How Simplism and Minimalism Can Improve your Mental and Physical Health [Episode #719]
Today’s solocast topic is: How Simplism and Minimalism Can Improve your Mental and Physical Health
This has been a big process that I’ve been personally engaged in now for probably 10 years. Just really shedding parts of my lifestyle, my space, my whole routine, and really simplifying my life.
I cannot adequately express in words how much this has benefited me, how much more peace and stabilization, steadiness, equanimity, just natural joy comes forth from applying these principles to our lives. I’m very excited to get into our show today to share tips and the benefits in bringing simplism and minimalism into your life.
Topics Covered In How Simplism and Minimalism Can Improve your Mental and Physical Health
#1. Reclaiming time #2 The elimination of excess stuff
#3. Enjoying life #4. Discovering meaning #5. Living in the moment #6. Concentrating on what is important #7. Pursuing our passions #8. Finding happiness #9. Doing anything we want to do #10. Finding our missions #11. Experiencing freedom and creating more by consuming less
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Hi, loves and welcome back to our Monday solocast podcast. I am very excited for our topic this week, which is How Simplism and Minimalism Can Improve your Mental and Physical Health. So this has been a big process that I’ve been personally engaged in now for probably 10 years. Just really <laugh> shedding parts of my lifestyle, of my space, of my whole routine, just shedding and shedding, and really simplifying my life. And I cannot adequately express in words how much this has benefited me, how much more peace and stabilization, steadiness, equanimity, just natural joy comes forth from applying these principles to our lives. So I’m very excited to get into our show today. We have some really interesting scientific research that is emerging around these concepts of just pairing down our lives, which we’ll get into as well as some personal tips that I have to share with you for this, um, this much more simple, profound, amazing life that you can create for yourself through each of the four cornerstones, which are food body, emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth.
So we always wanna work in this holistic way, whatever topic that we’re thinking about. If it seems overtly food related, there’s still the aspects of our emotional, mental wellbeing, our psychological connection to food. For instance, everything is completely interwoven. And so it is with this topic.
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Solocast: How Simplism and Minimalism Can Improve your Mental and Physical Health
Okay. All that being said, let’s get right into our show today about symbolism and minimalism. So this is, uh, these terms, especially simple minimalism is something that’s been sort of going around in the colloquial vernacular of the collective for, I would say a few months, a few years, I started seeing books on minimalism being sent to me on the podcast. And my husband was reading a book on minimalism and he gave it to his work team. So it’s really this different lens of looking at life and looking how we construct everything in our lives about how can we pair this down to the most profound, to the most amazing things. And we start to remove all the feelings of needing more and more accumulation and we’re clinging to things.
So I will link in the show notes to some of this research. Um, but I wanna read you this little paragraph here about minimalism. The term minimalism has assumed a multifaceted de definition and has been used to describe everything from an aesthetic to religious simplicity, to a personal cleanse from over indulgence. Operationally defined minimalism is a societal movement in response to the excessive consumerist mindset adopted by many Americans anti-consumerism does not circum scribe the, uh, the American dream as a commodity. However, it redefines a meaningful life as one full of experience and human connection. Additionally, research confirms a positive correlation between this minimalist lifestyle in personal health, stressful
Living environments and conducive are conducive to poor mental and physical health. Therefore, a simplistic lifestyle minimalism offers a more internally peaceful life free from external chaos. And so there’s other research I will link to. That’s starting to really delve into this connection between simplifying your life and financial status, relationship satisfaction and happiness, physical health, conflict, and life stress trauma. Like there’s so many different, um, aspects now that are being studied in the Western context. And for me, and I’ve always said this, I think the way that we are conditioned and programmed is that we sometimes like to see the data backing up what our intuition is already telling us. So in that way, science can be very helpful. Of course, it allows us to sort of pick through different facts and different bits of information and see what really, um, has that validity and that substantiation.
So in that way, I think it’s really great as a tool, especially so many of us are born in a very science driven environment. Science is proof, but beyond that, when we start to really tune into our hearts and we start to tune into our innermost truth and the true self, we see that the things that we really need are very basic and very simple love human connection, self connection, and this marketing message that we’ve been fed for many, many years is actually pulling us away from experiencing more joy from these simple, basic things. And from finding it within, because it tells us that we need to keep buying stuff. So it means in a sense, we have to keep working harder to make more money to buy this stuff that ultimately ends up just cluttering our lives and cluttering up our time and our schedules. So what we really need is more just peace, peaceful time downtime, stillness, silence, quality time with friends and loved ones. And we realize more and more that we’ve just bought into this system. This programming about packing more in, more, doing more things, more gadgets, more that we quote need. But the truth is when we go in the opposite direction and we strip back what we quote need, we start to really create more space for what really, really matters.
