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This Is What Will Happen When You Become a Minimalist

This Is What Will Happen When You Become a Minimalist

I have a confession to make. I used to be an addict. Not to alcohol, drugs or any other substance; I was addicted to stuff.

However, after gradually adopting a more minimalist lifestyle, I’ve seen immense benefits in my life and the way I show up each day.

Despite what many people think, becoming minimalist doesn’t require you to sell all your stuff, abandon all technology and move to the mountains. Rather, the true essence of minimalism lies in having what you truly need and letting go of what you don’t. It’s about surrounding yourself with the people and things that serve you; nothing more and nothing less.

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Many people may wonder why someone would want to start reducing their “stuff,” especially when there’s always the latest and greatest thing to be had, but the benefits of adopting a more minimalist lifestyle and simplifying our environment go far beyond simplify owning less.

Check out the list below of what will start to happen when you become more minimalist.

1. You will become more happy & grateful.

With fewer distractions around you, the little things in life are given some room to be noticed. Whereas before you were fixated on your stuff, suddenly things like sunsets, birds singing or simply a blue sky become far more appreciated. You also become more grateful for the things you do still have after simplifying your environment, realizing that you have everything you need to be happy.

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2. You will be able to travel more.

This one is a bit of a no-brainer. By owning less, there’s less tying you down should you decide to change locations. This could be a permanent change in residence or even a holiday. Either way, fewer possessions means fewer things to worry about moving or storing.

3. You will become more flexible.

Not being tied down by possessions or distractions also means you have more time for last-minute adventures. There’s not as much to consider when a fun opportunity emerges, which usually leads to greater life experiences and stories.

4. You will become a better friend/partner.

Another aspect of minimalism is removing the negative relationships in our lives that aren’t serving us. In this way, you are left only with friends and loved ones who make you feel good, which allows your best self to emerge.

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5. You will develop an eye for quality.

As I mentioned in the intro, becoming minimalist doesn’t meaning owning as little as possible or living as cheaply as possible. It’s about living only with that which you truly need. That being said, when you do decide to purchase something, you’ll learn to appreciate quality items. It’s as if you pass every potential purchase through a sieve in order to determine if it’s worth including in your life.

6. You will save money.

It amazes me how so many people complain about not having enough money, yet they become almost oblivious to their spending. With fewer recurring expenses and/or items purchased, you will end up with more money each month to put towards more worthwhile causes. This may be in the form of savings, your own business, a travel fund or investing in more quality items. The choice is yours (and it’s a nice one to have).

7. You will start liking every outfit you wear.

One of the biggest areas where many of us can declutter is our wardrobe. When I started to remove the clothing I hardly ever wore, I was left with only my favorite items. In this way, I save loads of time getting dressed and always feel good about what I’m wearing, no matter what the occasion.

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8. You will be more productive with your time.

Becoming minimalist will not give you more time (which nothing can do), but it will allow you to make better use of your time. This is due to having fewer things to clean and organize, spending less time searching for missing items and creating a more productive working space. This also allows you to spend your time doing things you enjoy, such as your hobbies or relaxing with friends or loved ones.

9. You will become less stressed.

Our external environment plays a big role in our internal world. When we start allowing things to pile up, it creates a stressful response and we can easily become overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done or taken care of. By adopting a minimalist approach, we become more in control of the things in our lives.

10. You will become more creative.

By eliminating clutter from our lives, we create space for brilliant ideas to emerge. How often have you had a brilliant idea pop in your head while simply going for a walk or sitting outside (without your phone)? This is no coincidence.

From the examples above, it’s clear that all of us could benefit from a little decluttering, no matter what that may look like personally. Do you live a minimalist life? What benefits have you noticed since simplifying your environment?

Featured photo credit: Family on the Beach by Visit St. Pete/Clearwater via flickr.com

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Bryan Teare

Coach and Podcast Host

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

Listen carefully:

We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

1. Pray Daily

You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

3. Smile Often

Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

4. Organize Your Working Desk

A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

How do you do that? This is my formula:

First, go to my website (find my website here in my profile) and take the smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

8. Go Exercise

Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

The Bottom Line

It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

More Resources About Mindfulness

Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

Reference

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