When Less Is More: What is Minimalism & How Being a Minimalist Can Help You Live Happier
Ahh…stuff! The shinier and trendier, the better.
We all love buying new and cool stuff. From the latest gadgets to the trendiest clothes. Buying stuff makes us feel better about ourselves. No wonder shopping therapy is a thing.
We all want more stuff. More gadgets, more upgrades, clothes, more food, more sex, more travel, more internet, more social media, more selfies, more addictions, more alcohol, more drugs, more entertainment, more parties, more news, and more negativity.
This ‘more’ mindset is making us hungrier and hungrier for…well…MORE. So we want to earn more, spend more and buy more. This makes us feel happier, more fulfilled and more successful.
But if buying and owning ‘more’ stuff actually made us feel better, wouldn’t all of us be happy in life?
Now I am not saying you’re unhappy. But don’t you feel you could be happier? Don’t you feel you could experience a little more inner peace? I know I do.
“The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” —Socrates
If the latest gadgets and a closet full of new clothes led us to happiness, the world would have been completely different place. Buying and possessing stuff makes us feel heavy, psychologically and realistically.
The more stuff you have, the more crammed your place is. The more you need to worry about them. And the more you need to get.
Minimalism is a concept that sets you free from all these shackles. Minimalism helps you live a life full of freedom, finding true peace and happiness and enjoy life.
What do you think will make you feel better in the long run?
A closet full of clothes or a shelf full of books?
Regardless of what your answer is, it’s time for you to get introduced to minimalism.
Living with intentionality
“Simplicity, clarity, singleness: These are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy as they are also the marks of great art.” – Richard Holloway
Can being a minimalist make you happier? In short, yes. The philosophy of minimalism has become a trend recently, but has been practiced by thousands of people for centuries. Minimalism means living intentionally with only those “stuff” that you need to survive. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is. Minimalism doesn’t mean you have to own less than 50 things or you can’t own a home or a car or have a career. It doesn’t mean you have to give up all modern conveniences and go live in a cabin in the woods. Neither does it mean you can’t have a normal life.
Minimalism means living with fewer material possessions.
Whatever that means for you. If that means you don’t want to buy a house or own a car, then that’s your decision to make. But it’s not a rule. There are no obligations or restrictions.
Minimalism sets you free
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rogers
Minimalism is an effective tool that allows us to experience freedom from depression, anxiety, fear and guilt. Freedom from the consumer culture that we have been forced into. Freedom from the belief that you need to own certain ‘things’ to be considered successful in life. I am not saying owning material possessions is wrong or anything. What I am trying to say is:
we need to assign less value to stuff and more value to ourselves, our lives, our relationships, our dreams and passions, our self-development and our desire to help our community and the world.
If you wish to buy a new house, have a successful career and raise a family, then you should. Minimalism simply empowers you to live this life in a deliberate, conscious and intentional manner.
What minimalism actually is
“It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.” – Bertrand Russell
Minimalism is the process of knowing what holds value in your life and eliminating what is unimportant. The mantra is less is more. Minimalism means you buy and own things that you need instead of owning whatever you want.
It is not about buying the cheapest items. It is about getting things that you value and need, irrespective of the price. The level of minimalism you want to adopt in you life depends on you. You can simply start by getting rid of things in your home that you don’t need anymore. It’s like having a glorified garage sale. With time, you can figure out what other things you wish to cut down and how much of a minimalist you want to be.
When you live with less, you have less stress, less anxiety, less financial burdens, less unnecessary expenses, and less depression.
Minimalism helps us make more time for things that matter – our family and friends, health, passions and hobbies, and the simple things in life like taking a walk in nature. Minimalism helps you to detox from the physical, mental and digital clutter that makes us feel overwhelmed.
The core essence of minimalism is living your life intentionally. It’s like being mindful of how you live.
You take enough time and space and decide what you deliberately want to get rid of from the life that distracts you from what truly matters. Hence, you will end up investing your time and space only on the most important things that align with your beliefs and values.
What minimalism actually isn’t
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.” – Edwin Way Teale
Sometimes it can be more helpful to understand what minimalism is not than trying to figure out what minimalism is. The lifestyle concept is surrounded by a lot of myths and misconceptions that give it a bad rep. These false notions make minimalism seem like an impossible thing to do for people like us and make it more complicated and confusing.