Minimalism and Mental Health
By Ama H. Vanniarachchy
Your home is living space, not storage space.
– Francine Jay
Minimalism has become a trend now. It is a concept that is being promoted in mental and physical wellbeing campaigns, in the fashion industry, lifestyle programs, and in various commercials. Rather than it being a conscious choice for mental and physical wellbeing, minimalism has become just another fashion trend. However, minimalism has a deeper meaning. It has great mental and physical health benefits if followed properly.
Understanding the philosophy of minimalism
Minimalism is not merely about having a very low number of clothes, having no objects in the interior, and having no plants and animals in the garden and household, nor it is about eating less or adopting bizarre diet and fitness habits. Minimalism is a healthy lifestyle, a philosophy one can adopt and it is a spiritual journey. It is not a trend that only applies to one's physical appearance and material environment, but it is about mental wellbeing and embarking on a journey to achieve a peaceful and less complicated life.
Minimalism is being conscious about the world around you, being sensitive towards all living beings, and understanding that everything we do has a negative or positive impact on the life around you. It is also about realising that humans are just a little particle of the vast universe and knowing that all living and nonliving things are connected to each other in many ways. Through this realisation, one also understands that every second of time is impermanent and is subjected to change and transformation. When one realises this, it is natural to realise the nature of life and the world. Hence, it is a smooth and natural understanding of the concept of minimalism. Hence it is a whole set of transformation and growth of a person’s mental and spiritual journey that naturally reflects on and through their physical and material world.
Decluttering and detoxing is beneficial
Once you adopt a minimalist lifestyle following this realisation, you will rearrange your house, office or business place, garden, diet, and daily lifestyle accordingly. Cleaning the clutter around the house and garden will have a calming effect on your mind. A minimalist wardrobe definitely has a positive impact on your finances. A minimalistic diet positively impacts the mental, physical as well as financial aspects of life.
Learn to recycle and reuse
This also helps you to practically learn to recycle and reuse. Once you decide what clothes, objects, books, etc, should be removed from your house, you can either decide to recycle them or reuse them in other ways.
Contribute to charity
If you are not doing any of either to the chosen clothes, objects, books, etc, you can recondition them and give them away or have a garage sale. Having a garage sale would be financially beneficial while giving them away for charity will be spiritually beneficial. Always remember to recondition them before you give them away for charity.
You contribute to the environment
By adopting a minimalist lifestyle, by making a conscious choice not to purchase and consume more than actually you want, you contribute to the protection and conservation of the environment as your amount of waste reduces.
“Minimalism is a journey from the compulsion to consciousness, consumerism to common sense.”
– Amit Kalantri,
Wealth of Words