There are a few things in life that are free and can bring happiness. Minimalism is about putting an end to life’s greedy needs and giving up material possessions. Consumerism is broadcasted daily and it influences us to lean on gaining things that spark momentary joy. So how is consumerism harmful? If we fail to control ourselves, what we buy will just add to the clutter, pile up our debts, and add to the distractions.
If you want to concentrate on the important things in life — your family, loved ones, and overall health, you should consider following a minimalist life. Getting rid of unnecessary objects and beliefs in life can help with finding the happiness you never experienced before.
What Is A Minimalist Lifestyle?
A minimalist lifestyle can have a vague explanation. It can mean living with what you really need and throw out what you don’t need. It may mean not buying stuff that you don’t really need. It’s letting go of the desire of buying many clothes, not buying that new appliance, not having the latest gadget, or not wanting to have a bigger home.
There are minimalists who prefer to live in a tiny house, own few clothes, and do not need much furniture. There are also some who live a minimalist life for the protection of the environment. Whatever kind of minimalist lifestyle you want to pursue, the bottom line is: there’s more to life when you embrace to live less.
The Minimalist Mindset
How does a minimalist think? They focus on doing more important things in life like spending time with their family, doing the things they love and be free of stress. They let go of their inner inhibitions of buying new things, not needing new items, and live a simple life. Being materialistic is never in their vocabulary.
Here’s how a minimalist thinks:
“Do I really need this item? I can survive living without this. I’ll wait 30 days before I buy this item. By that time, I’ll realize if I really need it or not.” The mindset shift does not happen overnight, it is with subtle and gradual steps, taking away distractions one day at a time. As time passes, it leads to confidence that you’ll be needing less and you’re comfortable with this life.
So how can minimalism benefit your life? Here are the 5 benefits of minimalism and the reasons that are convincing enough for you to finally take control of your life and find that life-changing peace you can’t find anyplace else.
5 Benefits of Minimalism
Now that you know how a minimalist lifestyle sounds like and how a minimalist thinks, here are the benefits that will convince you to step up and focus on your happiness.
#1 Living a Minimalist Lifestyle Means More Money
The first benefit and probably the most important of living a minimalist life is being free of financial stress and to save more money. Not having the desire of buying useless things, you can save money for something valuable in the long run. You can spend it more on things that truly make you happy. You’ll have more money for yourself to travel and focusing on what really matters.
You can also have more money if you sell things that are not valuable to your life. If you want to start a minimalist life, sell the things you don’t need. Go around the house, browse over your belongings and ask yourself, “Have I used this in the past 90 days?”. If you haven’t used it then you don’t likely need it.
What do you do next? Make separate piles for your necessities, storage, to donate, or to sell. Just like what they do in Tiny House episodes, that is a really effective method in starting a minimalist lifestyle. As soon you decide on the things that matter, sell the ones you don’t need. Then you can have more money and less clutter.
#2 Fewer Material Possessions = Less Stress
Studies show that having less debt, less clutter to clean, and fewer desires in life leads to less stress. Studies have concluded that having more clutter leads to spiky cortisol levels (stress hormones). Chaotic environments can cause tension and it is contagious.
For example, the desire for the latest Birkin bag comes from mostly social cues and superficial desires. Then what’s next? The next Birkin bag comes out, you want it so bad, you can’t sleep thinking about it. Even you can’t afford it, you buy it using your credit card, you pile up with debt, then the vicious cycle will keep on repeating.
This is what causes stress and anxiety. If you don’t have the desire for earthly possessions and keeping up with the trend, be contented with your life, and focused on what’s more important, you will be less stressed and be free of worries.
#3 Lesser Time to Clean the House: More Time For You
Many minimalists say this: “I became a minimalist because I spend most of my time cleaning, and I hate it.” Yes, owning less means lesser time to clean, and more time for yourself and your family. Why do you spend most of your time cleaning things that you don’t actually need?
Studies show that in an average American household, a person spends at least 24 hours a month cleaning. If you own less then you clean less, and you can make use of your time being more productive.
A bigger house means more space to be filled with more things, and what does this mean? More cleaning. You spend money on items you don’t really need, just to tire out yourself and waste more time cleaning. It doesn’t make sense. We’re the ones creating our own discomfort.
Instead of worrying about buying new stuff and more cleaning time, make your time valuable. You can spend your free time bonding with your family or learning a new hobby. Which are all good for your mental and emotional health.
#4 Minimalist Lifestyle Is Good for Your Physical and Mental Health
A clean and clutter-free environment can be beneficial for physical and mental health. As mentioned above, having more earthly desires can cause more stress and anxiety. Having more clutter to clean makes you worry about when you’ll ever finish. Or a disorganized environment at home can cause your disorganized thoughts as well.
What do stress and anxiety do to your mental and physical health?
- High blood pressure
- Major depressive disorder
- Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
- Headache and fatigue
- Digestive problems
- Muscle tension and weakness
Also, cleaning specks of dust from the shelf or tiny figurines can cause sneezing or respiratory discomfort for people with asthma. Furthermore, more clutter in the kitchen can be a conducive environment for bacteria, molds, and fungus to grow, which are all harmful to respiratory health. If you had less clutter inside the house, you wouldn’t have to worry about your physical and mental health.
#5 You’re Helping Nature Too
Being a minimalist is not just for your own benefit. Do you know that you’re helping mother earth too? By owning less stuff, you are helping to reduce waste and landfills. By owning fewer electrical appliances, you’re using less electricity and decrease carbon dioxide footprints on the ozone.
Having respect for the only place we live in is important than our earthly desires. Letting go of the things we have used once or twice and not wanting them can have a huge impact on the environment. Let us not rob the future generations to enjoy clean air and blue waters. Stop the landfill now and choose a minimalist life.
Ask Yourself: Quality Over Quantity?
What matters the most? Owning many crappy things? Or owning fewer things that bring value to your life? As you own fewer things, you can have more quality time for your family or more money for more important spendings (like traveling).
If you declutter your shelf and closet to get rid of the things that block your view, what you have left are the things you really need. If you start with these actions, you know what happens? It’s going to be a ripple effect.
The people in your life will witness how the positive changes in your life have helped you. They too will try minimalism. The benefits will always outweigh the cons, no matter which angle you look at it.
Feel The Sense of Freedom!
Minimalism is not just about owning less stuff, it is about freedom. Minimalism benefits the freedom of owning your time, do not let your stuff own you. Focus on finding true happiness, not the negative energy caused by consumerism.
Do you want to make changes and are ready to commit to minimalism? Do you feel that you have the negative energy that hinders you to make a jumpstart? Talking to a mental health professional can help you sort out your feelings.
Talk to us here at Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC). Let our counselors help you transition to a life of freedom, productivity, and better living. You can book an appointment through the online portal of KCC Direct Services and have online mental health counseling.