There are few things in life that are free and can bring true happiness. If you want to concentrate on the more important things in life, such as 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 you find the happiness you’ve never experienced before.
A minimalist lifestyle can have a vague explanation. It can mean living only with what you really need and throwing out what you don’t need.
Minimalism may also mean not buying any more stuff that you don’t really need. It’s letting go of the desire to buy 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, while there are some who live a minimalist life for lesser landfills in the environment. Whichever kind of minimalist lifestyle you want to pursue, the bottom line is that there’s more to life when you embrace living with less.
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 being free of stress.
They let go of their inner compulsion to buy new things. They believe they do not need new items and live a simple life. Materialism and consumerism turn them off.
A minimalist asks the right questions before deciding to purchase something. Here’s what goes on in their head when deciding whether they should get something or not:
“Do I really need this item? I think I can survive living without it. I’ll wait 30 days before I buy this item. By that time, I’ll know if I really need it or not.”
The mindset shift does not happen overnight. It is attained with subtle and gradual steps and involves 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? The reasons are convincing enough for you to finally take control of your life and find that life-changing peace you can’t find anyplace else.
Now that you know what a minimalist lifestyle sounds like and how a minimalist thinks, here’s a short list of benefits that will convince you to focus on your happiness.
The first and probably the most important benefit of living a minimalist life is being free of financial stress and saving more money. Without the desire to buy useless things, you can save money for something valuable in the long run.
You can spend money more on things that truly make you happy. You’ll have more money for yourself to travel and focus on what really matters.
You will also have more money if you sell things that are not valuable in your life. If you want to start a minimalist lifestyle, sell the things you don’t need.
Go around the house, examine your belongings, and ask yourself, “Have I used these in the past 90 days?” If you haven’t used them in the last 3 months then you don’t likely need them.
What do you do next? Make separate piles for your necessities, storage, to donate, or sell. Similar to what they do in Tiny House episodes, this is a really effective method for starting a minimalist lifestyle.
As soon you decide on which items matter, sell the ones you don’t need. Then you can have more money and less clutter.
Studies show that having less debt, less clutter to clean, and fewer desires in life lead to less stress. Studies have concluded that having more clutter leads to spiked cortisol levels (stress hormones). Chaotic environments can cause tension, which can be contagious.
For example, the desire for the latest Birkin bag comes from mostly social cues and superficial desires. What happens next? The next Birkin bag comes out. You want it so bad you can’t sleep thinking about it.
Even if you can’t afford the bag, you buy it using your credit card and accumulate debt. The vicious cycle will keep repeating itself until you firmly decide to stop buying things you don’t need.
This is what causes stress and anxiety. If you don’t have the desire for material possessions or do not care about keeping up with the newest trend, are contented with your life, and are focused on what’s more important, you will be less stressed and free of worries.
Many minimalists say they became one because they spend most of their time cleaning, which they hate. Yes, owning less means lesser time to clean and more time for yourself and your family. Why 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 use the time freed up by owning less to do things that are more productive and important.
A bigger house means more space to be filled with more things, which means more time and effort needed for cleaning. We spend money on items we don’t really need just to tire ourselves 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 spending more time cleaning, determine what’s really worth your time and energy. You can use your free time to bond with your loved ones or learning a new hobby, which is good for your mental and emotional 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. A disorganized environment at home can cause you to have disorganized thoughts as well.
- 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 in people with asthma. Also, more clutter in the kitchen can be a hospitable environment for bacteria, molds, and fungus to grow, which are all harmful to respiratory health. If you had less clutter inside the house, you would have less worries about your physical and mental health.
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 decreasing your carbon dioxide footprint.
Having respect for the only place we live in is more important than our materialistic desires. Letting go of the things we have used only once or twice and not wanting them after that can have a huge impact on the environment. Let us not rob future generations of their right to enjoy clean air and water.
Would you rather own many superfluous things or fewer things that bring value to your life? The fewer things you own, the more quality time you can have for your family or more money for more important and worthwhile things like traveling.
Decluttering your shelves and closet to get rid of the things you don’t really need will have a ripple effect. The people who know you will witness how the positive changes in your life have helped you. They will see that the benefits will always outweigh the cons, no matter which angle you look at it. So they, too, will try minimalism.
Minimalism is not just about owning less stuff; it is about freedom. Minimalism benefits include the freedom of owning your time and not being owned by your possessions. Focus on finding true happiness, not on the false perks and promises of consumerism.
Do you want to make changes and are ready to commit to minimalism? Do you feel that you have negative energy that hinders you from making that jumpstart? Talking to a mental health professional can help you discover and uproot the causes of your issues.