It’s a fact that a lot of individuals feel anxious and stressed in a cluttered environment. However, highly sensitive people particularly feel the effects of clutter on their mental and emotional well-being.
Because a highly sensitive person (HSP) is affected by their environment more than the average person, minimalism can be attractive to HSPs who thrive with less stimulation.
Before moving forward, let’s look at what exactly being a Highly Sensitive Person means.
Scientifically, HSP is a term that describes individuals who have elevated central nervous system sensitivity to emotional, physical, or social stimuli. It’s just a personality trait that involves heightened responsiveness to both positive and negative influences.
There are several characteristics or traits common to HSPs. If you can identify with the following, you might by a Highly Sensitive Person:
- Gets easily overwhelmed by sensory stimuli like bright lights, loud noise, busy environments, or uncomfortable clothing.
- Avoids violent TV shows or movies because they feel too intense.
- Needs quiet time alone after a hectic day.
- Finds it difficult and unsettling to cope up with changes.
- Able to feel and notice the details in your surrounding environment that others tend to miss.
- Has a complex inner life full of deep thoughts and creative imagination.
Because HSPs are affected so much by their environment, if you identify as an HSP, then you might want to consider how a minimalist lifestyle will benefit you.
5 Reasons Highly Sensitive People Need Minimalism
Minimalism essentially means removing anything (tangible possessions, relationships, your ideology of life, beliefs, to-do lists...anything) that is hindering you from focusing on the things that matter most to you.
This practice is not a new thing. Every time you clean your desk and throw the unwanted junk out, you’re practicing minimalism. Every time you stop and take time to think before making a purchase, you’re practicing minimalism.
HSPs are easily overwhelmed by excess, by too much noise, too much activity, too many choices. Minimalism gets rid of the excess and with it, the overwhelm.
1. Minimalism Let's You Be Your Authentic Self As An HSP
Highly sensitive people are living in a world that’s frankly, not built for them. Our culture is full of people looking for bigger, better, newer, and faster stuff. The hustle for possessing MORE never seems to stop.
Often, this leaves HSPs feeling like they don't fit into this culture. They feel like they have to choose between fitting into the fast-paced world which leaves them completely depleted or pulling away from social or career opportunities that demand too much, risking feeling alone and isolated.
Minimalism helps HSPs to create an environment and schedule that they can thrive in. When you understand your limits as a highly sensitive person, then you can use the concepts of minimalism to cut out the clutter—the activities, relationships, stuff that depletes you—so you have room for more of what fills you up. You can create a life that is true to yourself, even in this culture of more.
2. Minimalism Helps You Prioritize What Matters Most
Minimalism encourages you to ask yourselves questions like:
- What is it that I truly need?
- What do I want to make out of my life?
- What are my priorities?
- What are my highest values?
- What will bring value to my life?
- Will this job, thing, person, event, opportunity bring joy to my life?
This is a process, where you gradually reveal what a meaningful life looks like for you. When you know what matters to you, you can easily identify where you can let go.
3. A Minimalist Home Is A HSP Sanctuary
Most HSPs will find, after reflection, that they value a calm and relaxing home more than they value having a lot of stuff. Naturally, decluttering your space is often the first step most HSPs take when starting a minimalism journey.
An environment that reflects your values and brings feelings of calm and relaxation is like a respite from the chaos of the world. HSPs need a place to retreat when they come home, a restorative sanctuary for your sensitive soul. Minimalism helps get rid of the clutter and helps create a calming space to unwind at the end of the day.
4. A Minimalist Lifestyle Helps HSPs Thrive
After experiencing the benefits of decluttering your physical space, you’ll probably be motivated to apply minimalism to each and every area of your life.
When you say YES to fewer tasks, fewer worries, fewer distractions, fewer commitments and focus more on the things that actually resonate with your values, you can begin to thrive as an HSP.
5. Minimalism Gives You a Sense of Belonging
Many HSPs feel misunderstood and alone. But when you start looking around at the huge community of people who thrive in simplicity and slower pace of life, you realize you are not so alone after all. HSPs may be a quieter lot among us, but the role they bring to society by pushing against cultural norms and taking a stand for a simpler way of life is so valuable.
To summarize, minimalism helps you to create an environment and a lifestyle that you need to truly rest, relax, and recharge after facing all the sensory overload of the world throughout the day. I hope this gave you the encouragement you need to try out minimalism if you feel overwhelmed by the world around you.
Uncluttered — Own Less, Live More
Living an uncluttered life is an integral part of moving toward UnBusy. If you can check off 5 of the 7 list items below, the Uncluttered course might be right for you:
- You're just getting started on your decluttering journey, and you want to stay motivated and do it in a sustainable, long-lasting way.
- You're excited about the idea of turning your home into a place where you can really rest — not just another place to do work.
- You've tackled some areas of your home already, but find yourself struggling to follow through or keep up with the work once it's done.
- You're willing to put in the work of examining your ownership mindset, and open to letting go of things that are making you feel trapped.
- You're spending a few hours a week (or more) keeping your home in order.
- You're excited about the idea of never again having to search for your keys, dig through a pile of (Dirty? Clean? Who can tell?) clothes, or cook dinner in a dirty kitchen.
- You're ready to start your journey toward owning less and living more.
This course gave our family a jump-start toward an UnBusy Life — Uncluttered is a 12-week online course designed intentionally to help you own less, live more, and discover the life you've always wanted.
Uncluttered comes with helpful weekly assignments & a supportive community to help you get it done. Registration is available soon!
Looking for more minimalism resources to help you move toward the simple life?
Here are a few top resources for your minimalist journey.
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