Downsize for Less Stress and a Happier Life
In the United States, a lot of people believe, “the more I have, the more successful I am.” As soon as these people see their finances improve as they earn a bit more, they immediately “upgrade” to a bigger house, a larger car and more stuff. The thing is, that attitude is not exactly healthy, and that kind of thinking is full of fallacy.
The more a person owns, the more their possessions begin to own them. A larger house means more upkeep and more opportunity for things to break. You have to clean more, make more repairs and pay more for taxes, insurance and utilities. All of that maintenance means more stress.
Stress and Your Health
Stress is generally a normal thing for a person to experience. It’s an automatic response our bodies developed over time as a way to protect us from dangers and threats. When ancient man sensed that their life was in jeopardy, the body kicked itself into gear by releasing certain hormones that elevate heart rate and blood flow. This makes a person feel more alert, so they are better able to run or fight the dangers they face.
However, prolonged stress is not natural. The body is not made to be on high alert constantly throughout the day, so if you are consistently stressed it can have adverse effects on your overall health. Chronic anxiety increases a person’s chances of developing sleep problems, fatigue, respiratory illness, high blood pressure, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and diabetes.
How to Downsize Your Life
If you think living large contributes to your excess stress and anxiety, it is time to consider downsizing. Downsizing is the process of reducing the material possessions in your environment in order to pursue a simpler, more stress-free lifestyle. How you downsize really depends on your current situation. For some people, it makes sense to sell their home to save money and reduce the amount of maintenance. For others, it may make more sense to hold on to that house and rent it out for extra income, if they’ll be living close by to manage it. Of course, this option should only be used if the person has enough money to keep the house and take on the challenges of being a landlord.
If you opt to sell your home, be sure to hire movers to save your sanity and time. You can also hire a service that specializes in sending out PODS, which are used for loading and unloading your belongings during the moving process. When you’re ready to move your things, one of these containers is sent out to you and then transport your items from your current home to your destination.
While your path to downsizing depends on your personal and financial situation, there are simple things most everybody can do to reduce. Here are some of our favorite tips.
● Get rid of common objects nobody needs around: souvenirs, event T-shirts, sporting equipment, kitchen gadgets and general tchotchkes that have no use in your day-to-day life. Other items like books, CDs, and DVDs can be replaced with streaming platforms, digital access, or even checking things out from the library. Consider selling them to a local used bookstore and put whatever you make in your savings account.
● Avoid making a “maybe” pile. If it’s a “maybe,” it can go.
● Clean out duplicates of the things you have. Chances are, you don’t need a hand mixer and a standing mixer unless you are a professional baker juggling multiple cakes and pastries in a day.
● You will probably find a lot of duplicates in your closet, as well. Instead of having three pairs of the same cut-off jeans, stick to your favorite pair and donate the other two to your favorite nonprofit. ● Become inspired to clean out your possessions by checking out a book on the topic from your local library. A popular book is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Kondo is an organizational expert who believes that living with less is the secret behind a clean, orderly home and a happier life.
The more material possessions a person has, the more opportunities there are for stress. Stress can have a severe negative impact on a person’s health including an increased risk of life-threatening illnesses like heart disease. Downsizing can help you live with less and, in turn, be less stressed.
Article provided by Gene Ramsey from DownsizingDad.com.