What do minimalism and anxiety have in common? Fortunately, nothing. Which is why minimalism could help you lower your anxiety. A lot of the principles of minimalism lead you to things that naturally reduce anxiety. Here’s how it can give you the peace you’ve been longing for.
Less items causing you anxiety
One of the points of minimalism is to remove whatever excess is in your life. Clutter and anxiety are in fact connected. For example, I mentioned in a previous post how too much visual stimuli can make you stressed.
And the more stressed you are, the more anxious you’ll likely feel. As Dr. Carter explains, our senses work over time on the stimuli that aren’t important to what we’re doing.
You ever notice it’s more difficult to relax in a messy environment? And then all the thoughts you might have of how hard it’ll be to clean everything up. That adds up to a lot of potential to be in a state of anxiety.
So as you decrease the clutter in your home one item at a time, you’ll have less stimuli to overstimulate your senses. You won’t have those worrying thoughts about how much you have to clean up.
The sight of your space will be one that calms you. You’ll have an easier time being able to relax, and feel peace inside of yourself.
Less technology rattling your nerves
Technology in so many ways is a major factor to being anxious. From social media to the news, it’s like we voluntarily give ourselves a dose of anxiety everyday. We also keep ourselves from all the things that can actually help reduce our anxiety.
Social media: With Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we get caught up with what everyone is doing and saying. Two things usually end up stressing us, which opens the door for anxiety.
One, all the pictures of people who appear to be living the best life ever. It causes us to feel down, but then it also causes us to worry if our lives we’ll ever get as good as that.
Two, people tend to be very negative on social media. They rarely see anything positive or encouraging. All the negativity only keeps your mood low, keeps you stressed out about everything, and keeps you likely feeling anxious.
But the less time you’re spending on social media, the more time you can actually spend living your life. More time doing things you enjoy, which can help you to relax more.
News: You hear it all over the cable channels, and all over Twitter. The world is going crazy. But in reality, it really isn’t. People are just only focusing on everything that’s going wrong.
I guess it’s human nature for us to notice the bad over anything good. But focusing on all the bad news so much will only stress you out. That’s why when you decide to cut down on the news with digital minimalism, you’ve eliminated another dose of anxiety going inside of you.
More focus on what matters
Not only does minimalism lessen all the stuff causing you anxiety, it helps you increase all the things that will give you calmness and peace. For example, a major focus of minimalism is re-focusing on your health.
With more time on your hands, you can really take a step forward in doing what’ll make you feel less anxious. You can change your diet to eat less sugary and salty foods that are known to increase anxiety.
Learn to cook more vegetables and eat more fruits in order to relax your body more. Another major element of reducing anxiety is exercise. With the more time you have, you could run more, or take dance classes.
Doing all of this is going to impact your anxiety in some way. Even a small impact on how anxious you feel in life makes a difference
More fulfillment in life
With less physical and digital clutter affecting your clarity of mind, you’re able to see more clearly what’s meaningful to you in life. What your purpose is?
Not having direction in life, not having something we believe, that tends to leave us feeling lost in life. And feeling lost tends to end up leading to feeling anxious.
But minimalism is all about replacing excess with discovering your life journey. That can create excitement and joy and peace for you.
A more mindful existence
Minimalism and anxiety could not be more different when it comes to what time period matters most. With anxiety, two time periods matter most. The past, and the future.
Regrets about all the things you wish you didn’t do, and all the things you wish you did do. Worries about all the things that could happen, and all the things that are planned to happen.
Completely opposite from minimalism. With minimalism, the present matters most. Being in the moment is most important.
One of the ways you’re able to re-shift this focus is through mindfulness. Mindfulness in a way is like a practice of mental minimalism.
I can say for my own life, mindfulness meditation has helped to lower my feelings of anxiety in situations. I’m able to not let certain situations get to me as much as they used to.
The same can be true for you too. Choose to focus on your breath, breathe in slowly, and pay attention to all the sensations around you. You might notice a difference in your anxiety levels.
With minimalism re-directing your focus to the present, it lessens your mind’s grip on the past and the future. That can help you experience more inner-peace.
Minimalism and mental health
In a way, unlike minimalism and anxiety, minimalism and mental health go hand and hand. Because minimalism is all about giving you a better life, which in essence supports your mental health.
You’re making changes in your environment which will influence your ability to be more calm. You’re making deliberate choices to focus on more things that make you happier and make you feel more peaceful.
And you’re taking the time to take care of yourself, which helps to take care of your anxiety. These are the psychological benefits of minimalism.
Decluttering anxiety isn’t easy. But if you give minimalism a chance, it might be just what you needed to finally give yourself some peace of mind.
For more peaceful inspiration, you can read these 15 inner peace quotes that will calm your mind.