The first thing that you need to understand before adopting this new lifestyle is what exactly is “minimalism”? And how does it look in practice?
What Does Minimalist Living Look Like?
Before we answer this question, let’s just reiterate the fact that minimalist living is nothing new. It’s something that has been around for a very long time. Monks and nuns from centuries ago chose to live with only the absolute essentials in their lives so that they could focus on their faith and become closer to a supreme power. They found that, by eschewing everyday luxuries, they could develop a greater understanding of themselves and their beliefs.
Yet, these days, things are very different. Very few people are living this kind of basic and simple lifestyle. Most of us have fallen into a trap of wanting more than just the basics. We have fallen prey to the media and marketers’ message that the secret to a happy life is to own more by having more of everything; more money, more success, more possessions and more technology.
Yet, those of us who seek to accrue an endless stream of possessions usually come to learn over time that the promise of happiness that advertisers dangle in front of us couldn’t be more false. The real secret to finding happiness and peace is to think in terms of subtraction rather than addition. Less is more when it comes to finding satisfaction in life and peace of mind.
Essentially, at its core, minimalism is all about living with less. While that can be taken literally as having fewer possessions, it has more far-reaching implications for the way that you live your life. The concept behind minimalist living is learning to identify the things which are important and then focusing down on those things while eradicating everything else which is deemed to be unimportant from your life.
The Misunderstandings About Minimalist Living
As you might imagine, there is a lot of misunderstandings about what minimalist living really means. Many people think that it means you can’t own a home or have a car. Others think that you’re restricted to only having as many possessions as you can fit into a small backpack or bag.
None of this is true. In fact, minimalism could best be described as intentionally promoting anything that you most value while removing anything which brings no value into your life. It is a concept that resonates differently with every individual. While for some, that may mean a great degree of elimination, for others, it may be much less extreme but no less beneficial.
The principle of minimalist living is to remove anything which could be considered as clutter from your everyday existence. This clutter may be physical, in the form of possessions that you simply don’t require, or it may be emotional or mental, for example, in the form of toxic relationships that are causing you unhappiness or stressful situations in which you find yourself. It means that you adjust your mindset and, in so doing, learn how you can live your life not only with greater purpose but also with greater peace.
What is a Life of Intentionality?
When you opt for a minimalist lifestyle, you’re opting for a life of intentionality. What does this mean? It means that you’re intentionally making time, space and room for all the things which you love and value, while simultaneously eliminating all that could distract you from really enjoying and appreciating those things to the max.
You’re opting for a lifestyle in which you intentionally choose which possessions you should own and what you’re going to do with them for yourself without relying on convention or pressure from external forces. You’re also choosing how that will impact on your way of thinking and living, and how it will change your perspective on your own life.
It may seem like an unusual concept. After all, we’re more used to following the herd and accepting what everyone else does as the norm. However, if you take this way of living onboard, you’ll be surprised at the benefits you can reap.
Minimalism brings with it a host of benefits which are well known to those who practice this way of living. Those who extol its virtues say that minimalist living is an effective tool to help you to find freedom from worry, fear, guilt, and depression.
With around a quarter of us suffering from mental health issues at any one time, it’s no wonder that so many people are now questioning whether minimalist living could be the right way to go. So, could you benefit from making these changes in your life?
Here, you can learn more about how switching to a more minimalistic approach to everyday life can help you to enjoy greater freedom, to improve your relationships, to become more successful in your professional life and, most importantly, to experience greater satisfaction and happiness across all areas of your life daily.