Many people are fascinated by the concept of a minimalist lifestyle. But is taking the plunge worth it? Does minimalism make you happier?
Minimalism is very much a personal journey, but here’s my view on why minimalism makes you a happier person.
Minimalism makes you less materialistic
If you delve into minimalism, you’ll discover the true value of things, people, and experiences.
Generally getting started with minimalism means you’ll be doing quite a bit of decluttering. As you purge your space of unnecessary and unwanted items, you’ll probably do some reflecting. Many items hold memories. You might find yourself wondering, ‘why did I even buy this’ or ‘why have I hung on to this for so long?’
Often the true reality of materialism becomes apparent as we realise shopping, buying, gathering was never enough. More clothes, more décor, more jewelry, more things simply don’t satisfy.
Minimalism makes you happier as you focus on simpler things
After purging and clearing out clutter, the focus is now on what truly does make you happy. Minimalism makes you happier by encouraging you to focus on simpler things.
What are simpler things? They’re things in life that are free and available all around you. Things that are uncomplicated, real, and that inspire feelings of joy or peace. We often walk right past them because we’re too busy, preoccupied or obsessed with the external.
Simple things can be appreciated if we take the time to slow down and allow our senses to come alive.
After you’ve done a good bit of decluttering, you may find your mind is more at peace. You may be more aware of your surroundings in a calm and appreciative way. Here are some simple things you might start noticing or doing with pleasure:
Enjoying the smell of your morning drink
Taking time to light a candle for a warm glow in the evening
The feeling of brushing your hair
Giving your loved one a hug
Feeling grass under your bare feet
Reading a book
Enjoying a conversation
Taking a walk
Smelling your freshly clean linen
Stepping into your home after a day at work
Having a good laugh
Drinking a glass of water when you’re thirsty
I’m sure it’s quite obvious that there’s nothing earth-shattering about any of these experiences. But taking the time to just ‘be’ in these moments will generate feelings of joy, fulfillment, and calm.
In this way, minimalism gives you an opportunity to experience true happiness. And it’s happiness that’s not dependent on shopping, acquiring new things, or having the newest, latest thing.
Living in a home with less clutter has been proven to be mental and physically beneficial. (The same goes for the negative effects of a cluttered living space.)
An uncluttered home means less stress, better mood, less wasted time cleaning, dusting and tidying up. It means more mind space, more freedom to move around, more time to do what you love.
Another way minimalism leads to happiness is by redirecting energy focused on comparison.
In minimalism, the emphasis is on being content and satisfied with ‘enough’.
Once you’ve figured out what that means for you, the need to compare diminishes. What point is there when happiness is such a personal experience? What makes others happy, what others are doing, buying, thinking – how truly relevant is that to you?
Comparison robs us of joy. Minimalism teaches us to find joy within.
More free time
Owning fewer possessions will eliminate the need for hours spent on housework. Less tidying up, cleaning, dusting, folding, ironing, rearranging, looking for things, (and the list goes on).
Thoughts of acquiring and comparing take up a lot of energy. A more simple life means more mental space. There’s time to think, space to be creative, and more opportunity to do things that really count.
Minimalism leads to happiness by valuing experiences
Living a simple, uncluttered life gives you time to find happiness through experiences. There is a shift from finding happiness through acquiring and storing up things.
Instead of spending money on more clothes or more things you don’t really need – think about experiences you’d love to have.
You could go for dance classes. Take a course. Start a side hustle. Learn a language. Travel. Spend time with family.
Learning, having fun, building relationships – these are some things that really satisfy and fulfill us. The memories you create from positive, exciting, happy moments will not create clutter! Only joy, and a sense of meaning and purpose.
Feel more free
A minimalist lifestyle makes it easier to pick up and go! If you’d love to travel or experience a more nomadic lifestyle, minimalism makes it easy!
Having fewer possessions can help you feel less tied down by stuff. You’ll feel lighter, more open to spontaneous inspiration! Life starts feeling full of possibility as you let go of burdens and look forward with an uncluttered mind.
So, does minimalism make you happier?
If you’ve been wondering if minimalism will make you happier, the answer is no. Only you can make yourself happy!
But minimalism will absolutely help you create an environment conducive to happiness. The personal, internal work still needs to be done by you.
By following some of the principles of minimalism, you’ll open yourself up to an intentionally created life of happiness!