Guest post by Ashley at Gulf Coast Wellness.
Downsizing is all the rage right now, but did you know that having less will actually make you healthier?
It’s true. There really is something to this whole minimalist movement and it’s easy to see why it’s catching on so fast.
There’s nothing like that first full trash bag after you’ve semi-convinced yourself you’re going to declutter your home. It’s addicting and before you know it you’re actually excited to clear out.
Clearing out the clutter is very freeing, in more ways than just one.
The Health Benefits of Having Less
1 – Lower Stress (Why save the best for last?)
We spend so much time keeping up with our lives…work, family, cleaning, laundry, cooking, the list goes on. Imagine what it would be like NOT to have a million loads of laundry on the weekend, and instead maybe just two or three.
What would it be like to go through your house in 15 minutes and have everything picked up?
Doesn’t the idea of that just make you feel like you can take a deep breath?
I’m all about quoting studies, but I have first-hand experience with this scenario. Having less is BEAUTIFUL (and less stressful)!
No longer do I spend all weekend cleaning! I have significantly less chaos in my life. (I have a 3-year-old, so I can’t say “no chaos”).
Focusing on the things that are important in our lives has been…well, life-changing. And y’all, my wrinkles went away! No kidding. Less stress is where it’s at!
When you have less stress in one major area of your life, it trickles down into other areas of your life. Have you noticed this happen before? Simply removing one trigger can change everything.
Reducing clutter reduces stress, and it really can make you feel healthier.
Related post: The Benefits of Minimalism for Moms
2 – Having Less Creates Better Mental Health
Have you noticed that clutter makes a room seem noisy and overwhelming?
Earlier this year we were house hunting, and when we looked online we found a gorgeous home we were dying to see. The realtors took us to see it, and when we got there we realized these people were hoarders!
They were legitimate, real-life hoarders. Every nook and cranny was stuffed. You couldn’t walk into the garage, you couldn’t see into the closets, there were decorations in every viable space…all cleaned up just enough so that it didn’t look dirty.
I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I’ve never had a real problem with anxiety, but I sure felt it that day. Imagine what it would be like for someone who actually suffers from anxiety!
Feeling overwhelmed is a major trigger for many mental afflictions. This should never be something you feel in your own home, your safe space, your retreat from life. Having less is an excellent place to start in improving your mental health.
3- Having Less Makes You Smarter
There’s usually one of two reactions when I make this claim about clutter…”Really?! Sweet!!” or “Um, you’re pulling my leg, that’s not possible”
Here’s how it works. That overwhelmed feeling you get from clutter horribly decreases focus and clarity.
When you clear the clutter, immediately you are less distracted. For example, when there are no longer stacks of papers on your desk pulling your attention to other matters, your productivity sky-rockets.
Being able to get more things done, focus on work, and higher confidence will instantaneously make you feel smarter.
In reality, the smarts and confidence were always there, but it’s harder to access when you can’t focus or see past your own stuff.
4 – Having Less Creates Better Heart Health
While there are many things that contribute to heart health, such as nutrition, we also know that stress is and always has been a huge factor. So, the thought that having less creates better heart health is really very logical when you think about it.
Remember earlier when I mentioned that when you are less stressed in one major area of your life, it trickles down into others? This is precisely what I mean by that statement.
Being able to take stress down a big notch can make a noticeable difference in your heart health.
In an article from Harvard Medical, it states that day to day stress “triggers inflammation, which is a known instigator of heart disease”.
I would venture to say if your home or the things in your home are causing stress, it could make you less heart-healthy!
5 – Having Less Leads to Better Self Care
Every single one of us has made this excuse: “If I had more time I would______.” (Insert activity here – get a massage, exercise more, read a book, etc.)
Self-care is unbelievably important for our health, both physical and mental.
It is important to be able to take the time to unwind.
When you don’t feel so overwhelmed all the time, you have more motivation to do something healthy, like exercise, rather than zone out in front of the TV because that’s all your brain can handle today. (No judgment! We’ve all had those days.)
Having less literally gives you the gift of time. No more excuses on why you can’t spend some time on yourself. Taking or creating time for yourself is something you will never regret. I promise!
Side note: It’s not selfish to make time for yourself. It is necessary to do self-care beyond basic maintenance.
Related post: I Need More Free Time! How to Get Back Time in Your Day
It’s not hard to see how having less can improve your health. There is a definitive domino effect that extends even beyond this list.
Tell us how you felt after you cleared the clutter from your home and life. Did you feel healthier?
This author of this article, Ashley Tukiainen, is the owner and voice behind Gulf Coast Wellness. She helps families find simple, attainable ways to improve their health and wellness. She also has a great library full of amazing freebies, like a printable meal planner, a hydration tracker, and a veggie side dish cookbook (even kids will love!). Check it out!