A mosquito found its way into my home and has been buzzing about escaping my attempts to swat it away from me. As a result I have two bites that are distracting me from the peaceful evening my attention should be focused on. I am too busy trying to spot that darn mosquito and prevent it from feeding further from my body.
Minimalism can eliminate a lot of the distractions that previously kept one from enjoying the good moments in life but it won’t prevent us from becoming overwhelmed by negativity if we aren’t careful in how we respond to outside forces.
Take for instance the worldwide conflicts. Families torn apart because they won’t accept one person’s right to have an opposing viewpoint. In my own family I was called to mediate a dispute about political candidates. I quickly removed myself from that discussion. It’s difficult to watch the friction dissenting opinions can create but we can’t allow it to fester and bring our mood down if we don’t have a vested interest in the subject. If our suffering won’t change the outcome then why should we allow it to affect our mental well-being?
Minimalism won’t stop family members from bickering, bring world peace, or stop mosquitoes from disrupting the peace of an otherwise lovely evening. To truly enjoy the benefits of Minimalism we need to be mindful of how we respond to the stresses of the 21st century.
Does a constantly ringing phone drive you crazy? Select an hour or two each day to turn off the phone. Let others know you will be reclaiming this time for your self. Does the news of the latest conflict or violence disturb you even as you try to fall asleep? Then limit the amount of news you listen to. If the pictures stay with you the longest but you would like to know what is going on in the world then read the news instead of listening to it.
Minimalism is the practice of keeping only what you love and need. Do you need added stress and distractions? If not eliminate those too.