I can highly recommend it, but most of you won’t like it.
My wife has had a stressful few months for a variety of reasons, so we started to discuss ways to combat it. We came up with all the obvious solutions like better sleep, better diet, exercise, meditation, and a host of other things, and they all helped. But one stood head and shoulders above all of them.
It’s something I’ve been doing for years but have never thought of as any kind of stress relief. But it’s one of the best stress relievers around. Well, that’s not quite right. It stops the stress arising in the first place.
When people ask me how I remain so calm and relaxed I usually tell them it’s just the way I am. I haven’t always been like that though.
Sometimes I used to think of myself like a duck swimming across a lake — calm and majestic on the surface, but paddling like a maniac underneath.
But over the last decade or so I’ve had much less stress in my life. I estimate it as around 85% less. Don’t ask how I came up with that number. It just feels about right.
So, what happened to suddenly dispel the stress?
Over time I became a minimalist. I can guarantee that most people will instantly think it’s not for them and just dismiss it out of hand. But hear me out.
I didn’t become a minimalist in order to get rid of my stress. I don’t even know why I became one to begin with. I probably read some articles about it, embraced it a little, liked it, and continued with it.
Now I’m a minimalist in many areas of my life.
And that is the one thing that got rid of most of my stress.
How does this help with reducing stress?
It’s a very simple concept. What causes the most stress in our lives? It’s usually possessions.
As far as I can see, the less I own the less stress I have.
I don’t own a car, so I never get stressed out being stuck in traffic, having to suddenly pay a large bill to get the car fixed, worrying about the tax and insurance payments, and so on.
Some people may need a car, but probably most people don’t. They want a car for convenience but could live without one. The extra stress may be worth not for you, but have you ever considered what it would be like without all that car stress?
For many, owning a house can be stressful. There are always unexpected bills cropping up, noisy neighbors, mortgage payments, and more.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against owning a house. I’ve owned many properties over the years and will buy one again in the next couple of years. But there is stress involved. I’ve been renting for the last few years and it makes me feel very free.
I love that I can just get up and leave and move to another part of the city, another part of the country, or even a different country altogether. I’m not responsible for any of the repairs. I’m not responsible for most of the bills. It’s an easy life.
And then there are all those social media accounts that are very stressful for most people. Some writers even have a social media calendar to remind them when and where to post every day. That is too stressful for me. I have a Facebook account to keep in contact with family and friends, but I’ve even removed that app from my phone. I only use Facebook on my laptop.
I don’t want multiple social media accounts. I don’t want to check Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and whatever other accounts are available.
I don’t want notifications on my phone every minute. They’re all switched off.
I haven’t gone as far as some people and ditched my smartphone. I don’t think even I could do that. It’s just too handy.
But I control my phone. I don’t let my phone control me.
I have a limited number of clothes and possessions. That way I can move around with one suitcase and one backpack. People often ask where all my stuff is.
I don’t have stuff.
I’m sure some of you are already horrified and feeling sorry for me. Don’t worry, I’m not depriving myself. I buy whatever I need that helps improve my life. I don’t buy stuff that doesn’t make my life better.
It all results in having less to be stressed about. I like living a simple life. I travel a lot so too many possessions would just make traveling a hassle. I want to enjoy my travels not stress about carrying around a bunch of stuff I don’t need.
Even when it comes to writing, I keep it simple. I write here. I don’t write for Hubpages, Simily, Quora, Vocal, Newsbreak, or all the other places that get mentioned. It all sounds too stressful. And it is, judging by the stories I read about them. I keep it simple. I like it like that.
85% of my stress is gone, never to return.
Give it a try. Even in one area of your life. You might hate it. But you might love it. Isn’t it worth trying it if it can eliminate so much stress?