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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 March 25, 2020

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

      When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

      So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

      1. Exercise

      It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

      2. Drink in Moderation

      I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

      3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

      Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

      4. Watch Less Television

      A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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      Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

      5. Eat Less Red Meat

      Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

      If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

      6. Don’t Smoke

      This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

      7. Socialize

      Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

      8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

      Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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      9. Be Optimistic

      Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

      10. Own a Pet

      Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

      11. Drink Coffee

      Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

      12. Eat Less

      Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

      13. Meditate

      Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

      Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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      How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

      14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

      Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

      15. Laugh Often

      Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

      16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

      Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

      17. Cook Your Own Food

      When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

      Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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      18. Eat Mushrooms

      Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

      19. Floss

      Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

      20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

      Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

      Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

      21. Have Sex

      Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

      More Health Tips

      Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

      Reference

      [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
      [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
      [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
      [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
      [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
      [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
      [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
      [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
      [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
      [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
      [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
      [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
      [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
      [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
      [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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