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7 Reasons a Minimalist Approach Can Make You Healthier

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7 Reasons a Minimalist Approach Can Make You Healthier

We all want to live a healthier lifestyle, but in our attempts to do so we overcomplicate things: trying diets that don’t provide us with enough nutrients, eating supplements, dragging ourselves to the gym everyday where we do boring cardio and lift weights, buying more things than we need thinking they’ll make our lives better, etc.

All of that ruins our physical, mental, and spiritual health.

The solution to all this lies in simplicity. Choosing the simpler version of anything can make you not only happier but healthier too.

Here’s how a minimalist approach can save you from the complex, stressful everyday life:

1. Giving your body only what it needs will make you energetic.

The main principle of minimalism says that less is actually more. According to this philosophy, you should eliminate anything unnecessary from your life, and thus have more freedom, peace, and contentment.

Start with your fridge and menu. Write down what you usually eat and drink so that you can see the big picture, and for each item on the list ask yourself if it’s necessary.

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You might be surprised by the type and amount of food you consume daily that your body doesn’t actually need. Anything that comes in a package, any drink other than water and tea, special additives while cooking, and most of the snacks you eat — most of these are actually bad for your health. They can make you lazier, less healthy, and moody. And it’s pretty easy to get addicted to such foods because of all the sugar in them.

If you ditch these, however, if you throw away most of what you don’t need so that it’s not in your fridge and easily accessible anymore, you’ll focus on the real foods.

These include fruits, veggies, seeds, proteins, nuts, and herbs. Together with drinking plenty of water daily, they will keep you fresh and energised throughout the whole day and will help your body perform all its functions properly.

2. Fewer worries will make you happier.

Focus on less when it comes to overthinking something from the past or planning something that might go wrong.

Most thoughts connected to yesterday or tomorrow only make us worried and anxious, which lead to many other negative behaviours.

3. By being present you’ll quiet your mind and focus better.

Mindfulness is another important aspect of having a minimalist approach.

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It’s as simple as being right here, in this moment, without wanting to change it, without thinking about the past or future. Instead, you’re focused on the present moment.

That helps you eliminate distractions, which are a big part of daily life, and thus concentrate effortlessly and finally get things done quickly.

This is beneficial to your work performance and how your mind works in general.

4. You’ll sleep like a baby.

This new mindset you’re developing thanks to simplicity will also allow you to fall asleep fast instead of staying awake for hours unable to get the rest you deserve.

Because you’ll quiet the voices in your head and will enjoy the present moment, you’ll be able to let go of the tension in your mind and body and sleep soundly the whole night.

5. Being outdoors will contribute to your overall well-being.

Instead of going to the gym, or doing any other sport you don’t really enjoy, just go outside.

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The easiest thing to do is to take a walk or go jogging. Not only will this keep you fit, but the fresh air (or sunlight during the day) will lift you up and raise your energy levels, and you’ll enjoy the view.

You can start biking, too, and explore new areas in your city.

6. Decluttering will lead to less stress.

Living in clutter isn’t healthy. Many belongings at home collect dust, need to be fixed all the time, and require your time, attention, and money.

Having less stuff at home will give you more space and more freedom.

Think about getting rid of things you don’t actually use, even if it means giving away most of your clothes or selling some furniture and the many gifts you’ve received over the years.

You’ll feel relieved once you do that. Fewer objects also mean saving time in the future, being more organised and productive when getting things done at home, and not carrying things from the past around with you.

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7. Solitude will give you peace of mind.

We live hectic lifestyles and often forget how to relax. That’s yet another reason to be stressed out all the time and to struggle with falling asleep.

Spending some quiet time alone can fix this. You’ll slow down, leave all the anxiety behind, be present, and do things you enjoy.

Reading a book, drinking your coffee in peace, listening to music, organising your desk – all these and many more activities can be done when you’re alone and have nothing else to do.

Even if you’re still doing something, know that your mind isn’t tensed and you’re being at ease.

Create such a ritual and incorporate it into your day. It’s important to be by yourself, in a quiet and peaceful environment, and not thinking about anything else that you’ll need to do later in the day or tomorrow.

Simply enjoy your own company, do things that give you pleasure, and don’t be in a hurry, waiting for the next moment or task on your list to come. The ability to be mindful alone will make your interactions with other people easier too.

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So that’s how you can live a minimalist life, and improve your health at the same time.

Any other ideas?

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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