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7 Reasons a Minimalist Approach Can Make You Healthier

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.

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 March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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