Minimalism is a lifestyle choice that can have a significant impact on your mental health. You might wonder if minimalism is good for your mental health or bad for your mental health.
If you haven’t been following this blog for long, the main reason I fell into minimalism was because my stuff became overwhelming. I had so much stuff that I couldn’t find important things. The volume of items in my house were causing me a lot of stress.
One of the main benefits of minimalism is reducing stress and anxiety. Decluttering your spaces and simplifying your life makes a drastic difference in stress levels.
We are a product of our environment. When our surroundings include lots of unnecessary items it utilizes brain function that diverts our ability to stay calm.
What Minimalism Does to Your Brain
When you are calm, your brain is in a state of homeostasis, which means that all of its systems are functioning at a steady state. The levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, are balanced and there is a low level of activity in the “fight or flight” response, also known as the sympathetic nervous system. In this state, the brain is able to process information and make decisions more effectively and efficiently.
On the other hand, when you are stressed, your brain activates the “fight or flight” response, which is controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. This response triggers the release of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which prepare the body for a physical response to danger. As a result, the heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, and blood flow is directed away from non-essential systems, such as the digestive and immune systems, and towards the muscles, in preparation for physical activity.
In this state, the brain’s ability to think clearly and make decisions is impaired, and it’s harder to process information and think creatively. Prolonged stress can lead to chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, and depression. It can also damage the brain by causing inflammation and oxidative stress, which can lead to cognitive decline and an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Declutter Your Mind
Your stuff is making it hard to find important things. It’s time to make a big change. Join the Messy to Minimalist training.
Minimalism is Good For Your Mental Health
While your brain is in it’s calm state you are able to function in a higher state.
Focus is improved. You’ve used minimalism to eliminate distractions and create a more organized environment. Your mind will be clearer enabling it to focus on what’s truly important.
Productivity increases. Now that you don’t waste time looking for things or clearing space to do what needs to be done, you are more productive. Eliminating unnecessary side projects allows you to be more efficient as you work on the actual task you intended.
Creativity is enhanced. Minimalism can free up mental space and allow you to tap more deeply into your creative side. When your environment is cluttered, it can be hard to come up with new ideas. Simplifying your environment gives your brain more space to flourish.
Impact of Minimalism
Your relationships will with friends and family will improve. As you shift your focus from physical possessions your brain will naturally fill the void with more effort into people.
Now that your house is no longer cluttered it will be more comfortable for you to host gatherings even at the last minute. You’ll be more willing to say yes to allowing playdates at your house or letting your neighbor drop by for tea.
All of a sudden it will feel like you have more time. It will blow your mind how much time you waste moving junk around, re-organizing stuff, and looking for important items amongst the clutter. You will give yourself back future wasted time by becoming a minimalist.
Your self-awareness will improve. As you focus more time and energy towards what’s truly important you can better evaluate what matters. Prioritizing self-care and personal growth will no longer be an after thought.
Stuff Equals Stress
When people tell me the reason they can’t reduce their items is because they love their stuff, I cringe. You may think you love your stuff, but you will love being calm even more.
If you ever ask someone how they are, what is their most common response? They say they are busy. Busyness and stress go hand and hand with the daily emotions of any average person on the street. You stay in a constant state of overwhelm.
Minimalism is good for your mental health because it changes your prevailing feeling from stress to calm in your environment. There are lots of things minimalism can’t help, but it can free up your brain to solve problems more easily. The benefits of less stress ripple out into every aspect of life.
If you or a loved one believes you’re experiencing a hoarding disorder please consult a mental health professional.