Minimalism as a philosophical lifestyle is attainable. Wants and needs drive the desire to obtain status, acceptance, and happiness. One of the main culprits of creating the feeling of wanting or needing something is marketing. Products are pushed as necessities that improve your overall quality of life. On the other hand, the marketing of alcohol and marijuana targets emotions, and in some cases, these substances are an attempt to fill an emotional void. Sometimes, substance use that begins as recreational develops into a bad habit.
Over time, the accumulation of attempts to find an outlet for anxiety or depression piles up, leaving little space for you. When you are ready to make space and start fresh, you can begin to embrace minimalism.
Step One: Why Do You Need Things?
In general, society is driven by the need to have more. For example, there are several reasons people go on shopping sprees, such as boosting self-esteem or avoiding substance use. The anticipation of buying is, for some, more rewarding than the actual purchase. The thrill comes from the release of dopamine in the brain, a natural chemical that aids in controlling the brain’s pleasure centers. Dopamine helps you see rewards and move you towards the goal or object you desire. So, when you see a sale, you are excited because the potential purchase outweighs the product’s price.
James Roberts, a professor at Baylor University, finds those who shop as a response to an adverse event or feeling also try to hide their increasing debt from those they love. Similarly, you can turn to substances to help cover up feelings of guilt, depression, or anxiety caused by external events.
Step Two: Clear the Chemical Clutter
Have you thought about why you accumulate things when you are actively using substances? Perhaps the need to be surrounded by people or things creates a sense of security or satisfaction. Maybe being surrounded provides you with a way to drown out your physical and mental health issues. So let’s look at how to clear your path to begin to work towards happiness with less chaos.
An important step to living a minimalistic lifestyle for those who use substances is recognizing the need for help. The safest way to remove a substance from your life is to enter a detoxification program (detox) staffed by medically trained professionals. The act of detoxifying your body is not only physically, but emotionally cleansing.
While you are in a detox program, open yourself up to the opportunities available to you. Comprehensive substance addiction programs include traditional and holistic healing focused on your needs and unique personality. Holistic treatments such as yoga, meditation, or mindfulness, teach you to focus on your inner dialogue.
Step Three: Find Your Freedom
What is the price of freedom? Only you can determine what you are willing to do to achieve personal or mental freedom. For example, if you released yourself from chemical chaos by committing to a detox program or a substance addiction program, you chose to commit yourself to improve your overall health. Now, you can immerse yourself in individual or group therapy.
While you are exploring life in recovery, take time to assess your personal life. Sometimes you acquire things when you are using substances in hopes of filling a void. For this reason, some people find they have accumulated objects from various hobbies and activities they quit over the years. Clear these objects from your home.
Now, look at those around you. Weed out those who are a danger to your sobriety. While losing friends can hurt, the resulting mental freedom is worth it. Once you’ve cleared physical and emotional restraints, you will be well on your way to finding your freedom. You chose to find happiness in your life rather than in people or things.
Step Four: Find Your Purpose
After leaving a substance addiction program, you are equipped with healthy mechanisms to focus your energy on becoming a version of yourself. In other words, you either found your purpose or are actively searching for it. Substances are no longer what drives you. Instead, the meaning you find in your life moves you forward.
Perhaps you embrace a 12-step recovery philosophy or program. Whatever you use as a foundation to recovery, some critical factors in maintaining your sobriety include humility, selflessness, self-respect, gratitude, or a belief in a higher power. You hold your core values. Minimalism, combined with those core values, can strengthen your sobriety. You will discover core values don’t require much, except the commitment to stay true to yourself. Minimalism follows the same philosophy.
Minimalism as a philosophical lifestyle means you are committed to your physical and emotional well-being. You recognize the need to remove excess from your life and re-connect with who you are and your core values. You find purpose in focusing on remaining true to yourself, freeing your body and mind from the trappings of substances and clutter.
You hold the power of releasing yourself from physical and mental obstacles such as clutter. When you learn to live a minimalistic lifestyle, you can embrace a life free from clutter and harmful influences. Minimalism can also help you re-discover your core values. An effective combination of minimalism and core values releases you from the pursuit of filling a void. However, the hesitation in taking the first step—detoxing your mind and body from substances—is understandable. Your best chance at lasting sobriety is a substance addiction center that not only represents freedom from substances but gives you the promise of reducing harmful habits. Finding the right substance addiction treatment program is essential to your recovery. Alta Centers, located in the Hollywood Hills, provides stunning scenery and the highest quality care. To learn more about how Alta Centers can guide and support you through a substance-free lifestyle, call us today at (888) 202-2583.