all of the content these guys have to offer.
"Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom" - The Minimalists

http://mnmlist.com/minimalist-faqs/
mnmlist Leo Babuta - creator of Zenhabits.com
Both sites are an eye opening to a new happy lifestyle. Learning how to let go of possessions, objects and how they consume us, and distractions, are some key points in mnmlist's blog. Opening your mind to zen thoughts and keeping your life calm, zenhabits.com is extremely refreshing by way of reminding us to slow down.
"It’s a way to escape the excesses of the world around us — the excesses of consumerism, material possessions, clutter, having too much to do, too much debt, too many distractions, too much noise." - mnmlist

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/what-is-minimalism/
becoming minimalist Joshua Becker
Joshua Becker and his wife decided learn how to become minimalists and for the past couple years, they've been blogging their journey, views, and thoughts along the way. The transformation over time, including their writing, shows amazing results and progress. Not only is it motivational, it's refreshing to be able to have a connection that they were once beginners too.
"Minimalism slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live faster." - Becoming Minimalist

http://lovingsimpleliving.com/2012/03/what-is-minimalism/
Loving Simple Living Lorilee Lippincott
Not only is this woman living the simple life, she's sharing it for the world to see. She's mastered writing and publishing a book of her own, wrote articles to help with the hustle and bustle of modern day consumerism, and even travels simply. This is a very admirable woman because she's in control of her life and loves it!
"The idea is to not be limited or distracted by material possessions." - Loving Simple Living

http://exilelifestyle.com/minimalism-explained/
Exhile Lifestyle Colin Wright
An extremist in owning little possessions, this man is my biggest roll model as far as living the nomadic lifestyle on 55 items and writing his own content for an income.
"What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff – the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities – that don’t bring value to your life." - Exhile Lifestyle

http://www.minimalstudent.com/minimalism-101/
minimal student Jessica Dang
Also working her way from the bottom up, Jessica is living the simple lifestyle and working on her school all while being happy with less. She's found the secret to happiness for herself and works hard to share it with others on her blog.
"It’s about finding happiness in what we have already, instead of chasing something that is always out of reach" - minimal student
   
What are some steps to help transition to a simpler life?
Write a list of 10 things that are important that you absolutely cannot live without.
Find a good friend to help you determine items necessary to keep or toss.
If you feel overwhelmed, start with one box, or a section of your room.
Keep your favorite spot in the house simple, as an example to follow for the entire house
Only focus on the list of 10 objects and separate all leftover items. Place them under your bed. If there's too many belongings, then place them in the corner of your garage. This is my 3 month plan. If you haven't reached in the bag, get rid of it.
Use samples from the internet, like I have, to keep yourself focused for the lifestyle you want.
Write down 5 goals on a dry erase board and look at it every day to help stay on task.
Also find a quiet place to meditate or at least think alone, without interruptions.



Benefits of a minimalist lifestyle and my personal observations:
Less visual stress
Less time looking for possessions
Less cleaning
Reduced anxiety
Positive energy
Minimalist Wardrobe
More time



References

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