5 Simple Ways Minimalism Can Improve Your Mental Health

By Tatenda

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Last Updated: June 13, 2022

Minimalism is a lifestyle anchored in simple living - and is achieved by getting rid of the extras so you can focus on what matters. 

Lately, we have been seeing a rise in mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as high rates of suicidal ideation.

While there are several factors that result in these conditions, it is no doubt that your environment can also be a contributing factor to the state of your mental health. 

We tend to assign too much meaning to our possessions, so deciding on what is really important and what we should keep can be challenging. Thankfully, there are tips you can consider as a starting point to help you make the tough decisions and focus on what’s important. 

This article will focus on one tool that can help you improve your mental health - minimalism. Not only can minimalism help you improve your mental health, but it can also help your relationships

OK, but what IS Minimalism? How do I get started?

 

 

5 Ways Minimalism Can Improve Your Mental Health 

1. It helps reduce financial stress.

If you adopt a minimalistic way of life, it means your desire to buy unimportant things will reduce.

In turn, you will be able to better manage your finances and get out of debt. This way, you will find yourself in a better position to afford the things you really want such as that vacation you deserve. 

For instance, if you normally buy the latest sneakers on the market, now you will realize that you still have a few good pairs of sneakers, so you don’t really need the latest pair. You will not have to max out your credit card on things that are not really important to you. Less debt means one less thing to worry about.  

 

2. It allows you to spend time on what you actually enjoy.

Studies have shown that an average American spends 23 hours and 36 minutes on housework and cleaning every month. I think that's a lot of time to spend on cleaning!

Having a lot of things requires you to spend a lot of time cleaning and tidying up. This means after a long work week, you have to spend your weekends reorganizing closets and cleaning up garage spaces (that’s if you’re not out getting more stuff). 

Minimalism will help you create time for the things and people you love. Rather than cleaning throughout the weekend, you will actually have time to catch up and play with your children. You will have time to finish the book you started a while ago. 

 

3. It helps you be more competent.

When you have fewer things around you it becomes easier to give your undivided attention to tasks that you need to focus on. This is in relation to both your personal life and work-wise. 

Moreover, it also helps you multitask less. This way, you work on one thing at a time and achieve your goals with great standards. Ticking things off your to-do list gives you the sense of accomplishment that you need to keep going. 

 

4. It helps you become more grateful.

The benefits of gratitude include improved mental health.

I believe we all strive to be grateful both to ourselves and those around us. However, there are certain things that hinder our progress when it comes to gratitude and these include comparison. As they say, comparison is the thief of joy. 

After comparison we often find ourselves feeling inferior and our self-esteem suffers. When you have a minimalist mindset, you are not really bothered by the many things you do not have. Rather, you focus on the few things that you need. You become more grateful because to you less is more. 

 

5. It helps you identify your priorities and purpose.

When you have a lot of things around you it is difficult to figure out exactly what your priorities are.

This is in relation to goals and materialistic things. Everything seems important until you actually make a decision to select what is really important to you. You will be surprised by the number of things around you that you don’t really need and can do without. 

Once you have identified your priorities, you now focus on those without having to worry about a lot of other things that are not important. Everything around you will have a purpose and aid towards a better you. 

 

 

Is Minimalism All You Need? 

The short answer is No. Minimalism does not substitute all the things we need to ensure that our mental health is in the best state possible. 

Measures to boost our mental health include having a good night's rest, being physically active, journaling, meditating, having some time to relax and having a good diet. None of these things is the ultimate only solution. Our mental health is complex and requires us to do more than just one thing to keep it in the best state possible. 

When things seem too much or when you feel like talking to someone will help, do not be shy to reach out to a good friend or a therapist. 

Photo by Andrew Neel

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