Minimalism: A Lifestyle of Mental Freedom and Release
It doesn’t take much to understand the relationship between a person’s surroundings and emotions. People use their surroundings to express themselves, to encourage themselves, or even to suppress certain things about themselves. Take, for example, people engaged in creative works. People like these usually have living spaces or even workspaces that are bright and colorful.
It has a lot of decorations, patterns, and some interest and sparks creativity and imagination. Some people can use the very same surroundings to escape some inner demons, darn thoughts or feelings, or even memories. This is only one example of surroundings and their relationship with emotions and mental health.
The Significance of ‘White Space’
In the philosophy of design, a concept referred to as ‘white space’ refers to everything that is not present in a space. Manipulating white space in the classroom of a design philosophy course is a common occurrence. You come to realize that there is little control over white space. When you are forming an artwork by manipulating a black paint or marker on a white canvas, you cannot add white space back once you have removed it. It is an exercise that requires conscious deliberation, and it means considering emptiness to create something meaningful, instead of the usual way of art. This is a fascinating principle.
As a design concept, white space has many benefits to mental health. It is a soothing design element. The design concept of minimalism focuses on the maximum usage of white space. This means that the uncluttered aim of minimalism helps to manifest the same ‘unclutteredness’ within the mind of a person who regularly spends time in a minimalist space, with minimalist habits. Adopting minimalism as an ongoing habit in your lifestyle has many benefits in mental health. This means that there is a relationship that exists between mental clutter and physical clutter in your life. Letting go of physical clutter demands the mental release of the very same clutter as well—sort of like unpacking psychological baggage, in a way.
The Three Areas of Minimalism
Minimalism is easier to achieve when broken down into three steps.
Beginning with the material things that you own is a great idea to start with minimalism. Having more ‘stuff’ can easily make you feel scattered or out of control. Getting rid of things begins with the question of what is important and what isn’t. Of course, you need not get rid of everything you aren’t currently using in one go. This is a lot of pressure to place yourself under, which is undesirable.
Begin by packing away the things you intend to give away or sell or donate. Just don’t forget to eventually do the final step and get rid of it, when you are comfortable! The fewer stuff you have around you, the more focussed and sense of clarity you will enjoy, improving your mental health greatly.
It may sound counter-intuitive to minimize the things you are doing. However, doing too much is the best way to place strain on yourself mentally. Juggling too many projects, too many jobs, too many hobbies, or even too many social commitments can all make you grow weary both mentally and physically. Select only the most essential activities, and you will find that you enjoy them more when you have more energy and time to spend on them. You know you have too much to do if you feel overwhelmed by it.
This is an overlooked aspect of minimalism. It’s easy to overlook how people can clutter our minds just as much as possessions. Getting caught up in maintaining contact with people is draining. When you begin habits of minimalism t is important to address every part of your life and remove the things causing you’ energy leaks’.
This means sitting down and considering who the people in your life who contribute to you positively are, or who supports you. These are the people who receive priority and that you can maintain contact with. This isn’t to say everyone else is cut off, but simply that you don’t have a deeper level of communication with them.
Maintaining good mental health comes much more quickly when you adopt a minimalistic lifestyle. It is an excellent return for the investment of the following three steps. You will indeed thank yourself if you get around to doing it, because of the sense of freedom, and the lightness you will feel by letting go of things, activities and people is priceless. Don’t delay. Start today!
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