You know that feeling when you finally clean out your closet? Reducing clutter in your physical environment is proven to make you feel happier and more content.
Minimalism is a concept that focuses on reducing consumption. Minimalism is more than just buying less. It’s about raising your awareness of what you consume and how much. Consuming consciously can reduce stress, improve mental health and save you money.
Minimalism requires you to take a look at your possessions and their true value. Are you holding on to clothes that no longer fit you or office clutter that is taking over your living space?
Here are some reasons to consider practicing minimalism.
1. More Time
Possessions require your time and attention. From organizing your walk-in closet to working extra hours to buy more goods, consumerism takes a lot of time and energy.
Minimalism grants you more time by shifting your priorities onto non-material things. When you reduce the number of goods that require your care, you have more time to care for yourself.
2. Reduce Stress
Money does not always buy happiness. Research has shown that people tend to experience more anxiety with the more they own, because of the responsibility that is expected. For example, if you can afford a new car, you are more likely to spend more time worrying about it than if you drive an older model.
Cultivating a minimalist mindset allows you to reevaluate what is most important in your life. Oftentimes we discover that the things disturbing our happiness are merely things, and nothing more. For example, if you feel pressure to wear nice clothes in the office, you may benefit from building a capsule closet. Having a limited number of high-quality outfits reduces the amount of thought put into getting dressed each day, making the whole process less stressful.
3. Save Money
It goes without saying that buying less can save you money. But minimalism isn’t just about buying less. A minimalist lifestyle focuses on investing your money in things that truly bring value to your life, regardless of the price tag. It requires serious consideration of what you qualify as a need versus a want.
Minimalism can save you money because it increases the likelihood of investing in things that will last. For example, a minimalist may not own twenty pairs of shoes, but when they do buy a new pair, they buy a high-quality product with a long lifespan. Similarly, investing in healthier food may require simplifying your diet and buying higher-quality ingredients. While you may cut back on the neverending options of processed food, you will save money in buying simple, fresh food.
4. Increase Focus
Recent research shows that our physical environment has a greater effect on our mental functioning than previously thought. In fact, our built environment has a significant impact on our health and well-being. One of the reasons we may feel calmer in nature is because it separates us from our material possessions and reconnects us with the physical world.
Reducing clutter can increase our ability to focus. Not only does minimalism decrease the amount of time needed to take care of daily chores like laundry and dishwashing, but it also removes unnecessary distractions that may be clouding our cognitive ability.
5. Shift Mindset
In today’s world, it can be easy to fall into a consumerist mindset, even if we don’t think we care much for material goods. In a world with cheap products widely available, it can be difficult to take a moment of reflection before mindlessly consuming.
A minimalist lifestyle refocuses our attention on the things that matter most. It helps us adhere to our values and reconnect with the things that bring us peace. Consuming less can help us break apart from the constant nag of always needing more. Research shows that having gratitude is one of the most powerful ways to reduce stress. A minimalist mindset reminds us of what really matters.
6. Save the Environment
More conscious consuming results in not just buying less, but buying better. Consuming less means you produce less waste. When we pay attention to buying things that are necessary, we are more likely to consider their impact on a more holistic level. For example, the convenience of bottled water can be a tempting asset to a busy on-the-go lifestyle. However, if we pause to think about the detrimental impact of single-use plastic on the environment, we may be more inclined to bring our own reusable bottle.
Saving the environment isn’t just about abstaining from our favorite products or preventing ourselves from buying things that make us happy. Instead, minimalism allows us to see the greater impact of the products we choose to buy since it requires us to identify its true value. While buying less is certainly impactful, buying smarter maybe even more effective.
7. More Value
It’s a hard lesson to learn, but more stuff doesn’t make us happier. Often items associated with buzzwords like “convenient” and “cheap” are the least likely to bring us any real value. Minimalism encourages you to live a more purposeful life, with more time devoted to people and experiences than to things. While binge shopping can leave us with temporary satisfaction, minimalism cultivates more authentic happiness.
Value can be anything from better quality food to more durable tennis shoes. Whatever the item, relying on the wisdom of minimalism can help us redefine how items bring us joy.
Try Minimalism Today
The benefits of minimalism extend far beyond the immediate impact of spending less and saving more. Minimalism helps you to re-prioritize what truly matters in your life. Whatever your age or lifestyle, reducing your consumption levels can positively improve your life.
One of the most important features of minimalism is questioning the value of our possessions. Are we holding onto things that no longer serve a purpose? Especially as we grow older, we are more likely to hold onto things we no longer need. Being mindful of what we consume can make it easier to identify what we should keep and what we need to let go of.
Minimalism can increase our free time, reduce our stress levels and save us money. Living more intentionally creates a deeper connection with our community and the environment, and helps us live in a state of gratitude instead of constant want.
Incorporating minimalism into your life doesn’t need to be complicated. If you want to live a more purposeful life, consider trying minimalism.
What’s your take on this?