We have come to the era where advertisement companies and corporations are pushing the idea of buying more stuff to be happy. As soon as you buy the latest item in attemp to make yourself happy it’s never enough and you’ll always need more.
Did you know that there are roughly over 50,000 storage units in America and over half of those storage units are full of stuff that people won’t use or see again and yet we keep buying stuff as if we need more stuff?
This never-ending cycle of wanting more and more while never truly feeling happy with what we have is causing many Americans to develop anxiety and a mild identity crisis. If you’re reading this you’re probably either on the fence about trying minimalism or you’re already convinced that minimalism is the way to go, but is it?
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What is minimalism?
Depending on who is answering the question. Minimalism has a very broad definition. Minimalism started in the 1950s as an art movement that featured artwork (such as painting, drawing, fashion, etc.) that has a lot of empty space and simple design. Sometime around 1980 minimalism started to be applied to lifestyle. A minimalist lifestyle is only having the bare minimum when it comes to material possession and relationships. Despite it being such a radical movement in a world of consumer consumption, it has been proven to provide a lot of benefits.
Why should you try minimalism? Here are 4 Benefits it can give you
Clear Space Means Clear Mind
Have you ever found yourself questioning if you should throw away an outdated phone, that you found at the bottom of your drawer? Then suddenly the idea of not throwing away your phone because you might need it in the future started to creep in. This has brought you stress, so you kept it? If so then that’s a probably that minimalism can solve.
With minimalism, the idea of “what if I need my phone” isn’t a topic on your mind. If you don’t need it, then toss it. Mainly minimalism says it eases their anxiety and stress because they no longer focused on “what if I need it.”
You’ll Have Better Relationships
Despite minimalism being focused on items or a style of art. Minimalism challenges you to think carefully about who you allow into your life and why should you interact with your association.
With the minimalist lifestyle, the amount of people you choose to have in your life goes down. Just like with that old cell phone, your friends who don’t serve you any positive benefit goes away. Which frees your time up to have deeper and more meaningful relationships with the friends who do add value to your life.
Live a More Intentional Life
Living minimalist lifestyle challenges you to think about every item and relationship you have and see if it adds value to your life or not. If it doesn’t then you toss it. The same goes for your time.
With that same mentality it focuses you to live an intentional life. Instead of wasting your time doing stuff that doesn’t create value, being a minimalist focuses you to think carefully about how you spend your time and what really matters.
For example, Steve Jobs was an extreme minimalist. He didn’t have much stuff in his house, he wore the same outfit every day and didn’t have much of a relationship with many people.
Thanks to his lifestyle, Apple inc. was the lead in technology and marketing and he changed the way the world view technology. Why, because he let go of many of his distractions and had more mental energy to focus on what was important to him. By becoming a minimalist you can have the same capability.
You Find Your True Identity
As silly as this sounds, but most people find their identity in objects rather than in themselves. It’s a bit more obvious in women than in men.
Our materials matter to us so much that it has the power to control our self worth, it controls our mood, and in some cases it even controls our association. In some extreme cases, once that item is gone or lost that person may suffer a mild identity crisis.
Adopting a minimalist style challenges you to not find your identity with objects that will expire, but within yourself.
HOW TO BECOME A MINIMALIST
Becoming a minimalist isn’t easy. A lot of people have the intention but don’t really stick to it. My advice is to take it step by step. take small actions everyday rather than taking a massive change but won’t be able to make it as a routine. Here are some guide for you.
1. If You Don’t Use it Throw it Out
This one is a no brainer, but you’ll be surprise at how hard this step is for everyone. We have an attachment to our items especially for women with our clothes.
However, if you have a hard time with this step. Then you put it on layaway. Take the item that you don’t use or need and set it to the side for no longer than three months. If you do need it then don’t toss it, but if you find that you haven’t used then you toss.
Most people who do this find doing this easier and notice that their attachment to the item becomes less. Here are some items to cut from your budget and to stop buying.
2. Step Two: Deep Clean
There’s something truly refreshing and magically about having a clean, organized and clear home.
After you’re done throwing your useless stuff out, start cleaning and organizing. By creating order in your home and having a clean place is very calming and it helps ease anxiety while making it easier to tackle life. Deep cleaning boosts your productivity as well.
3. Address the Elephant in the Room
Now that you have a nice clean place and everything is organized, if you haven’t already, ask yourself why you couldn’t you let go of your Iphone 5 that has been in your drawer for ages?
Does it have to do with you losing your valuable stuff in a tragic fire? Did your great grandparents go through the Great Depression, so they passed down their fears of starving to death or not having enough down to you? Did you go through a difficult divorce? Or did something else bad happen to you?
Most of the time our strong attach feelings towards an object comes from something much deeper than we realize. This is especially true for hoarders and for anyone that lived through the Great Depression where they had to hoarder in order to survive.
If this is you then take an honest moment and think about why. Once you find the problem address the issue. If the issue is greater than you can handle, I highly advise for you to go seek professional help.
4. Stop Buying Stuff You Don’t Need
Did you know that there are companies literally paying millions and billions of dollars to keep you unhappy, and in high stress just so that you will buy their product that you probably don’t need?
No matter what the advertisement says or how good the TikTok leggings look, you don’t need them!
Only buy the stuff you truly need If this step is hard for you then practice asking yourself “do you truly need this item? If so why?” This will help a lot not only for your wallet but also for your mental health.
A lot of times we have probably bought $300 pair of shoes that will go out of style soon, but when it comes to buying stuff we need like $300 worth of groceries it becomes a problem.
ALSO READ: UNNECESSARY THINGS TO CUT FROM YOUR BUDGET
5. Rethink Your Relationships
Just like the unnecessary clothes in your closet that you’ll either never use or don’t want, you’ll need to apply that same mentality to people in your life. Unless they’re adding value to your life in a positive way, cut them off.
We all have, or had bad friends, in our life that only served as negative emotions in our life. As hard as it is to let go of people in your life, if they’re doing nothing, but bring you down then they aren’t worth it.
Many people will argue that they’ve known their friend since they were kids, but doesn’t mean anything. Longevity doesn’t make a good relationship. The quality of your relationship is what matters.
If you want to know about what makes a bad friend check this article out. By letting go of negative people in your life you’ll notice a significant improvement in your mental health.
OVER TO YOU
Being a minimalist has a lot of great perks and advantages. No matter if you do one or two minimalist things or go all in you’ll start to notice a great improvement in not only your mental health but also your overall quality of life. I hope this inspired you to take the path of minimalism and start your journey. As mentioned above, there are many more proven benefits of Minimalism.
This article is a guest post of Nina Smith, a self-help blogger
She has a degree in psychology and has a burning passion for writing while wanting to help others to achieve their best self. Check out her Self-help blog for more inspiration. She talks about Relationships, self-care, and self improvement.