Since downsizing and moving into my tiny space close to a year ago, it’s been surprising to notice the unexpected benefits of minimalism having an impact in my daily life. While a lot of my motivation for downsizing was to reduce my physical belongings to make everyday life less chaotic and traveling more accessible, I didn’t consider all the emotional and mental benefits I would gain by embracing a minimalist lifestyle.
Over the past few months especially, I’ve seen a drastically positive shift in my overall demeanor and general outlook on life.
I used to be pretty high strung and impatient. I refused to take time to slow down. I completely neglected the experience of being present – to just really enjoy the people and places I was with in that current moment. I was always looking ahead to the next thing, while being disappointed if reality wasn’t living up to my expectations. My FOMO was out of control, I was always stressed about saying the right things and making sure everyone was happy. In doing so, I completely neglected my own happiness and well-being while simultaneously being in a constant state of stress and exhaustion.
But through the practice of minimalism and becoming more conscious of my behaviors and actions towards people and myself, I’ve been able to cultivate a more positive sense of well-being in many different areas of my life.
5 Unexpected Benefits Of Minimalism
I’ve Learned To Embrace Patience
This one has been a game changer for me. It’s impacted how I interact with people and how I generally move throughout my day. Instant gratification and me used to be besties, now we’re frenemies. When I wanted something, I did whatever it took to get it right then, even if it wasn’t the smartest decision. This often put me compromising situations, leaving me to do more damage control than enjoying whatever I had so badly wanted in that moment. I was always going 100 miles an hour, rushing through tasks and would end up missing important details. I’ll admit my road rage was pretty bad, I was always speeding – both on the road and in life. Minimalism taught me to slow down and discover that patience is an incredible useful skill for managing stress and expectations. It also makes the end result that much sweeter when you finally achieve it.
I Have a Deeper Appreciation Of Space
When you live in 220 sq.ft, you become acutely aware of just how valuable space is, but also how wasted and unappreciated it is. I used to believe we needed more and more space to be more comfortable and happy. But minimalism and living tiny have proved me very wrong. You become much more appreciate of the use of space, but not only how it’s used but your time in it. You take in your surroundings and become more conscious of where you choose to spend your time.
My Communication Skills Have Improved
I still wouldn’t say I’m great at this. But I’m world’s better at communicating than I used to be. Now I have no trouble talking to people. I’m a total over-sharer and love talking to people, but communicating effectively in important conversations has always been very difficult for me. I’m such a creative person I have trouble forming all my crazy thoughts into coherent sentences. This goes back to patience, but I have learned to be more patient with myself, think before I speak and really evaluate how I’m feeling about something before I choose to speak.
I’ve Gained New Perspectives
Minimalism challenges you to go against the norm. Our society is pretty conditioned to believe more is more and that the prize for hard work is buying the newest shiniest toy we can in effort to simply show it off. Without even without questioning how it truly impacts our happiness or well-being. For a long time, I was a believer that stuff proved status and the only successful futures were the biggest houses with the new cars parked out front, even if the family inside were secretly miserable. But I’ve completely changed my perspective when it comes to what will make me happy and how I picture my life looking in the future.
I Have More Willingness to Adapt
With a change in perspective, I’ve also learned the benefits to adapting quickly. Whether it’s at work, with friends or in relationships, you must have a willingness to adapt. Something I wasn’t really great at before. If I didn’t want to do it or didn’t believe in it, I didn’t even consider it. I had a pretty closed mind when it came to trying new things or accepting other people’s ideas. All of this changed once accepting minimalism into my life. I’m now way more open to trying new things and have learned change can be a wonderfully positive experience.