Letting go for a happier, healthier you: 5 health benefits of minimalism


by Baylor Scott & White Health

Aug 17, 2023

You’ve probably heard the saying “less is more.” And you’ve probably read or heard about minimalism, a lifestyle philosophy that puts that adage into practice.

Minimalism encourages you to live simply and intentionally, reducing the number of things you own, decluttering your space, and focusing on experiences and relationships. Minimalism reduces decision fatigue and helps you simplify your life. It empowers you to prioritize what truly matters to you and regain a sense of control over your time and energy.

But minimalism isn’t just about decluttering your space; it's a mindset that can boost your physical and mental well-being. Let’s look at the health benefits of minimalism and discover how it can bring you a happier, healthier life.

1. Stress less

When you declutter your living space, you declutter your mind. Reducing physical and mental clutter removes distractions that can drain your time and energy, helping to create a calm environment that promotes relaxation and reduces stress. And lower stress means happier hearts and healthier blood pressure.

By embracing minimalism, you create space in your life for self-care, healthy habits and setting boundaries. This, in turn, helps you manage stress more effectively and builds your mental resilience.

Minimalism also has been shown to boost mental clarity, which can help you be more focused, creative and productive.

2. Get stronger

Minimalism isn't just about owning fewer things; it's about intentional living. Apply that mindset to your fitness routine. Choose exercises and activities that truly bring you joy and make you feel alive.

Creating a workout plan that you enjoy can help you be more committed to getting fit and exercise more consistently. Whether it's yoga, dancing or powerlifting, minimalism supports your journey towards a healthier, fitter you.

3. Nourish yourself

Minimalism extends to your whole physical space, including your kitchen. Simplify your diet by focusing on whole, unprocessed foods—fruits, vegetables, healthy grains, fish and lean meats. Minimalist recipes are simple and require only a few ingredients.

By getting back to basic cooking and embracing a more mindful approach to eating, you can improve your nutrition, maintain a healthy weight and support your overall well-being.

4. Sweeter dreams

Your bedroom should be an oasis of tranquility, not a storage room. By adopting a minimalist approach to your sleeping quarters, you create a relaxing space free from distractions. Get rid of cluttered nightstands and dressers and gain a peaceful night's sleep. Restful slumber boosts your immune system and leaves you energized for the day ahead.

5. Don’t worry, be happy

By encouraging you to let go of your attachment to material things, minimalism frees you to focus on experiences, relationships and emotional needs. This shift in mindset cultivates gratitude, contentment and a deeper appreciation for the present moment.

In 2021, researchers at the University of North Texas examined nearly two dozen studies on the link between minimalism and happiness. They found that more than 80% of study participants attributed their mental well-being to their decision to prioritize values over possessions.

Starting your minimalist life

If you’re motivated to declutter your physical and mental space, start by setting goals. Decide what aspect of your life is most important and begin there.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are many books, blogs and online resources that can help you create a plan for incorporating minimalism into your life. All that’s required is that you be ready to let go and welcome a happier, healthier you.

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