Does minimalism actually work?
Minimalism is the new fad in town. Everybody is actively talking about it and writing about why we should all live a minimal, clutter-free life. There are tons of posts out there outlining the advantages of minimalism!
But here’s the deal…
A world which is filled with so many visionaries and artists shouldn’t be told ‘how to live’ their lives.
We are all dreamers and we all want to do amazing things in life. We dream of a life we’ll be leading and all things in it; being told which is the ‘best’ practice seems childish. The lives we have imagined and designed for ourselves might not be minimal and that is okay!
You can live your life in whatever way that works for you. Experiment with different concepts and try different lifestyles; whatever you are comfortable with and enjoy living that way.
Do not let the Internet tell you there is a ‘best way’ to do life!
May be you are one of those people, for whom, minimalism actually does work! That’s good for you but don’t expect everyone to be the same. Some of us don’t have it all together like you but we’re happy and content with life. We don’t need a guide on how to be ourselves, so just let us be! Don’t get me wrong, I am not against Minimalism, I think the concept is great and I admire people who can make do with less than 100 things in their house but I’m just saying I’m not one of them. May be in the future I’ll experiment with minimalism and like it but for now, I like this messy, unorganized, cluttered lifestyle that I’m living.
If you have access to the internet, which you probably do, then you could not have missed the plethora of articles about mindfulness and awareness. Mental health is finally getting its share of attention that it so rightly deserves. For far too long, we have made a big deal out of physical health— exercises, diet plans, regimes and coaches are easily available to achieve and maintain a good physical well-being and little to no attention was given to mental health. But things are changing now; people are talking a lot about meditation and its positive effect on the mind.
Mental health should be the most important aspect of a healthy life but so often we ignore it. The first step to being helpful is to understand that mental problems are real problems too. We need to stop saying “It’s all in your head, just shake it off!”; imagine you fractured your leg and I say “It’s all in your leg, just shake it off”, that’s ridiculous, isn’t it! Mental disorders are substantial problems and we shouldn’t just ignore it as simply ‘all in the head’. Acceptance that these disorders are genuine is the first step to helping people who are struggling. Once you have accepted it, be open to talking about it and creating an awareness among your family & friends about it and encourage them to speak openly about it, as well. By doing this, you are creating a safe space for anyone in your life who is having a difficult time speaking up about their problems. If someone does come to you, don’t try to fix them, just be there for them. As someone who has been through extended spells of loneliness, I can tell you I didn’t want to speak; just having a shoulder to rest my head on was sufficient— no words were needed.
Let us make mental well-being a priority and help people around us and ourselves become healthier beings.
Some useful tools/tips for mindfulness I follow/use:
- Headspace — An excellent app for easy on the go meditation.
- Writing — Writing about your fears and insecurities help you understand yourself better and this leads to awareness.
- Two minute challenge — Whenever you find yourself wandering off, focus on the seconds hand of an analog watch/clock for exactly two minutes.
- Mental commands — Before starting a task, tell yourself “Start” to get your mind to be fully aware of what you are doing!
It is not a piece of cake to learn mindfulness, it is a journey and once you begin this, you will realise how wonderful your mind can be and discover some amazing things about yourself.