A Minimalist Life
We may all dream of a minimalist life – one that is free from stress and worry. However in these fast-paced times this is just not the case for most people. In today’s world most people spend their days rushing between work, caring for family, household responsibilities and so on. It seems like there is never enough time in the day for everything you needed to get done. You’re exhausted, burnt out, and ready to throw in the towel. And once your head finally hits the pillow that night, you dread waking up to do it all over again. You’ve reached your breaking point and you’re not really sure where to go from here. Can I be honest? I feel this way all the time. But we can get through it, by taking some simple steps to help prevent it in the future.
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” —Abraham Lincoln
More than likely, one of the factors that leads to your overwhelm is being busy. I’ve been there and in fact I feel like I still battle being busy every day. One of the biggest steps we can take towards feeling less overwhelmed is to stop being busy. It’s really as simple as that. With less on our plates, there is less chance of feeling like we are drowning in a list of things to do. We won’t feel so busy all the time and suddenly we will find pieces of time that allow for rest and pure joy. Minimalizing your home is a great place to start. Less clutter and fewer possessions means less time spent clearing and cleaning.
Let it Go
If you still feel there is too much to be done – prioritize. Does it have to be done today? This is where we have to let go of perfection. We have to let go of the need to do it all and do it now. You are just one person and there is no way that you can do it all and do it well. You just can’t. There’s nothing wrong with that. We have to learn to embrace it instead. Overwhelm comes from ourselves. It comes when we hold ourselves to a standard too high for anyone to achieve without wearing themselves out in the process. But does it really matter if the laundry is done today or if you get all your work done? What matters more is that you enjoyed each moment in front of you that day.
Simplify your Life
Simplifying your life can be a slow process. Take time to evaluate the things in your life and decide what should stay and what should go. This can be both physically around you in your daily life and the things you commit your time to. Simplify the things in your home, closets and car. Get rid of the excess that doesn’t add purpose or bring you joy. Be ruthless and intentional with this. Then take a look at how you spend your time. Are there things you are doing because you feel obligated or simply because you don’t want to say no? Cutting back on unnecessary commitments and simplifying your life is a huge step towards overcoming overwhelm.
Simplifying your life with less stuff can lead to more room for what matters. Having less things, less stress, less clutter, and less to worry about has given me the freedom to be more present with those few things that matter most. We don’t need to have it all to be happy. We just need those things that are most important to us and we need to invest our whole heart into just those. Simplifying your life with less stuff can lead to more room for what matters. Having less things, less stress, less clutter, and less to worry about has given me the freedom to be more present with those few things that matter most. I find I have more enjoyable times with family and friends. I am not stressing that time spent with them is time I should be cleaning or tidying etc.
The Benefits of a Minimalist Life
Choose what's important
By decluttering our surroundings we create space and peace. We lose that claustrophobic feeling and we can actually breathe again. We’re able to focus on what is important to us. We can begin to fill our lives with meaning instead of stuff. Look here to get some ideas to start.
The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor, it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all our ‘stuff’. Let it go and you will experience a freedom like never before – a freedom from greed, debt, obsession and overworking. It’s really hard to let go of possessions we have built up over the years. Gifts from friends and family, photos and memorabilia from family holidays, ‘things’ we never use but may come in handy one day. Letting go is the hard part, once they are gone all you will feel is relief. I used to dread the thought of letting go of ‘stuff’. I worried about the waste of money to throw away things that cost a lot. But then I realised that the sense of peace I achieved from letting things go was far more valuable then the money spent on them.
Focus on Health and Hobbies
Everyone is always saying they don’t have enough time, but how many people really stop and look at what they are spending their time doing?
You could be enjoying a day with your kids, hitting up the gym, practicing yoga, reading a good book or traveling. Whatever it is that you love you could be doing, but instead you are stuck at a shopping centre, looking for more stuff.
Less Focus on Material Possessions
All the stuff we surround ourselves with is merely a distraction, we are filling a void. Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy comfort. After the initial comfort is satisfied, that’s where our obsession with money should end.
We are bombarded by the media presenting promises of happiness through materialistic measures. It’s no wonder we struggle everyday. Resist those urges. It’s an empty path, it won’t make you happy.
It’s hard not to get roped into the consumerism trap. I need constant reminders that it’s a false sense of happiness. I enjoy stuff, but I also recognize that I don’t need it, and if I keep buying I will end up ‘drowning’ in impulse purchases.
A Minimalist Life Brings Peace of Mind
When we cling onto material possessions we create stress because we are always afraid of losing these things. By simplifying your life you can lose your attachment to these things and ultimately create a calm, peaceful mind. The less things you have to worry about, the more peace you have, and it’s as simple as that.
When de-cluttering your life, happiness naturally comes because you gravitate towards the things that matter most. You see clearly the false promises in all the clutter, it’s like a broken shield against life’s true essence.
There is also happiness in being more efficient, I find if I am not constantly searching for things at home it reduces the stress enormously. You will also find you have the ability to focus your concentration by having refocused your priorities. A minimalist life really does bring you joy by enjoying all aspects of your life.
Less Fear of Failure
When you look at Buddhist monks, they have no fear, as they truly live a minimalist lifestyle and really value their peace, serenity and faith.
In whatever you wish to pursue doing you can excel, if you aren’t plagued with the fear of losing all your worldly possessions. Obviously you need to take the appropriate steps to put a roof over your head, but also know that you have little to fear except fear itself. I find a relaxed mind and body helps ease the stresses of life, and the result is very calming.
Living a minimalist life promotes individuality, self reliance and purpose. This leads to more confidence in your pursuit of happiness, fulfillment and peace. Without the burden of ‘overwhelm’ you are able to be in control of your destiny, and have the peace to enjoy it.