If you think that minimalism is all about throwing your stuff away and counting pennies, then you must think again. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is fundamentally about changing your mindset, about working out what your real values are and living in tune with them Freeing yourself from society’s consumerist expectations is one aspect of minimalism, but here are five reasons you should consider incorporating minimalism into your life.
Minimalism frees you the need to impress
Minimalism means you can step aside from the hamster wheel of always having to look successful, having the latest brands or models of gadgets, smartphones, and clothes. You waste loads of energy trying to get ahead, looking for the next promotion, working 80-hour weeks and juggling all those obligations. You could put all that energy into things you genuinely love and care about instead.
A minimalist life can save you money
Once you’ve decluttered your house, especially your closet, you’re much less inclined to welcome in more stuff. Minimalism encourages you to distinguish between needs and wants. Those impulse buys or the bargains that you never use, or wear become much less attractive.
Minimalism can lead to a healthier you
Moving to a simpler lifestyle can have some unexpected health payoffs. Minimalists find they tend to eat better, exercise more, have better sleeping habits and generally have less stress in their lives.
Rejecting the demands of a materialist society means you are more likely to prioritize and make time for healthy activities like hiking, running, yoga or mediation. All of which leads to losing weight, lower blood pressure and a healthier, happier you.
Your relationships will improve
Minimalism has the potential to make you a better person! The process of re-evaluating your life and behavior makes you focus on what’s important to you and your family. Practicing minimalism virtually forces you to sit down and talk about values and how to live an authentic life.
Understanding what makes you happy gives you a different perspective on the world. If you no longer focus on creating a good impression, you are more inclined to slow down, really listen to people and be more empathic. You think before you speak and you’re more respectful of other people.
You’ll be more confident
Having done the work to begin a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll realize you are a work in progress. You’ll stop being so hard on yourself (and others) and be more comfortable with imperfection. Minimalism leads to a more authentic, more self-assured you!
Viewing the body and mind as separate entities is completely understandable. After all, one is imaginary, and the other is there to see in all its glory. Arguably that’s why there’s so much emphasis in the world on taking care of your physical health, but much less focus on keeping your mind healthy.
But, your mind essentially controls your body, which links the two stronger than you could ever imagine. In fact, your attitude and thoughts can have a serious impact on your overall wellbeing. With that in mind, we’ve put together five ways a positive attitude can have a tremendous effect on your health.
Enhanced immune system
If you’re naturally prone to contracting colds, viruses, and general illnesses, you may need some help to boost your immune system. Now, positive thinking has been proven through multiple studies to do just that. According to experts, the body releases more immune cells to fight off a foreign attack.
Lower risk of heart failure
The heart is the workhorse which keeps our body running, but it’s also the organ that tends to cause devastation when something goes wrong. To protect yourself against heart failure, try to think positively rather than negatively consistently. A study indicated that positive thinkers are 75% less likely to develop heart failure than their negative counterparts.
Of course, if you’re regularly having negative thoughts and adopting negative attitudes, you’re going to be rather stressed. If you can deploy some strategies to combat your negative tendencies, and start positive thinking instead, you’ll drastically reduce your stress. Plus, you’ll be in a stronger positive position to cope with your stress.
Healthy cholesterol levels
Most people associate cholesterol with your diet, which is completely correct. You should be eating a healthy, balanced diet full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. However, a great supplement to coincide with a healthy diet is positive thinking. A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology stated optimism helps keep your cholesterol in check.
Decreased chance of a stroke
Strokes are one of those things that usually targets people in the older age groups, but they are capable of striking anyone at any time. So, it’s in your best interests to do all you can to decrease your chances of having one. An effective way to do that is always to try and hold positive attitudes.
We could all use a little more willpower from time to time. One of the best ways to strengthen it and give yourself that little extra boost in self-control when needed is to create some accountability. When we know that we have to report or share what we’re doing, we think twice about skipping that workout or indulging in our favorite junk food.
Today I want to share with you three of my favorite ways to create accountability. Give each of them a try and see what works best for you. Of course, you are welcome to mix and match these strategies or even use all three of them at the same time.
Keep A Journal
A great place to start is with a journal. That can be a food journal, an exercise journal, a personal finance tracker. Customize it to the goals you’re trying to achieve and record the type of information or behavior that’s helpful for you.
When you know you have to write down every little bite of food you take, or every dollar you spend, you think twice about an indulgence or impulse decision. Also, the journal can be a great tool to keep you on track because it’s a record of how well you’ve been doing and how far you’ve already come.
Make A Public Statement
Announcing your intentions is another great way to build accountability. You don’t want to have to come back and share that you’ve failed. You also don’t want to have to answer questions from people you’ve shared your intentions with unless you’re doing well. Use your pride to your advantage.
You can make this statement in a variety of different ways. You can simply tell a few trusted friends or family members that you want to lose 15 pounds by Thanksgiving. Or you can go on social media and share it with a whole bunch of people. You could even combine the public statement and journal ideas and start a blog.
Find An Accountability Partner
Last but not least, consider finding an accountability partner. Ideally, this is a person with the same or a similar goal. For example, if you want to start walking to get more exercise then find someone else with the same goal and start going for walks together. When you know there’s someone else out there waiting for you and relying on you to do your part it becomes much harder to skip a workout or give in to temptations. Instead, you’ll cheer each other on and call each other out on mishaps or slowdowns.