Minimalism has been around for centuries, yet it’s one of the most misunderstood concepts.
Most people assume that minimalism is sacrificing things in life. Minimalists are thought to be people who live in cabins in the woods with no electricity and five t-shirts in their possession.
But what does it really mean to be a minimalist?
It means valuing yourself above the material things. It means having more of what you need, fully enjoying what you have and not worrying about what you don’t have.
There are several types of minimalism and it’s up to you to decide what type of minimalist lifestyle suits you.
So how exactly does this spartan living end up making minimalists less stressed ? Let’s look at some ways they remain relaxed.
One of the main concepts of being a minimalist is getting rid of things you don’t need, both mentally and physically.
A lot of anxiety and stress is caused by the chaos that surrounds you everyday. You feel overwhelmed and boxed in when there’s too many things going on around you.
Mess equals stress.
Once you decide to get rid of things that you really don’t need, you feel more free. Owning less will make it easier to find something to wear, something to read, or something to watch.
Minimalists focus on things they need, and ultimately have less to deal with.
2. Focus on what’s important
When you have a lot of things, your focus is all over the place. It makes it hard for you to give the important things enough attention.
You probably find yourself distracted by having your attention constantly being drawn to one thing or the other.
Minimalism is all about finding the important things in life and focusing on them.
When you reduce the material things and the burdens they come with, it becomes possible to focus time and energy on the important things. Once you can differentiate things that are necessary and those that aren’t, you’ll be able to see that stress is caused by putting energy into the unnecessary.
3. More money and time available
When you start getting rid of the luxuries you don’t really need and stop making unnecessary purchases, you build up your savings.
A lot of money goes to maintaining and buying things we would otherwise have lived without.
Minimalists avoid depending on money as much as possible. Even the debts you might have will be paid off with the money you’re saving from stripping down to the basics.
No debts, no stress.
Emergency funds will be available too, so no worries on any emergency that may occur. Financial security will go a long way in calming your anxieties and worries.
Once you’re saving so much, you don’t really need to have three or four jobs to get money. You’ll have free time to focus on yourself and your family. More time to relax and do what you love too.
4. Enhanced self discovery
Minimalism is about self enhancement and a big part of it is self discovery. Finding yourself when you have layers of material things distracting you is very difficult.
Once you’ve decided to rid yourself of the unnecessary, you’re more inclined to deal with the root of the problem as you don’t have things distracting you. You start questioning why you buy so many electronic or clothes you really don’t need.
Addressing the underlying problem is key.
Stripping off the layers and understanding what troubles you deep down enhances your sense of self.
5. Better self-control
Impulsively purchasing things that you really don’t need is a hard habit to break.
Sales people are out to make a profit and can be very persuasive. Adverts are made colorful with just the right amount of visual manipulation to get you hooked.
So unless you learn some self control, the de-cluttering will be in vain.
Minimalists train themselves to only go for the things they need. Carrying a fixed amount of money, with a list and heading directly to the aisles that have what you need helps.
It’s a learning process but in the end, you’ll be less stressed about the funds you spent on the unnecessary purchases.
Improving your self control also helps you out in other aspects of life. Learning to say no to that salesperson is a step towards self growth and contentment.
You can also replace your undesirable spending habits with coping mechanisms that are healthier.
6. Less is more
There is value in simplicity.
Having a lower quantity allows more time to focus on quality. When you get rid of the unnecessary, you surround yourself with things you actually love and add value to your life.
When you focus on doing less and having less, your thoughts and attention are less scattered.
Minimalism is all about surrounding yourself with things that serve a purpose. There’s no set standard on how much you can own, it all depends on your needs.
In choosing to live with less, minimalists acknowledge that they have enough. In believing they have enough, they eliminate the stress that comes with with feeling incomplete.
7. Focus on the present
Minimalism forces you to live in the present. It slows you down and enables you to enjoy what life has to offer now.
Focusing on the present brings more calm and purpose into your life. By owning less and simplifying your life, you become more centered on the present.
You become more conscious of what takes up your time and space. Letting go the pain of the past or worries about the future, gives you a chance to redirect your mental energy on what matters.
Keeping things to use “just in case” or for “someday” in the future is just another means of cluttering.
If you work on the present and get rid of objects that remind us of the past or “represent” the future, you’re freed to focus on what matters now and can work towards a better future.
8. Do one thing at a time
Multitasking might be a handy skill when you have a lot to do. However, research shows that it isn’t necessarily healthy to your state of mind.
Not only do you run the chance of doing a half-assed job, but you also stretch your nerves thin.
Minimalists are big on maintaining a healthy mental and physical state. The only thing that multitasking guarantees is stress and ultimate burnout.
Focusing on one thing at a time gives you the opportunity to center your thoughts and give it your very best. You have less chances of getting frazzled or feeling overwhelmed.
With minimalism, you have the time and resources to do a good job. Whether it’s doing a work project or helping your kid learn to read. You’ll be present enough that your impact will be felt.
Minimalism relieves stress
Minimalism requires a conscious assessment of things owned and why they’re owned. Minimalists learn to let go of their attachments to things that don’t serve or add value to their lives.
Being a minimalist is a constant reminder that there are more important things in life than the material ones. They recognize and appreciate what makes life beautiful and meaningful.
By staying present, they remain centered, calm and uncontrolled by stress. They’re surrounded by things they love in the present and not what they loved when they were children.
Having that kind of contentedness with what you have is a sure fire way to reduce stress and enhance happiness.
A healthier mind, appreciating the little things, a sense of purpose and less stress are just a number of benefits a minimalists enjoys. What’s not to like?