Updated: Jul 12
In the recent decade, people have been raving about minimalism or the concept of living with less. But is this lifestyle the secret to the life you have been wanting?
Today, let’s explore what minimalism means and what it is not.
What is Minimalism?
In the words of Joshua Becker, one of the most popular minimalists out there, minimalism is owning fewer possessions. It’s the short answer which pivots around the adage of “less is more.”
However, minimalism is also intentional with what you own and seeking happiness in things beyond mere possessions. It aims to step away from consumerism while slowing down our lives, finding the beauty in simplicity.
Minimalism seems terrifying because it is counter-cultural, mainly because we live in a world that idolizes an extravagant lifestyle. Instead of chasing a life that we think we should, a minimalist can enjoy more by having less due to media influence. Becker says, “It aims to remove the frivolous and keep the significant.”
Why Minimalism is Good
Decluttering Can be Relaxing
One of the less obvious benefits of minimalism is the act of decluttering itself. As you begin your journey, you will have to get rid of the unimportant things crowding your space. You will go through your attic, the deep sides of your closets, and all your drawers.
Decluttering can help make your home feel more open and spacious while making more room for you. At the same time, it gives you a sense of freedom as you let go of the clutter you were clinging on. It will feel like you can finally breathe again once you shed those burdens from the past.
We don’t like to be vague and too philosophical, but minimalism can be an essential step in self-discovery. Getting rid of what you have is an excellent way to find yourself. It allows you to focus on who you are without all the distractions from material possessions.
Moreover, this increased awareness can do wonders for your mental health. You may be occupying your mind with meaningless things, but minimalism forces you to face your real feelings and think about what truly matters in your life.
More Time & Space to Unwind
Having fewer possessions opens up not only your space but also time. You won’t be wasting time on frivolous things that only cause you more pain and stress. Plus, having fewer things means you need less money. You can focus on what makes you happy.
In terms of living in a more open space, you will feel more peaceful too. Studies have even shown that the distance between physical objects can impact our minds and serenity. So it’s no wonder that a cramped house with too much clutter can feel constricting and affect our mood.
Yet, Minimalism May Not Be the Answer
People are throwing the term “minimalism” around so much these days that we often forget what it truly means. So instead, we focus on the title and what being minimalist entails. Unfortunately, too many “minimalists” preach the lifestyle like it is the only right way to live, and many others now despise the concept of minimalism because of it.
However, let’s not get caught up with titles and terminologies. Minimalism is not a fancy way of life, and it is not the be-all and end-all of our problems.
It’s not an answer because there is no question.
You may think from the way some people advocate minimalism that it is the answer you need. You believe that if you embrace the lifestyle, all of your life’s problems will simply disappear. We hate to break it to you, but it’s not how minimalism works. It’s not how life works at all.
There is no magic pill that can change your life with a single intake. As such, you shouldn’t choose minimalism because you think it will solve everything wrong in your life. Instead, look at minimalism as a process.
When you start getting rid of the things that do not add value to your life, you are giving yourself more time and energy to address your problems. In this sense, minimalism can help you lead a happier life, but it is not a quick solution. Just be careful what you expect from it!
We would say that minimalism is not this immense and perfect concept if we have to sum it up. True minimalism is a mindset and the process of wanting less.