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8 Benefits Of Being A Minimalist

8 Benefits Of Being A Minimalist

What does it mean to be a Minimalist? It can mean different things to different people, but essentially, it is about not having anything that does not bring value to your life. If you don’t need it, don’t keep it. If you are not sure if you need it, don’t keep it. Pare down to the essentials and live a simpler, clutter-free, more streamlined life.

Minimalism is an evolving process of being aware of what you actually “need” versus what you think you need. It is taking a look at your possessions and assessing whether they are bringing you joy, or stress. It is not about having only 100 (or 33, or however many things are the saying du jour), it is about having what you need — and what you love.

As The Minimalists (Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nickodemus) say:

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“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.”

Basically, our stuff gets in our way. We spend way too much time thinking about it, storing it, protecting it, and making money to acquire more of it.

Here are 8 ways you can benefit from living a Minimalist lifestyle.

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1. You save time

You don’t have to go looking for things when you have less things. There are no piles to sort through, no boxes to move around, and less confusion about what you have. When you have less, it is easier to keep organized, which saves you time in finding what you need, when you need it. Everything then is able to have its place.

2. You save money

When you step away from Consumerism, you also shift away from the need to have the newest, latest, fanciest model; even when the model you already have works just fine. You also realize you can do more with less. The need to acquire more to bring value to your life changes, so you can value what you already have even more. You can then use that extra money you’ve saved to spend on experiences, such as travel, rather than on more “things.”

3. You are more mobile

If you had to pack up your house in a day and move, could you? Your version of minimalism may not be so extreme as to be able to carry everything in one knapsack around the world with you, but simplifying your stuff can make travel much easier.

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4. You feel more free

I am not just talking about minimalism in relation to physical possessions, but also in doing away with being too busy, too over-committed, or in letting go of relationships in your life that get in the way of you feeling free.

5. You feel more peaceful

When someone walks into a minimalist’s room with things of beauty, but no clutter, they can feel a sense of calm and ease. If you are feeling stressed, try getting rid of things and making space for calm in your home.

6. You are more efficient

When you have less on your plate, you are more focused on the tasks at hand. A clear and uncluttered work-space; for example, leads to increased productivity.

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7. You can clean your house much easier

It’s simple. The less you have to clean on, in, or around, the less time you spend cleaning, and the more time you get to spend enjoying your living space.

8. You lessen your ecological footprint

Buying less stuff and producing less waste is better for the landfills, and the environment. Also, if you streamline even further to have one car per family (or even no car) you’ll be reducing your emissions, and not contributing to pollution.

The choice to become a minimalist may not seem like an easy one, but if you focus on simplifying, step by step, you will find yourself feeling much more free.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.imgix.net

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Bridget Baker

Web Presence Sherpa

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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