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How To Tell If You’re A Minimalist or a Maximalist

How To Tell If You’re A Minimalist or a Maximalist

These days it’s all about personal style. We are living in an age that allows us to capture and share our identities, through digital photography and social media, among people we know and even people we don’t.  We can embrace our individual personalities and refine not only how we dress and groom ourselves, but also how we organize and decorate our living environment.

Styling our homes and creating a sanctuary where we dwell and evolve is a privilege. Whether we live alone, with a significant other, with a group of people or whether or not we have children; all these factors can contribute to what our home looks like and how it functions.

It is unrealistic to succumb to the pressure to live in a home that looks like a magazine spread; it just isn’t functional or practical. However we can understand what our taste is, what it says about our personality and how we can enhance the comfort of our living environment to create desirable surroundings. By understanding ourselves, we can also understand others and find a balance to suit everyone.

Are you a Minimalist?

wooden-wall-minimalist-bedroom

    Photo credit: via homedit.com

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    Minimalism is all about clean lines, empty spaces, plain colors and patterns, the ridding of clutter, the clearing of surfaces and the simplicity of having only what is necessary. It is about minimizing visual noise so that the focus is drawn to only a handful of items that are useful and practical. Minimalist decor embraces storage. It doesn’t mean you don’t have things; it just means they are organized and put away so that they are not constantly accessible and seen.

    A minimalist room may feature light colored or naturally toned empty walls, with perhaps only one simple wall hanging or picture. It will include only the basic furniture for that room, which doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or coarse, just plain.

    A bedroom may have only a simply dressed bed, perhaps one bed side table. An unadorned rug on the floor or no rug at all. Clothes, books, jewellery, shoes, blankets and other clutter are stored in a closed wardrobe or closet. Color schemes tend to be pale and minimalists opt for organic finishes. Embracing a minimalist style is quite simply living with less.

    A person who prefers the minimalist style or philosophy of life tends to have a need for singularity and clarity. Joshua Becker from becomingminimalist.com says that it is about intentionality.

    “(Minimalism) is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentionality. At its core, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of everything that distracts us from it. It is a life that forces intentionality.”

    Being minimalist isn’t just about owning less, it’s about shedding the need to focus on material possessions that easily become disposable to make way for the things that have true value and meaning. It is ridding oneself of the urge to acquire and accumulate and instead move away from the modern obsession with consumerism.

    Are you a Maximalist?

    bedroom-bohemian-home-decor

      Photo credit: via decor.clarkssurfarthawaii.com

      Maximalism, while being completely the opposite to the minimalist style, isn’t necessarily about clutter or excess. It is however visually and spatially busier. Maximalist style is about bold colors, patterns and creativity. It fills a room with interest and variety. A space is brimming with life and history; it tells a story and gives priority to diversity of  functionality.

      Comfort is key in the maximalist style and allows for objects of convenience and practicality to be easily accessible and ever present. It is also ever changing and while it can be highly styled, a maximalist room can be dynamic and flexible.

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      A maximalist room will mix bright color with intricate and daring patterns flawlessly. There will be an abundance of options for seating and lying. Surfaces are plentiful and covered with both decorative and useful objects. Depending on the movement and activities of its inhabitants, a maximalist styled room may look different from one day to the next. If a person wants to read, it can look like a library – paint, an artist’s studio.

      Plants feature heavily and one can bring the outdoors inside in a maximalist room. Every inch of space is utilized and there is no set equation or theme. Things don’t have to match. Maximalism is often accidental and can be the antithesis to having a set intention or deliberate design. Knowing the signs of a maximalist style can be the difference between a room just happening to being organized in this way.

      A person who has maximalist tendencies values the gradual evolution of a space. They are often collectors and will display groups of objects that are not only beautifully created works of art that are valuable, but also represent some sort of meaning. Perhaps they have been collected from their travels or have been passed down through their family. Maximalists often indulge in the extreme and can transcend the need for order. They experience order within chaos and find it exciting and motivating; even inspiring.

      Or are you both?

      While having a tendency to be either minimalist or maximalist, most people will fall somewhere in between.

      For most people living day to day, it is impossible to maintain a sanitary and completely clean minimalist environment, particularly if you have small children or pets or if you don’t live alone. Most people surrender control over their living environment and prefer to have a home as opposed to feeling like they live in a sanitary hotel room.

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      They enjoy having things that are sentimental to them and are too busy living their life to be concerned about maintaining a certain look. However, to maintain a calm and relaxed environment that is not only practical, but comfortable, some sort of organization and order is necessary. It is possible therefore to blend these styles and take advantage of the benefits of both a minimalist and maximalist style.

      Ukranian interior designer Pavel Vetrov has managed to achieve this in its most extreme and has literally split rooms in half to represent both styles. While this may not be practical for an ordinary home, here are some ways in which to embrace both aspects of minimalism and maximalism in your home and optimize the positive aspects of both styles.

      • start with a blank palate. Opt for light colored walls and flooring to create space and provide a canvas to fill with interest and sentimentality
      • a feature wall with bold color may balance this perfectly. Paint one wall a bold color or fill it with pictures and paintings in interesting frames
      • storage is important, but so are surfaces so that you can have a place to put things that you use daily or want to display. Find a balance between reducing clutter whilst maintaining warmth and personalizing your space
      • don’t be afraid of color and patterns and while a thread of your favorite colors may occur organically, remember things don’t have to match
      • the golden rule is buy things that you love. Whether it’s a piece of furniture or an interesting statue, a plant that attracts you or objects that have significance in your life, when you focus on what you love as opposed to what is trendy, you are sure to succeed in achieving a balance and creating a beautiful home

      Featured photo credit: Pavel Vetrov via Design Taxi via elledecor.com

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      Diane Koopman

      Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

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      Last Updated on January 17, 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, take this 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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