Minimalist living is all about living without relying on material possessions. It reduces what you own, often to the bare necessities. There are different levels of minimalism, but it all revolves around not buying what you don't need. Many people become connected with items. They place a personal value on these items. The extreme level of this is hoarding, where someone places extreme importance in everything, making it difficult (if not impossible) to throw material things out. For the average person, though, there is a middle ground. They may not have difficulty throwing items away, but they put too much importance in the display of these items.
The idea of minimalism is not new. It has been around for centuries. Early on, most people were split into the upper class and the working poor. Cities were built on this idea. Of course, outsideof newer clothing, land, and livestock, there was little in the way of material things to own. As manufacturing increased (along with technology), it opened up both the desire to purchase new items and middle-class jobs.
By the turn of the 20th century, as the middle class grew (especially following the Second World War), the average person had more money and started to buy more material they really didn't need. The term "keeping up with the Joneses" became commonplace. This meant that in order to be happy, someone had to buy something as good as or better than their neighbors, friends, and family. However, this mentality has caused an assortment of problems, with people now buying what they can't afford just to keep up. It helps the banks and credit companies gain wealth, but it siphons both wealth and happiness from those trying to keep up.
For anyone who is looking to change this and for an alternative, minimalist living may just be the way to go. Here are eight advantages of switching to minimalist living.
Peace of Mind When You Practice Minimalist Living
There is a mental connection people forge with the items they own. Sometimes this mental connection can become unhealthy. There is an emotional connection that may cause stress and anxiety. When someone looks at an object, they place an importance on it. When importance is put onto several items around the house, an emotional weight is placed nearly everywhere someone looks. It makes a living in the space mentally unhealthy. Due to this, one of the best ways to avoid the mental and emotional situations derived from owning too many items is to consider minimalist living.
It might seem odd to say it, but physical possessions own a large number of people. The need to purchase a new car means that person will be forced to work longer hours at a job they are not happy with. Or, it could mean that someone needs to buy the latest cell phone every year, which forces them to miss time with friends because they need to pick up extra overtime shifts. People buy extensive cable packages, so they don't have to go outside and spend time in nature. Some people even take out a second mortgage to buy new clothes and show off to the other people at the office. None of this is healthy, and it essentially enslaves people to their belongings. Instead, it is far better to embrace a minimalist lifestyle.
A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. You've probably heard this phrase a few different times. The more objects you have on a desk, the easier it becomes to wander mentally. However, this isn't just true for a desk. It is true for a cluttered house. A cluttered house is a cluttered life. The more objects you have in your house, taking up space, will make it feel like the walls are pushing in on you. It will stress you own. By getting rid of these objects, you'll have less to stress over. This will help you live a happier life. So if you're ready to ditch much of the stress that weighs you down, now is the time to consider minimalist living.
As a slave to your possessions, you'll always be working. You need to pay off the credit card bills, and you need to save up money to put a down payment on that new car. You take yourself out of the enjoyable moments in life to pay for items you don't really need. Sure, you might enjoy driving the car, but the moments you spend with family and friends will remain with you. When you are no longer a slave to what you own, you'll have more time and money to spend with those you care about. When you spend more time with those you care about, you'll be able to make real memories. Throughout the course of your life, you'll cherish memories and the time you spent with friends and family. People rarely regret not buying that one car or that one pair of shoes. However, they do regret spending time with their friends. Because there is only so much time, everyone gets with their friends. Objects should not take away from these important times and memories.
When you are a slave to your possessions, you need to work longer hours to purchase these items. This takes away time from what you'd want to do. Perhaps you want to spend time with friends, travel the world or simply go for a walk with your dog. When you're stuck constantly working long hours to make it happen, it takes away from your happiness, and it takes away from your time. Minimalist living can help give you back more time by avoiding these kinds of pitfalls.
You also need not be afraid to say no. There are people with a fear of saying no as they worry they might miss out on an opportunity. Say no to what takes away your personal, valuable time because, in reality, time is your most valuable asset.
This benefit is self-explanatory. The less you buy, the more money you'll have. Now, what will you do with this money? You can put it away and save it for retirement. This way, you can retire earlier on. Or you can put it away for a rainy day. So, should you lose your job or run into sudden expenses, you'll have the money you need to handle whatever life throws at you. You can also travel and spend more time with friends. By ridding yourself of the objects, you don't need you'll have more money to spend on the times and the activities you want. Instead of putting emotional importance in an object that holds no actual importance, why not put emotional importance into activities with friends and times exploring the world and life.
Do you need the latest clothing and technology to be happy? If the only way you feel good about yourself is in the best brand of clothing or a top of the line luxury car, you're hiding deeper problems. You become confident only when you have these objects around you. When you ditch these objects, you'll become self-confident in yourself. It's better to be self-confident in you personally than in a clothing label.
When you're a slave to what you own your relationships will suffer. You won't have the kind of time to spend with those you care about because you will be working all the time. Your friends may see a difference in you when the items you own possess you. They want to spend time with you, not the person who needs to show off their new car or their new pair of shoes.
Additionally, with minimalist living you'll cut away the fat of what you don't need, helping you save money. Saving money will then make it easier to go out with your friends, grab differ with your friends and just enjoy life. You only have one life to live. Wouldn't you rather spend it with the people who make life great instead of working for a new phone or a new outfit? Chances are, you'll remember the time you spent with those people and not the time you spent with a new phone.
There is a number of benefits associated with minimalist living. Far too many people put an importance on owning material goods when there is, in reality, no benefit in owning most of the items. As someone continues to bring more objects into their home, they will develop unhealthy mental connections that lead to emotional problems. To avoid these kinds of issues, to free up the mind (and the pocketbook), minimal living is a viable and beneficial option. For many, it does take some time to make the shift. It may also prove to be more of a challenge than anything else. However, when a person makes a move and fully embraces minimal living, they will begin to experience a healthy life and derive more enjoyment from their everyday existence.