What Is It, What Are Its Benefits, and How Can You Incorporate It Into Your Life?
Minimalism has been a buzzword for quite a while now, but what exactly does it mean? While it does have to do with literally “minimalizing” facets of your life, there’s actually quite a bit more to this trending term than you’d think. Ahead, we’re giving you the deets on what it takes to live a less-is-more lifestyle.
The Values of Minimalism
While it’s tempting to try to reduce minimalism to a single statement, perhaps the best way to properly understand the concept is by breaking it down into some of its most important elements.
Minimalism is About Living Intentionally
First and foremost, minimalism should bring a sense of intentionality along with a realignment to your life’s goals. What is the purpose of living? Are you simply going through the motions of your 9-to-5 job and post-workday spin class? Adopting a minimalist lifestyle is a good way to create a sense of intentionality and purpose for the very reason you wake up each morning.
Minimalism is about your Mindset
While minimalism may conjure up images of stark, white-walled living spaces, it isn’t really about the outward appearance. It’s an inward, internal, primarily mental effort to find your passions and discover what you really care about.
Minimalism is About Resisting Peer Pressure
We live in an internet-dominated, social media-obsessed world where everyone has an opinion on everything. Minimalism strives to resist the incredible peer pressure that so many opinions can have on a person’s psyche. It frees you to live your life confidently, as yourself, in every situation you find yourself in.
Minimalism Breaks Away From the Material
A true minimalist mindset naturally leads to owning less stuff, especially in a world where we’re constantly inundated by material things. However, the goal isn’t to prove a point or see how much you can deprive yourself of the things you need. It’s about breaking away from the unnecessary indulgences and keeping only the things you love—and it affects every level of life.
The concept of quality over quantity becomes key here. Rather than purchasing the cheapest bra you can find or stocking up on 7-for-$27 undies that you don’t really love, invest in the best, quality-made undergarments that will last for many washes and wears. Minimalism isn’t about having less stuff—it’s about filling your life with high-quality items you need and love.
Minimalism is About Living Honestly
Last but not least, remember that minimalism thrives on honesty. In a sense, all of the previous points reflect this sentiment. If you’re not being honest with everything from your mindset to your possessions, you’re lying to yourself. The minimalist lifestyle frees you to tap into who you really are and then shamelessly and honestly show that to the world.
The Benefits of Minimalism
While there are tons of obvious benefits to freeing yourself from material things and adopting an honest, intentional, and aesthetically pleasing lifestyle, there are quite a few other benefits to minimalism, as well.
Minimalism promotes healthy finances.
Minimalism frees up time typically spent cleaning the clutter.
Minimalism enhances mental health in multiple areas including stress and depression.
Minimalism enables a green, eco-friendly lifestyle.
Minimalism can lead to better relationships with the people around you.
And, of course, these are just a handful of the most impactful elements of minimalism. Even if you’re sold on the concept at this point, though, the challenge that still remains is how to live minimally.
Tips for Living a Minimalist Lifestyle
For starters, take a deep breath and relax. The minimalist lifestyle is actually quite a bit easier to adopt than you might have guessed. Below, find a few quick tips to help you shift your mindset in a minimalist direction.
Set Clear, Achievable Goals
Heading through your house with a garbage bag and a ruthless determination to rid yourself of every item that doesn’t spark joy is not the best way to kick off a minimalist life. In fact, it’ll probably lead to a bit of remorse before you know it. The best way to start? Sit down and set some clear, achievable goals.
What do you want to accomplish? Do you have tons of clothes with the tags still on them as a result of too many impulse purchases? We’ve all been there. Rather than simply donating them all, consider building a capsule wardrobe first so you can see what you really value and are willing to wear on a regular basis.
If you have too much stuff cluttering up your living spaces, come up with a specific design and aesthetic for each room before getting rid of the unnecessary decor, while taking care to keep whatever adds value to the space. In other words, start with small, basic, achievable goals, and have a plan in place to achieve them.
Quality Over Quantity
Every time you invest your hard-earned money into something for your home, do it with an eye towards quality. One of the initial, tangible effects of minimalism is a reduction of your possessions.
Only keep the things that bring genuine purpose and meaning to your life. This applies to everything you purchase for your home. When you get something new, make sure it’s made to last.
Minimalism can have a dramatic effect on every element of your life. It’s not something you can achieve overnight, and it’ll take time to make a shift in your mindset.. Remember, you’re trying to set achievable goals as you start out.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a tiny studio apartment or a gorgeous, five-bedroom home—you’re going to want to tackle one section of your living space at a time. Start with a smaller area like a bedroom, bathroom, or even your car. If you take on too much at once, you’re going to get overwhelmed fast. Whatever your situation, make sure you start small.
Finally, remember to stay focused. You’re not doing this for a week, a month, or even a season of life. Minimalism is a long-term commitment. Remember to circle back to your goals and check in on your progress from time to time.
Are you maintaining a healthy mindset? What about your possessions? Do they all provide some sense of value? It’s amazing how quickly old habits can creep back into the picture. Strive to stay focused, and you’ll stay on track.
Living a Minimalist Lifestyle
Choosing to live a minimalist lifestyle is a wonderful thing. Harness that passion and excitement and use it to fuel your initial push towards freeing your mind, reducing your possessions, and living your life with utter intentionality.
As you shift your mindset, living spaces, and overall attitude towards life to match your new minimalist lifestyle, you’ll begin to find freedom from financial concerns, an easing of the stresses of life, and better relationships with those around you. Once you’ve gotten a taste of the incredible benefits a minimalist lifestyle can bring, you’ll never want to go back.
Opening image: pixabay.com
November 19, 2019
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