5 Toxic Habits I Quit For a Simpler & More Minimalist Life

by Delala

I'm sharing toxic habits that I quit doing when I became a minimalist. As a minimalist, I'm very conscious about how I want to spend my time and energy. These five toxic habits had a negative impact on my life, and I decided that they were no longer serving me.

1. I don't shop for fun anymore

I stopped shopping for fun; this goes for online and in-person window shopping. I used to love shopping; it was a hobby. I would go to the mall after school, and at nighttime, I would spend my hours scrolling through web shops.

I bought many unnecessary items and had a never-ending wishlist. Even though it also did bring me some bargains that ended up being staples in my wardrobe, there were also quite a few items that I just bought because they were on sale and I didn't really have a need or purpose for them, or I didn't like them that much. They ended up not being used.

Shopping for fun

I realized it was a waste of my time and had a negative impact on my mind. Commercials and advertisements are sometimes intentionally designed to make you feel bad about yourself; that's not the type of energy I want to consume.

Now I only look for things when I need them. I now have a mindset of 'having enough' instead of 'not having enough.' 

Mindlessly watching TV

2. I stopped watching TV

I used to love watching TV. I watched movies and watched regular TV and loved going to the cinema. With the rise of Netflix, I was excited to watch so many series I hadn't seen yet.

I've watched TV most of my life but decided to eliminate my TV and Netflix subscription entirely at the end of 2019. In the past 20 years, movies and series have drastically improved quality. 

But with the better quality, everything has become faster, bigger, and more bombastic. But everything has become much more violent, scarier, and extreme. I think it has a significant role in how normalized violence has become.

Even though most of us know that TV is not real life, I think it has a bigger impact on our minds than we might think. On a deep subconscious level, people slowly start to see violence as a normal part of life. So that's a big reason I no longer watch TV or movies.

Other reasons for quitting TV were I was too tempted to eat and specifically eat unhealthy foods, and stayed up too late at night (TV is so addictive!!). I got too little sleep and the next day. I would not have the energy to do my everyday things, which negatively impacted me.

Following the news

3. I've stopped following the news

I stopped following the news completely a few years ago for a few reasons. The main reason is the negativity on the news. The news is always a collection of saddening and heartbreaking events worldwide.

As a sensitive, empathetic person, it made me feel sad, powerless, and hopeless.

As Thich Nhat Hanh says in "The Art of Living," Your mind is like a garden. You have seeds for everything; seeds for happiness, seeds of compassion but also seeds of anger and seeds of sadness. And the seeds that get watered grow. So when we water our seeds of compassion, our compassion grows. 

So I think that constantly consuming the news waters the seeds of sadness and hopelessness in me. And those are not the seeds I want to grow; that's not how I want to live my life. So that's why I don't follow the news.

But it's not like I'm living under a rock. I do know everything that is going on in the world right now. You will not miss anything important by not watching the news or not reading newspapers.

I've never followed the news much. But since I completely stopped, I still haven't missed anything big. People talk about the news so much that it's impossible to miss it.

Choosing clothes

4. I stopped being indecisive

This goes for all sorts of decisions in my life. The many small choices, like picking an outfit or packing my bag, have become much more manageable after decluttering and reducing my belongings.

Now I have very few options. They are all very similar, so it doesn't matter which ones I choose. I rotate through my clothing.

This also goes beyond just my wardrobe. It also goes for which cup I drink tea from, which plate I use for eating, which pen I decide to write with, and which bag I bring.

Making fewer decisions daily also made me better at making big decisions. I've become more confident in making decisions instead of letting the choice hang like a dark cloud over my head.

I think I've learned that not choosing is also a choice. Making fewer small decisions also made me better at making big decisions in my life. 

Smartphone games

5. I stopped playing smartphone games 

I was never a big gamer. At one point in life, I had a Nintendo ds and a Wii but never played a lot on it. But for a while, I did play quite a lot of smartphone games.

It was super convenient because you could play them everywhere. It would take away the unease of waiting and boredom, and at the same time, it kept my dopamine levels high. 

But after spending many hours playing smartphone games, I got kind of bored of them and realized I didn't want to spend my life constantly staring at a screen doing nothing. It was wasting my precious hours, and I decided to eliminate them.

It was awkward at first. I would grab my phone 100 times a day to start playing a stupid game and then realize it was not there anymore. I think it's been four years since I quit playing them, and I'm no longer interested in them. 

Toxic habits

Those were the five toxic habits that I quit doing that I wanted to share with you today. Have you quit any toxic habits? Share which ones you gave up and how you did it in the comments below.

Join the conversation
2 of 5 comments
  • Maria Maria on Aug 01, 2023

    Delala, i liked your article, i practice most of your suggestions, but I can't get away from TV yet. As you may see my above comment by Maria, i added to my personal list "toxic people", i am at PEACE now.

  • Ruth Ruth on Aug 01, 2023

    I for one like my Photo Albums, I do not trust the age of the computer (and I taught electronics over 40 years ago!!). More photos have been list because of computer/ phone upgrades. I am purging/ organizing my photos, but still have no idea how to make my photos from different phones into hand held photos!! I even took a huge 3” binder and clear pages to fill with old school drawings, (my own, my kids,grandkids), bigger school pictures or USA Military pics, old letters and cards to keep. Not in a bunch of boxes! These albums and binders only take one shelf of my bookcase. And I know where they are! My kids gave me the electronic picture screen, but hell, I do not know how to do those! Or get These pics, that I can’t hold!! I do not like this screen photo crap. CD’s will be a long forgotten way to get info, like floppy disks, cassettes, 8 Track, Beta-and VCR. Still can be neat and organized with Albums. And yes, I still have my record player and some 78’s, 331/3 albums, 45’s, very neatly placed in the same area.

    I agree with some of your choices, and I have Removed Toxic people from my life. They only made me sick. You are absolutely right about these phone games, I only play true mind/brain improvement games. But those too are habit forming! Could utilize my time more efficiently!