When I started this blog, over two years ago, one of my first “blogger” friends was Catherine from the Blissful Mind. I fell instantly in love with her positive outlook and inspiring writing! If you’re looking to find more focus, balance, and fulfilment in your daily life then please check out her site—but first, I’m delighted to share this guest post she generously wrote for me. Enjoy!
A few years ago, I felt massively overwhelmed with life. Though nothing particularly overwhelming was going on, I felt like there was something weighing me down. The days seemed to merge into each other, and I was going through the motions of my daily routine without even noticing what I was doing.
As I searched endlessly on the internet for ways to make myself feel calmer, I came across the likes of Marie Kondo, Light by Coco, and Caroline Rector of un-fancy.com. All three of these ladies had something in common: they spoke of how minimalism and downsizing can greatly improve your life.
Though I was never the type of person to hold onto sentimental stuff, I had clothes in my closet that still had the tags on them because I told myself I might wear them ‘someday’. I had moved around a few times in the previous years and only realized how much stuff I owned when it came time to pack everything up.
Once I learned about minimalism, I was convinced that downsizing would be the answer to all of my problems. After all, maybe the clutter around me was weighing me down.
I immediately started to declutter everything. I pared down my belongings and embraced a capsule wardrobe. I dubbed 2015 “the year of less”, and I felt great about the way my stuff wasn’t overwhelming me anymore.
Of course, things didn’t stay that way forever. There was a part of me that thought, ‘I still feel overwhelmed.’
I was convinced that minimalism would make my life feel perfect because it was simple. Because I got rid of the stuff that didn’t bring me joy, I thought I’d instantly feel more joy.
The naivety of the situation was that I still had a lot of work to do on myself beyond the things I owned. Though my life looked calm and clutter-free on the outside, I was still overwhelmed and anxious on the inside. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many benefits to downsizing. But there’s also some inner work that needs to take place in order to appreciate what we have once we’ve simplified.
I’m not sure of the exact moment when I learned about the concept of mindfulness, but as soon as I did, it changed everything for me. Mindfulness means living in the current moment, without worrying about the future or the past. Once I understood this concept, I recognized that the overwhelm and worry in my life, the kind that couldn’t be eradicated by decluttering my stuff, was caused because I was living in the future.
Over the years that I’ve been living a more mindful lifestyle, life has felt a little simpler. Because I know we all dream of simpler and calmer lives, I’m sharing three ways that mindfulness has helped me live more simply on a deeper level.
MINDFULNESS HELPS ME IDENTIFY MY PRIORITIES
Mindfulness helps me to clearly see what’s important. Since getting started with mindfulness, my head space has become a lot clearer. Mindfulness has helped me to discern between actual problems and ones I don’t really need to worry about. I’ve better identified what’s important to me because I can think more clearly without getting distracted by outside noise. I’ve also become more mindful about what I let into my mental and physical space, and I’ve set clearer boundaries on what I’m willing to spend time and money on.
MINDFULNESS HELPS ME MAKING BETTER DECISIONS
I no longer feel so torn about whether I should do this or that. I’ve been able to tune into my intuition and know what feels right to me, rather than going back and forth on decisions like, ‘Should I buy this?’ or ‘Should I attend that party?’ I have a better sense of who I am and what I stand for, which means it’s simpler to make decisions.
MINDFULNESS HELPS ME FEEL MORE CONTENT WITH WHAT I ALREADY HAVE
Mindfulness has helped me to leave behind the idea that I need new things all the time. As someone who used to spend countless hours at the mall and online browsing, I know how exciting it can feel to buy new things. Of course new things are exciting, but I’ve become a lot more content with what I already have in my life. Because mindfulness encourages me to live in the current moment, I spend less time worrying about adding new things into my life and more time enjoying what I already have.
If you’ve been struggling with overwhelm and wondering why life doesn’t feel quite as simple as you’d like it to be, consider making mindfulness part of your routine. Living in the moment is a lot easier said than done, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
Catherine Beard is an intentional living blogger, mindset coach, and creator of The Blissful Mind, an online guide to help you find calm in your daily life. Follow her on Instagram for weekly mindfulness & self-care tips.
Do you find mindfulness and simple living go hand in hand? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! x
photo credit: Daria Shevtsova // Used with permission