You might have already read tons of articles on tips to improve mental wellness or reduce anxiety.
There are so many habits you want to develop but do not know how to start or incorporate into your daily life. Or, you started a new habit but you can’t keep the consistency as you feel you can’t make enough time for this new habit.
I want to introduce to you this habit today, and I recommend you to do it before starting on anything else. It helped me tremendously, and if you set the determination to do it today, you will be embracing a new life too.
Let’s talk about DanShaRi today.
Table of Contents
What is DanShaRi?
DanShaRi is a decluttering philosophy that originated from the yoga practice. The concept was popularized by Japanese author Hideko Yamashita in her long-selling book series on DanShaRi.
It consists of 3 concepts.
Dan – Eliminate unnecessary items.
Sha – Remove anything that you do not need, like, or make you feel uncomfortable.
Ri – From eliminating and removing, you get rid of the obsessions.
Reading till here, you might be thinking that this concept is about reducing obsession with material living, or similar to minimalist living.
How it’s related to improving my mental health?
Well, there is more to this concept.
Looking at ourselves, every day we are trying to take in more things.
We try to squeeze in a new routine to the current routine, implement a new habit, or try a new trending product.
For myself, I always want to read as many books as possible, without even considering have I internalized the knowledge from the last book.
We just greedily hope to absorb all the information we see, own the ‘best things in the world, and fear missing any new information.
Let’s pause a moment and think to ourselves here. Did we actually own more from this process? Whatever we owned, are they actually valuable to us?
More things don’t equal more benefits.
I am not just talking about physical objects here, but also about our thinking and the relationships around us.
Does any of these scenarios apply to you?
Having a home packed with items from the past or unnecessaries that restrains you from living in the present moment.
Having old ideologies and thoughts which refrains you from growing. Thoughts include self-denial, your opinion about yourself, and a fixed mindset.
Having relationships that don’t give you joy, comfort, or support. Spending time on social media feeling the negativities and losing the sense of time and the purpose. Following all the news, and updates closely and fear of missing out.
If any situation sounds familiar to you, you need to slow down, pause for a while, and re-examine your life.
Decluttering and giving up on the things that are unnecessary is the first step for us to embrace life again, and say goodbye to our anxiety and stress.
Before you are thinking about adopting a new habit, look at your current lifestyle and habit first. What can be changed and reduced?
For instance, if you are spending too much time on social media, you may want to change your time on these activities first.
Reflect on your daily activities, and think about what are the things you want to achieve in life that is most important to you. If you want to prioritize your mental health and wellness, you need to stop the old activities that are not helpful to your mental wellbeing, including your old way of thinking.
Instead of adding on, let’s try subtraction this time.
To Get Started on DanShaRi
1. Remove Unnecessary Objects in Your Living Quarters
Changing a habit or mindset might take time. Let’s start with something simple first.
Starting with something simple would also give you the sense of accomplishment and motivation to move on to the more difficult things.
Remove all the items that are no longer necessary, relevant, or bring you comfort.
It might not be easy at first. You may be holding onto one item and thinking ‘I could use this in the future’. You can use these 3 benchmarks when deciding if an item should be eliminated.
- Items that are not necessary – Even if the items are not broken, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t own them.
- Items that are no longer relevant – The item is important to me in the past but not anymore.
- Items that don’t bring you comfort – You have been using the item for a while but it doesn’t bring you joy or comfort.
In another way, when you hold onto an item, think about if this item brings you joy at the current stage in life.
Do not measure the item with its price tag, but how it matters to you.
Even though it seems that we are throwing out physical stuff, we are actually removing the excessive obsessions in our minds during this process.
2. Reduce Activities that Are Not Beneficial for Mental Health
The biggest excuse we always say is that we don’t have time.
Then let’s re-examine our daily activities. Are some of the activities necessary? or beneficial? If your answer is no to some of the activities, then reduce on those first.
Our time and attention is our most precious resource. Let them be at good usage. We are thrown in with too much information daily and everything online is fighting for your attention. Many of the desires are being aroused in the process which wasn’t there in the first place.
For instance, let’s talk about social media again.
You are passively being stuffed with so much information. It’s indeed true that social media provides people a channel to broaden their social circles and connect with people. But it also fuels a lot of unnecessary desires and wants.
How many times did you find yourself spending a few hours on social media and unaware of it?
How many times are you reading or watching something and you have no clue how did you end up there?
How many times did you feel anxious or negative after scrolling through your social media feeds?
3. Change the Old Way of Thinking
Your body is like a container as well. Keep the positives and remove the negatives.
Instead of keeping the old way of thinking which you know does not bring any good to you, it’s time to change to a new set of thinking.
You are the captain of your ship and you can change your mindset and behavior. Do not deter by any self-denial. The choice is in you.
Before letting in a new way of thinking and making time for new habits, let’s clear up the habits from the past.
If you can take action actively, not just you will feel happier in the process, but you will also understand yourself better and get rid of the obsessions from the past.
This is the wisdom of DanShaRi.
Removing the excessive and keeping what is needed. Eliminate the unwanted and replace them with new beneficial ones.
We are maintaining a healthy metabolism and opening our door to a new life. You will see improvement in mental health in this process, and without you even aware, life is starting to head in a positive direction.
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