And so what research is pointing to as some of the benefits of creating more minimalism and more simple symbolism like this word, new word in your life include reclaiming time, the elimination of excess stuff, enjoying life, more discovering, meaning living in the moment, concentrating on what is really important, pursuing our passions, finding happiness, doing anything we want to do, finding our missions, experiencing freedom and creating more by consuming less. So in the sense, this Le this simplifying and minimalism is this great process of letting go that I mentioned earlier is something that’s been a really huge part of my path to increasing peace and personal freedom is just letting go more and more. And this applies all across the lifestyle. I’m just gonna give you a couple examples. Now we are gonna go into the cornerstones, but I’ll give you some, some examples, emotional clutter, just letting go of right and wrong.
And having this, these like long talking sessions to kind of work things out, simplifying in the sense just means saying, I don’t have to analyze this so much. I’m just gonna simplify it, let it all go. And what is the most loving and peaceful choice in this moment? And simplifying means I don’t need so much on my desk. I actually write a lot cleaner and clearer when there’s less piles of papers and objects and things that are sort of in micro and macro ways, taking my attention and leaking things out. So I just wanna have less stuff in Hawaii. We barely have any furniture. We’re still sleeping on a mattress on the floor, in our bedroom. And in the living room, we have a coffee table. We don’t even have a couch. We have some chairs, some, some of those triangle chairs like cushions for the floor. But other than that, right now, it’s just this open space. And I can’t tell you how much joy my family has had from this open space. We play soccer in there. We play games with the kids. We play ball games, and there’s just this abundance of spaciousness that adds so much to our family life.
And so there are these lines that will feel good for each of us because we’re all so individual and unique in our own ways. So this whole idea isn’t, oh, this is how it has to look like. And you have only five books or three things on the table. It’s more about the feeling inside of you feeling lighter, feeling less controlled by feeling you always have to go shopping or buy new outfits for every single event, or you constantly have to be trolling around for recipes and this great simplification of lifestyle. There is this reclaiming of power in that we need less and less from the outside world. We can enjoy it. We can choose it. But what we need really does come from the inside. The interconnection is where this rising kindness, love and acceptance for all life comes from. And so we’re less picky and less fussy about things being just so or have to have this brand of cushions or whatever it is.
So, you know, I have to spend all this money, like all these obligations that starts to really loosen and untether. And what happens is our whole lives just start to feel more relaxed and soft and there’s less anxiety. There’s less pushing. And so there’s incredible increase to your personal vitality, your true wellbeing and your just overall enjoyment and fulfillment of life. So we say yes to this, yes, this is ultimately what we want. So we want to try a different way. And the different way is turning away from all the marketing messages and the pushing of consumerism. We need this, or we need that into more deep self-reflection what can I let go of thinking I need to buy today? What can I let go of? That’s taking a lot of my time today that I don’t need to put so much time into it. So let’s start going through the cornerstones. So we can look at this in more specific terms and so we can start applying it.
Food Cornerstone, Simplism and Minimalism
So the first one is food. The food cornerstone is one that gets sometimes quite complex because it’s so wrapped up in our psychology and food cravings are very complex about our emotional needs being unmet. And so we project them onto physical things like food, but what has helped me over time is shifting more, to really celebrating and appreciating the ingredients and less focus on all these complicated recipes. So what I mean by that is we start to simplify food down to the essence of these incredible broccoli sprouts or the carrots that we got at the farmer’s market, or the lentils just look so amazing in the bin at the store. They called out to me and I got the green ones instead of the yellow ones or whatever it is just this connection, this real respect, this honoring of whoa, look at what I get to put in my body.
These Bella mushrooms are incredible right now, or the color of this kale. And we start to really celebrate the profound, the simple, but the profound qualities of the food itself. And this takes us back to a deeper place of nourishment, where it just becomes easier over time. Again, there’s gonna be a shifting process where you’re not so tied to that, getting that comfort meal at the restaurant every Wednesday for dinner, whatever your pattern is, you can enjoy these things, but you start to pull back from having to spend so much time figuring out the recipes and the foods it’s more about, wow, these mushrooms are amazing. I’m just gonna give them a quick saute. I’m gonna make this stir fry. I’m going to make this beautiful salad. I’m so inspired, very simple dressing, like olive oil, salt, and lemon, right? Nutritional yeast, like whatever is calling to you, but really going back to the essence versus the complicated layers of flavors and profiles.
