A New Philosophy of Living: The Principles of Minimalism and Simplicity 940

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Minimalism started as an art and design movement in the 1960s and turned into a philosophy of life in the next decades.

More and more people are choosing to live that way because they are fed up with the consuming and materialistic side of today’s society and living.

There is too much of everything.

People have hundreds of useless belongings, too many tasks to do in so little time, too much on their mind. There are too many ads on the Internet, we are being taught so much, but acquire so little.

People live either in the past, or in the future. Someone else takes decisions on our behalf and we have lost control of our lives.

We don’t know what we really want and haven’t defined our role in all this. We do so many things, but have no idea why. Our days go by too quickly, or too slow, but we rarely experience them.

It’s getting harder and harder to stay true to yourself and be an individual. Few believe that happiness, peace and contentment are actually achievable.

But we are starting to wake up and realize that things shouldn’t be that way.

Lately I’ve heard of many businessmen and millionaires who gave up all they have and started living frugally, many workaholics who quit their jobs and started traveling around the world, and many other similar stories.

To most people, these individuals seem crazy, but they themselves say that they’ve finally found peace, happiness, balance and joy in their life. And if they – people who have been on the top or have been leading some kind of lifestyle we are aiming at – say so, then it must be true. And we can all learn from that by not making the same mistakes they did.

What we should do? Embrace minimalism.

Here are the main views of the philosophy of minimalism:

1. Less is More.

 This is one of the most important laws of the universe but few put that into effect. It refers to almost every aspect of our lives.

Try to imagine your home with less stuff, to have less chaos in your mind, less stress and tasks.

It’s not only better to live with less, but this in itself will give us more. The less we use and consume, the more space and freedom we have. The less we speak, the more we listen. The less details something has, the more beautiful and simple it is.  The less we watch TV and stay on the computer, the more time we have for ourselves and our families.

2. Eliminate the Unessential.

We have to think through all we are, everything we have and want. We need to decide which is important and which is only standing in our way. Identify what is keeping you from reaching your goals and has a negative influence on you. Such activities, habits, thoughts or people are only impeding you from being yourself, improving, succeeding and becoming peaceful and contented.

It may be hard to eliminate the things you’re used to, but there is no other way to move on with your life and to simplify it. Instead, focus on what’s essential and important for you and the people you love.

Also get rid of all the negativity in your life, the worries, fear and doubt. It is a long way to go and that is why so few people have achieved it, but it is possible.

3. Live in the Moment.

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Minimalism is also connected with the idea of a conscious living. I’ll write more on that soon so now I only want to explain it in a nutshell (or at least to share how I see it).

We don’t live consciously anymore because we are not mentally in the present – our mind is busy worrying about tomorrow or regretting what we have or haven’t done in the past years.

What we have is ‘now’, this very moment. We should love it, appreciate it and spend it in the best way possible.

Instead, we have so much going on that we can’t relax or even stop for a second.

We also live too fast and don’t find any time for contemplating.

These are the things minimalism denies. Living consciously and happily requires contentment, focus, awareness, right decisions, enjoying the present, and doing everything more slowly and consciously.

4. Organize your time.

Simplicity also means a new way of managing your time. You will have to eliminate all the unproductive activities that are only wasting your time and energy if you want to start living better.

Analyze everything you do and you will see that many of your daily habits are meaningless and don’t help you in any way. Furthermore, they prevent you from growing, developing and improving yourself.

So think about what watching TV has to do with inner realization and silence. Think about how organizing your time the wrong way has led to the many tasks you have to do daily. And all this brings stress to you and your family, destroys the balance in your life and deteriorates your health.

5. Purpose.

 Another thing you can’t go without is purpose. You need to have a direction, to discover your passion and pursue it, to define your goals, dreams, and desires.

Most of the things we aim at are useless. Most of the things we want are unnecessary. So decide which your priorities are and follow your heart.

6. Individualism.

 Be who you are, and remain that way. Grow as an individual, take your own decisions, follow your path, choose for yourself and don’t try to answer other people’s expectations.

These are the most important aspects of the minimalist way of living. It is so simple, and yet consists of so much.

By doing and having less, eliminating most of the things we have, want and think, and making some small but permanent changes, we can soon start living the life we are meant to.

I’ll continue gathering information about minimalism and simplicity as a way of living and am happy to see that more and more people are writing books about it, starting blogs and actually leading that lifestyle.

