minimalist living

7 ways to embrace minimalism for a happier life

Leading a minimalist life not only declutters your space and mind but also transforms the way you spend your time, money, and energy.
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For each one of us, happiness holds a different meaning. Some people equate happiness with professional success, while others experience happiness by accumulating material possessions, such as buying a car, a brand-new dress, or the latest smartphone. But then again, happiness remains a highly subjective and complex concept. The search for true happiness has led some people to focus on minimalist living, a concept that has gained momentum globally during recent years. It means living with only the things you really need and letting go of the rest. It is all about simplifying your life.

Now, the basic concept of minimalism may seem scary and almost outlandish at first. You may ask yourself, ‘What is the purpose of living with the bare minimum?’, ‘What about my perfectly stocked wardrobe?’, and then, perhaps the most important question, ‘Why do I settle for less when I can afford so much more?’

For most of us, the idea of choosing less is a foreign concept because we believe that more is certainly better. As a result, we lead a life in the pursuit of success, money, and accomplishments based on the firm belief that these are the embodiment of happiness and fulfillment. But have you ever thought about how the idea of wanting and achieving more can inevitably push you into a vicious cycle of exhaustion and discontentment?

Leading a minimalist life not only declutters your space and mind but also transforms the way you spend your time, money, and energy. However, leading a minimalist life is not just restricted to decluttering. It also means being content with your present life, which leads to a more positive outlook and a feeling of gratitude.

Here are a few easy ways in which you can embrace minimalism and reap its therapeutic benefits.

Set the ground rules

Minimalism focuses on living intentionally with only the things that you need—things that are indispensable for healthy living. The first step towards living a minimalist life is creating a purpose and an honest intention. But how do you do that? The answer lies in establishing a few rules on how to go about introducing minimalism in your lifestyle. Establish an objective view and scrutinize your home, belongings, and lifestyle. Minimalism does not mean throwing away all your possessions. Rather, it implies carefully removing all the unnecessary things that take up space for the essential possessions to stand out. You can start making a list of the non-essential belongings that you can do away with. Then carefully design a way of life that allows you to use your money, energy and focus only on aspects that are valuable to your health, happiness, and wellbeing.

Declutter your home

This might be the most difficult part for some, yet decluttering your home can have massive therapeutic benefits. Focus on eliminating keepsakes, souvenirs, kitchen, and wardrobe items that you went ahead and bought even though you knew you had no space for them. Minimalist living has no room for things that serve no purpose or value, and the best idea is to either donate them or put them away in storage.

Start with your kitchen or any other room that you feel needs decluttering the most. Make a list of all useful items and remove everything else lying unused that eats up your space. After this exercise, you can use your clean and decluttered space as inspiration, and follow the same method for the remaining spaces in your home.

Maximise your living space

It’s human nature to buy things and hoard them at home, even though there’s really no need or space for them. But do you realise that the more you possess, the more you need to clean and organise from time to time? One of the foremost rules of living a minimalist life is to stock your living space with things that lend a purpose to your life. Creating a minimal space will not only make it easier for you to organise and manage your home better but will also allow you to prioritise your time. This way, you can spend your time and energy on more important and fulfilling activities.

Shop for only what’s necessary

Embracing a minimalist life is a great way to spend based on your ‘needs’ instead of your ‘wants’. This also means evaluating what you need on a day-to-day basis. Purchase things only after carefully considering your needs and make an intentional decision to purchase based on the value they will add to your life. Shopping for only what’s necessary can help you discover happiness away from materialism and the opportunity to be grateful for what you have. It is also more sustainable to shop for high-quality and durable items that will last longer and won’t need to be replaced often.

Use social media mindfully

While it’s okay to be active on social media platforms, it’s also important to consciously identify the reasons why you are using social media. Most of us are so addicted to our smartphones that we lose count of the mindless hours we spend scrolling through our feeds. Minimalism requires finding the right balance between consuming social media and avoid falling into its trap. For example, if you create a social media account just for the sake of browsing with no purpose, you are bound to make it a major distraction and time killer. For this very reason, it is important to analyse why you are a part of a particular social media platform. Whether it is to stay updated and in touch with your friends and family or promoting your business, having a clear purpose can help you adopt a minimalist approach to social media.

Follow a simple, healthy, and wholesome diet

One area often overlooked in the search for minimalism is the concept of simple and clean eating. After streamlining your day-to-day living and decluttering your space, take a close look at your diet, meal planning, and eating habits. A minimalist diet is one where you balance your nutritional needs, optimise your ingredients and eat what you love, without burning a hole in your pocket. A few ways to go about it would be creating a staple and healthy diet, focussing on minimum-ingredient recipes, and mindful eating.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

One of the major upsides of living a minimalist life is that when you intentionally live with less, you develop a sustainable life with minimum waste. So, if you want to embrace minimalist living to the fullest, you first need to reduce your possessions, reuse them as and when you can, and repair and recycle them to make them last longer.

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