And that can be great to enjoy as well. But in our daily lives, we move more towards simple food planning. And what we spend more time is sourcing, making a little bit extra time to pick our own vegetables at the farmer’s market, perhaps. And then during the week, the eating just starts to flow and be much more simple. And in that way, we can really enjoy the sacredness of the food. We can enjoy the experience of eating and being with our loved ones while we eat. And again, it just lessens this feeling of pressure. Like I have to come up with all this new stuff and I have to buy all this ingredients or this specific recipe and just, ah, just more simplification across our food and dieting world. I mean, how amazing is that? For me, it used to be so much could consume so much of my time. What am I going to eat? What am I gonna make? What am I gonna make my clients? Did I eat too much? Like just this thinking, thinking, thinking versus simplifying, simplifying, simplifying, and it does become more natural over time. So for me in the beginning, it was like, oh, like I need this. And I, I crave Indian food today. I want Mexican or like this or that, just all these different directions. And now I just keep it some spices. It’s just so much easier. And it did take a while, but what helps
Is nurturing more in the other cornerstones? So the more you connect, the more you have time to listen to yourself, to slow things down, to process things in your journal, to give yourself time to meditate. It does start to help with this overall simplifying in food.
Body Cornerstone, Simplism and Minimalism
So our next cornerstone is body. And as it applies this month to what we’re talking about with minimalism and simplification, this also extends to your home surroundings to your physical space. And I would also say to your clothing, your covering on your temple of your body. So as we start to simplify the home, more, something magical starts to happen, which is that we just have more natural energy and creativity come forward. We don’t realize how much energy things take up they’re in the space. Maybe you see them as an animat objects, but they are, everything is energetically interacting all the time, whether it’s that clutter, that pile of mail that just tends to pile up on your kitchen counter, or, you know, just some drawers that just got outta hand gadgets and just the leftover stuff.
You just shove in the drawer. And so when you look in there, you kind of get that, Ugh, like that, almost like that panic feeling like suffocation, like this doesn’t feel light and clear to me. So what we wanna do in our home space is take it room by room. It could come in fits and starts. Some of us like to throw out things and bits and bobs. And sometimes we like to just really tackle a whole space and cleanse. And so it does start with what can I let go of? What can I donate? What can I share? And I love to share clothes that I haven’t worn in a while and things that I think other people would really enjoy. Cuz then it feels like it’s just living on it has its own new life. So that’s the baseline I think, is really starting to get rid of what is taking up space that doesn’t really serve you anymore.
And then once we get to a base, we start to make choices. Where do I wanna put my time and energy? So the clothing one for me is interesting journey. I think we all have our unique experiences with clothing and shopping. There was a time where I felt pressure. I think to like always have fashionable outfits for all these events I was going to at one point. And so there was just a lot of trolling around online shopping. And like, I wouldn’t go to stores so much, but there was just like a lot of energy looking around and then it slowed down. Cause I pulled back from that type of client work and there was this slow down a couple years ago, natural slowed down. And then it really slowed down when C came. And I remember there was like a year or a year and a half where I, I had this realization, oh my gosh, I haven’t bought any shoes in a year and a half.
This is amazing. Like I’m just using what I got. And then this great realization of freedom started to emerge. Like it doesn’t really benefit my life that much when I have all these new clothes all the time. And of course, sometimes it’s fun to get new things for the season or whatever. But what I found in really cleaning out my closet is that there was so much, first of all, I had so many clothes from the years built up. It was almost this discovery of old items, repurposing them and using, wearing them in new ways that I was having fun in my closet and I wasn’t consuming more. And so it felt really good not just to go back to over stuffing my closet, there was this streamlined energy and just this openness and this freedom that comes all these small steps really start to permeate through your life.
So just this lightness and what you’ll find when you experience more of this lightness and your physicality and your physical surroundings, your food choices become more clear. It becomes more clear how you wanna take care of your body. You’re shedding this excess. I found with people it’s easier to even lose weight, to have more energy. You’re not feeling weight down the pool of all this stuff around you. So it all does work synergistically. And it’s very powerful when it starts to kick in. I encourage you to take a clean look at your kitchen and what you can remove from the counters so that when you go into your kitchen and you’re walking around, you’re just inspired to eat. Enjoy cleanness, hot water with lemon, fresh vegetables, the more paired down and clean our kitchens are. I’m a hundred percent believer. It does inspire healthier eating.
There’s just less chaos. There’s less noise. The clutter is very, um, just heavy. It just creates this heaviness. And when we’re on the edge already, when we come back from a long work day, we’re tired or we had a tough mom day or whatever it is just that little extra support of having clean space. We’ll really support you. And we’ll really make a difference, especially in times where we just, we wanna rely on our environment to nurture us because it’s a form of energy. So clean pared down, as I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of less furniture. So even as you enter your living room, you may say, you know what, I don’t really actually need this extra chair or this extra table over here. And if I removed it, I’d have more room to stretch or sit on the floor or have people over like really create these meaningful times of connection.