I’m yet to begin implementing all this and making it a part of my day. I have so much more to learn but already feel excited, because there is a new emotion arising in me – a feeling of awareness and being awake. It’s amazing.

How do you feel about minimalism and simplicity?

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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health 13

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health

While most people pay the most attention to their physical health and work hard to achieve a healthy body, they often overlook the potential mental health issues that may have been well tucked away.

Understanding and paying sufficient attention to your mental health issues is an action that should be prioritized in every situation. What could seem like the simplest mental health problem to you might actually be affecting your life in more ways that you can imagine.

Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t ignore the signs.

1. It Is Way More Common Than You Believe.

You might think that mental illness is not present in many situations but the truth is that almost everyone has or is facing such an issue.

In fact, one in five Americans suffers from some type of mental illness. The saddest part about this though, is that very few of them seek treatment.

The person affected by the illness can even be one of your family members. Sadly, symptoms are easy to hide and even people who are severely depressed can mask their health issues from their families and avoid getting help.

2. It Can Also Affect Your Physical Health.

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It is known from a long time ago that the connection between the mind and the body is strong. Any sort of physical distress can have a huge effect on your capability to work or focus on things around you. Following this same rule, any sort of mental problem can easily affect your physical health too.

The first few things that a mental illness will affect are your mood, energy levels, sleep cycles, appetite and quite possibly your sex drive. Along with these problems and as a result of them, your immune system can also be affected and that can lead to more often colds and an overall impairment of your physical health.

People who face mental illnesses are often left unmotivated and drained of energy.

The illness blurs your mind so much that you have no energy left to function properly in your everyday life. Ask any person that has faced a major depression and they will tell you just how much they let themselves go and how they stopped caring about simple everyday things, such as brushing their teeth or taking a shower.

Physical symptoms won’t take long to appear and you will simply keep increasing your risk factor of a number of health problems such as heart disease or heart palpitations, insomnia and fatigue. It is very important that you ask for help if you feel such symptoms arising. Make sure that you consult a board-certified practitioner to be certain that a mental problem is not the cause of them.   

3. It Plays an Important Role in Your Success.

One of the most frequent symptoms of a mental illness is the lack of motivation. You just feel so tired of everything, you find that you are not interested in what others are doing and you just end up losing interest in things you used to love.

The lack of mental health can, therefore, play a huge role in your success. No matter if you are a college student, an employee or a working parent, you can easily lose sense of what’s important to you and hinder your success in whatever role you might have.

In whichever situation you might be, you will definitely need to be able to be creative and productive. Your success in your studies or your workplace might be your only source of stability and income.

An untreated mental illness can be the reason behind your reduced productivity, your lack of creativity and your overall negative attitude towards your work.

Keep in mind that a large number of homeless people are those who are suffering from a mental illness but sadly left it untreated.

Looking for help and letting the mental health professionals guide you can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. It can help you see things from a different perspective and give you the courage and motivation you need to get back on track and find yourself again.

4. It Can Affect Your Relationship with Your Peers.

Most people who face a mental illness find themselves intimidated by social situations. Even spending time with friends or family can seem like a very tiring or pointless task and they will often opt out of it. It is important to remember that this does not apply only to depressed people, as many might think, but to a large area of mental issues.

Anxiety disorders can alienate a person from their circle because of the constant fear of something going wrong, of someone not liking them or of an overall new situation. It is very common for the solution to your mental health issue to be holding the key to you getting back your behavioral health.

Mental illness can also affect your relationship with your family.

Apart from losing contact with people you probably care about, you might even end up harming them more than you think. It is not rare to see a person struggle both financially but also emotionally when it comes to helping family members that are battling mental illness.

Another very important reason to not take your mental health lightly is for the sake of your children. It is very often reported that children of people who struggle with a mental illness are abused or neglected. That can play a huge role in their lives and affect their entire lives, from childhood to adulthood.

Make Your Mental Health an Everyday Goal!

There are many places to turn to for help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, otherwise known as NAMI, can be a great place to start. Through it, you can find a suitable medical center that will provide you with the suitable health services to help you regain your mental health.

It is important that you are not ashamed of your personal struggles or mental issues. Everything is part of the human nature and the fact that there are so many people available to help comes to show just how human this situation is and how much attention we, as a society, should be paying to this important issue.


Leona Henryson is a professional writer and passionate blogger. Her goal is to help people achieve their personal self-development and mental wellness.