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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 April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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