Living with less is amazing and it’s becoming more evident if you look at social media platforms where people are sharing their journeys. Sharing the benefits of minimalism and proclaiming the undeniable happiness and peace that accompanies the lifestyle. When I started decluttering, my entire life was soon being turned around, much like the surface of the lake. But there are also the unexpected benefits that accompanied it, that I never expected! Most books, blog posts and social media updates are brimming with the benefits – which are undeniable and that I have personally experienced in my own life.
Have you ever taken the time to sit next to a lake at sunrise, before the world around you awakens and start buzzing with activity? The water’s surface is almost mirror-like – smooth, undisturbed, perfect. Or so it seems from the outside. Until you cast a pebble into the lake. All of a sudden the smooth surface starts moving and dancing, rippling with circular motions until everything around it is alive with movement.
The top five benefits according to the masses include:
- Less anxiety and stress
- More money
- More time to focus on who & what you love most
- Greater purpose
- Clarity of mind
So, that is what was expected when I opted into this journey. Yet, I found the benefits far exceeded what I anticipated. There were even some unexpected benefits that I didn’t find anywhere in my research.
Here is a list of the unexpected benefits I personally experienced:
I became less judgmental.
I realized there is a lot of judgement going around from everyone, about everything. But each person is on a journey of their own, with a story that grounds the decisions they make for themselves.I feel more free – not just because of the lack of physical clutter, but the emotional clutter that I’m dealing with one by one… My mind could never grasp the concept of how less physical clutter can affect your mental state. These days when I feel anxious, stressed or unhappy about something, I do one thing. I start assessing it, in order to get to the root cause. Sometimes emotional baggage overrule our lives. We are too scared to face it and to establish if it adds to our lives or not. 99% of the time it doesn’t.
Decluttering becomes addictive.
Here the ripples of that pebble – that first area you decluttered – soon start affecting all areas of your life. But the part you don’t see is how it affects what is buried underneath the surface. The parts that no one can see. Once I started decluttering and experienced the effect of how an uncluttered space can influence my life for the better, I wanted to declutter everything! The ripples of that one pebble changes your life so drastically, that you want it to touch every aspect of your being.
I scrutinise everything we bring into our lives…
Personally, I think that if we don’t change our thinking from the way it used to be, the benefits of minimalism would be lost and the previous cycle would just return. So I constantly ask myself: Is it a want / a need? Will this add value? Does it energise me or drain my energy? What will happen if I don’t have this in my life?
My home and my life has turned into a sacred space where I only want stuff that will add value…. if it doesn’t align with that basic need I have now, it can’t enter….
My health improved.
You might have read about my autoimmune condition that prompted this entire journey. If you haven’t, you can read My autoimmune journey (part 1) and (part 2). My house and constantly cleaning, tidying up and being busy wasn’t good for my health. The moment I reduced that stress, my health started improving. Yes, it wasn’t the only contributing factor, but I do feel it played a major role in naturally healing it. I find it quite ironic, that we never really worry about our health until we are faced with a major wake-up call!
My whole life is so much calmer.
I used to feel overwhelmed all of the time – at work, at home, you name it. Since I’ve been eliminating the excess in my life – physical, mental, emotional I feel much more free. Subsequently my entire household is much calmer
It doesn’t scare me to be alone anymore.
Ever since I was a teenager, I never wanted to be alone. I always felt the need to be surrounded by people, stuff, music and doing something. Minimalism lead me down a path where I don’t feel the intense need to fill every gap with something – physical stuff, noise and people. Because in the stillness and the empty spaces, I had to face myself. My deep rooted fears, my limiting mindsets, the anger I carried around, the hurt from the past. But now I’m ok with being by myself and being myself.
I have said so many times before – minimalism isn’t a destination, it is a constantly evolving journey. It is a driving force that pushes me to question every part of my life and only keep what I truly love and adds value. But what I have experienced so far, the benefits of minimalism far outweigh anything I ever expected or dreamed of.
Have you dabbled into decluttering & minimalism? If you have, what are some unexpected benefits you experienced? I would love to hear your feedback below and get to know you over cyber space.