A simple life is a happy life. When we have too much going on in our lives, we can easily get overwhelmed. However, if we can learn to embrace a life of simplicity, we will find our stress and anxiety melt away. Removing unnecessary things or distractions can aid us in creating a happier life of simplicity and balance. Recognizing the difference between our needs and our desires can be a great way to begin simplifying our lives. Material possessions may be nice, but are often wholly unnecessary. Physical clutter leads to mental clutter, and may cause us to waste needless energy on things that do not actually add anything of real value to our lives. Linda Esposito, in a 2016 Psychology Today article, Minimalism: When Living with Less Means More Mental Health, explains, “Physical clutter begets mental clutter. The minimalists who pare their wardrobe down to 33 items are onto something smart. Energy spent doing laundry, folding laundry and picking up laundry adds up. Just as buying a new kitchen appliance, unwrapping it, breaking down the packing materials, storing the instructions, and finding space on the kitchen counter comes with a price. Every day you see that shiny new purchase your mind is distracted because it has to register another thing.” The time spent with our possessions takes away from the time we could spend on creating positive relationships or experiences. We may regret missing out on an opportunity for a meaningful experience, but we will rarely regret not having spent more time with our material possessions. Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist, explains, “Too many material possessions complicate our lives to a greater degree than we ever give them credit. They drain our bank account, our energy, and our attention. They keep us from the ones we love and from living a life based on our values. If you will invest the time to remove nonessential possessions from your life, you will never regret it.” Material things can be nice, but it easy to get overinvested in things that do not add to our life experience and take away from the time we could spend creating valuable life experiences.
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