Emotional Wellbeing Cornerstone, Simplism and Minimalism
So this spans a little bit from body to emotional wellbeing. We’ll kind of just talk about it. Here is minimalism with screens. So this is an interesting one to dive into. Where can I just simplify and have let, let go of less or let go more and more. So do I need to have all these emails from all these fashion brands? I love just like prompting me to click on this link and go down this rabbit hole. Where can I cut back on online, shopping in general? Where can I batch where I get supplies or whatever it is, where can I batch social media time, or I’m interested in this documentary or this TV show, like how can I batch it together and just simplify, simplify, simplify. So in a screens detract a lot from our attention and our ability to feel stillness. So we wanna really just see, how can I minimize this?
It doesn’t mean go to zero, but minimize it for more, just being in life. And then you’ll find that you do have more time to love yourself and to take those baths or those times for meditation and introspection, you do have time to be with your loved ones and to honor this incredibly important time that we can share together and really be here. So we continue to pair down, oh, I don’t really need this extra two hours of TV. It’s much better spent and simply sitting, reading journaling. Good, old, simple, powerful times that I didn’t think I had time for, but now I realize I do so with the emotional wellbeing cornerstone as well. We wanna go past this tendency to overthink. We start to think about the clutter of our thoughts. So we wanna be minimal with our thoughts. We realize we’ve been told this, you know, sort of been sold this lie that we need to analyze everything so much and think about everything and work everything out and pro cons list, but really beyond that is less thinking and more natural intuition and seeing what comes forward from our hearts, what is the most peaceful, loving choice that I can make in this moment?
And so it starts to just simplify and streamline things down to what’s really important, which is acting speaking, being in a state of love, which is where we create the most power. And the more, the most informed, intuitive, aligned choices are. My overthinking is not our friends. And if anything, we just start to realize that we increase our awareness and it doesn’t mean that overthinking goes away overnight, but just a simple realization that I wanna simplify how I make decisions. I wanna have less thoughts. We start to watch the thoughts. We don’t try to change them, but we just witness that there are a lot of thoughts and then eventually, gradually, and naturally they start to die down more and more and more.
Spiritual Growth Cornerstone, Simplism and Minimalism
And so our next cornerstone spiritual growth means that we commit part of this intention to simplify and create minimalism is because it is our intention, our commitment to build a life with a lot of stillness and free time to explore ourselves our true self, our self connection, putting more time into experience like the experience of meditation or the experience of a really wonderful conversation over tea with a friend and really connecting in, connecting with yourself, giving yourself that time to read and journal, do the practices in the new book. You are more than you think you are. I was with a friend the other day who said she did the fear practices, which is in chapter two. How do we really get past our fear? This is how we change our lives. She said, she took with her friend Alejandro two hours to do the practices.
They did them together and it was like, wait, lifted off more and more. This is how we reach our potential. It’s these simple, powerful practices of sitting with ourselves, observing, looking into our shadows, leaning into our joy, unpacking the blocks, the places we’ve, maybe over-identified with our ego. This is what is gonna give us what we’re really looking for. The peace, the love, the energy, the vitality, the incredible relationships. It’s not gonna come from the clutter. The more stuff, the more gadgets, the more doing the thing yes. To everything, the craziest schedules. So we just start to breathe in and say yes to what I really want and no to the clutter. That’s detracting from that. So again, this is a very personal thing to apply to your own life. And what I found in my life is as I started to take steps, I got strength from it and I would go a little further.
So I’d be able easier to let go of more stuff or to just simplify things down a little bit more. So it’s this process of like two steps forward, three steps forward, one step back or two step back steps back. And sometimes of course I love stuff. Sometimes I’ll like to get new lip gloss and new clothes. And when I really feel like it, I don’t suppress it. I enjoy that too. But more this pressure of this is how I’m gonna have to fit in or look a certain way. Or, you know, I need to have this stuff because people are telling me, I need to have it.
That starts to dissolve. And what rises up is the truth of your, your truth. The truth of this is what really serves me. This is what I’m drawn to, but I’m just getting so comfortable and so excited and so happy about simple foods, simple time meditation connection, and just a, just less, less from the outside, more rises up from the inside. So we have lots and lots of resources to support you in this way. Please check out our show notes for articles. I’m starting to write the Kim’s corner articles almost every week. Our old school blogging method, where I feel like I can really share my insights in a pretty raw way. So please be sure to check out those articles coming out now on our site, sign up for a newsletter, which I’m writing every month. Now, other podcasts, recipes, um, meditations are practical, enlightenment meditations. I think you would enjoy. So I will be back here Thursday for our next Q&A segment till then keep the questions coming, stay connected, um, on social media as well at _KimberlySnyder, sending you so much love and see you back here soon. Namaste.