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How Minimalist Living Can Calm Your Brain

Dec 10, 2020

Dr. Jeremy Hayman, ND

Dr. Jeremy Hayman, ND

NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR

Calm, as a standard, is pretty far fetched for most. When is the last time you heard someone describe his or her life as calm or conducive to a relaxed state of being? Being relaxed means that your mind is at ease most of the time. Living a minimalistic life can calm your mind by reducing the stress placed upon it, create less ongoing negative brain stimuli, and help you appreciate the now versus what your mind still thinks it needs.

Amongst the fast paced lives most instil upon themselves, adapting a minimalistic way of life can calm your brain, and in turn, calm your life. Living a minimalistic lifestyle is all about living with less in order to be able to appreciate more. Fewer tangible objects and possessions provides minimalists more time to focus on what’s really important in life; the simple experience of living while slowing the artificial life pace down.

Living minimalistic means reducing the load in order to fully de-clutter your life. The less ‘things’ a minimalist has to deal with, the less worry that will ensue. Between life’s busy schedules, keeping up with the joneses, and the maintenance of things accumulated over time, a massive level of self imposed stress is placed upon the brain. When a minimalistic approach to life is followed, it not only allows the physicality of life’s space to open up, but the intangible realm as well. Think about life minus the upkeep and stress of accumulating all the items and objects you once thought were necessary. What you’re left with is a lifting off of all of life’s items that truly don’t really matter.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with house chores, organization, and maintenance schedules, all while still trying to fulfill every obligation life demands? Imagine for a moment that these ‘to do’ lists could simply disappear without a trace of stress to follow. This is what living minimalistic is all about. The brain has a tendency to focus on everything around it. The more stress we bring into our environment, the more stress and stimuli our brain has to endure. Visually, overwhelming and chaotic surroundings only create overwhelming and chaotic stimulus and stress. Quite the opposite occurs when a naturally calm, organized, serene visual replaces the other. What you’re left with is much less for your brain to process, and much more calming visuals and surroundings to keep your mind sound.

With the addition of a more minimalistic and simpler life comes a more tangible appreciation for what really matters most. While many people tend to live in fear of the future, minimalism supports living in the ‘now’. If it’s the acquisition of obtaining the next greatest gadget, or replacing what you already have with something ‘better’, you’re always going to live in the unpredictable future while forgetting about being thankful for now. By owning less and focusing on the aspects of life that really matter (relationships, happiness and health for example), you cause your mind to worry less about the stresses placed upon yourself in the future, and more about seeing what’s really meaningful now. Not to mention, many of the fears and stresses that invade our minds about the future are only figments of our imagination that will likely never come true anyway.

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