It wasn't until recently that I discovered I'm a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).
Ok, so I knew I was very sensitive, but I didn't know it was a thing. I had always just thought something was wrong with me.
You might be wondering "what does it mean to be a highly sensitive person?" Well, it means a lot of things. You can find out more about about that here.
If you're highly sensitive, too, then you know as well as I do that life can get overwhelming fast. But minimalism has been a huge help in my life in keeping down the overwhelm and allowing me to better cope with my sensitivities.
I believe, for the highly sensitive, minimalism is a must. Here's why.
I think most people get overwhelmed and stressed out if they live in a cluttered space. That is just the nature of clutter.
But being highly sensitive, it is so easy to get distracted and over-stimulated by what's going on around you.
Even at home.
Before I downsized, even though I enjoyed spending time at home, it was like a constant assault on my senses.
So many colors. So many textures. So much noise!
(I know, I kinda sound like the Grinch)
I never actually felt like I was resting. But I don't know that I really noticed the extent of it until l found minimalism.
In a less cluttered, more spacious home, I find that my energy doesn't drain anywhere near as fast as it used to. And I actually have the space to be able to relax and turn off my thoughts for a little bit.
That's something I never had before.
For someone who is in tune with and notices everything, being able to rest in a clean, open space is a breath of fresh air.
Home becomes a safe space
Because we are able to decide what comes into our homes, it's only natural that home is a safe space for the highly sensitive.
This is true whether you're a minimalist or not.
But through minimalism, we allow ourselves to be really intentional. We let ourselves be picky. And that allows us to be more connected with our feelings and better know what calms us.
It is through that process that we're really able to fine tune our homes into a HSP paradise, free of distractions and ill feelings.
more time to feel feelings
At first glance, I know this one seems ridiculous.
You don't need to make time for feelings. You just feel them while you're doing other things, right? Feelings are just there.
Well, yes, that's true. But it works a little differently for the highly sensitive.
Because we feel our feelings so strongly, the urge is to push back or bottle up those feelings and not deal with them, so that we can easily go about our day.
But that isn't always easy.
We also pick up other peoples' emotions throughout the day. So knowing our own feelings can be confusing. It all gets jumbled together.
So how does minimalism help with this?
Well, obviously if you're not spending so much time at home cleaning and straightening, or if you've decluttered your schedule, you're going to have more time to sit and really unpack your emotions.
And if there are fewer visual distractions in your home (or even thoughts popping up like "I need to put that away, this needs to be cleaned"), then you're able to focus all your attention on your feelings.
If you've never taken time to just sit and feel your feelings, I highly recommend it.
more room to appreciate beauty
This is so important.
Appreciating beauty can be a very intense experience for a HSP. The beauty of something (song, art, object, moment) can pierce straight through their soul and be deeply moving.
Taking in the beauty of something is a whole body experience.
It fills us up completely, and gives us joy and deep admiration.
So what would life be like if a HSP could experience that in their own home? Every day?
When we get rid of the excess and pursue minimalism, we're able to fill our space with only the things we believe to be beautiful or meaningful.
Imaging, as a HSP, being able to look around your home and be filled constantly with beautiful images and memories.
But because our schedules are so much clearer when we live a simpler life, we have more time to take in the beauty around us even if we're not in our home.
build deeper relationships
The highly sensitive, because we can pick up so easily on the emotions of others, are able to quickly form deep relationships with others.
But it can be really frustrated when we don't have the time to nurture those relationships.
Or when we don't have time to make them at all.
Minimalism allows us the time to really focus on what our priorities are. And for many of us, our priority is our friends and family.
While maintaining healthy relationships is important for everyone, the highly sensitive crave those deep, meaningful relationships and conversation.
Having fewer things on our to-do list, and fewer distraction in our lives, allows us to make more time to connect with others. And the lack of distractions allows us to focus all of our energy on who we're trying to connect with.
Minimalism can be an incredibly beneficial tool for the highly sensitive to cut down on the overwhelm in their daily lives.
When we have a safe place, and can spend time taking care of ourselves and our emotions, life seems much more manageable.
Are you highly sensitive? Have you adopted a simpler life? What benefits have you seen as the result of it?