Less clutter. Reduced stress. A simple life. Improved well being. These are all things considered to be amongst the many benefits of being a minimalist. And, we’re told that you can achieve them by adopting a minimalist mindset.
But what exactly is a minimalist mindset? Well, that’s what we’re going to take a look at today, as well as running through some simple tips that I’ve picked up along the way in the last few years of my own adaptation of a minimalist lifestyle.
What is a minimalist mindset?
In its simplest form, the mindset of a minimalist is one that looks to eliminate the – this means physical clutter, but also negative thoughts and bad energy too – so we have more time for the things that we love.
Above all else, a minimalist mindset is one that understands the true meaning of living an intentional life. The goal of this is to strip out the things that don’t matter and replace them with the things that do, which leads to a more fulfilling life.
There are various different ways that you can be more intentional in your day-to-day life. This includes creating goals that you want to achieve, setting boundaries to actively make better choices, and beginning to practice gratitude for the things that you do have.
Though no two minimalists are the same, we do have a lot of important things in common. Let’s look at some of the different aspects of minimalism, and the mindset you need to adopt if you want to commit to this lifestyle successfully.
Getting rid of physical stuff and clutter
Minimalism is about more than just decluttering your home, but it’s where a lot of people start. And though you may not think it, having less stuff in your home and around your work space can make a big difference psychologically.
There are various signs you have too much stuff, like a close full of clothes that you haven’t worn in years. Having fewer things isn’t about getting rid of the stuff that you love – it’s simply
The first time that you declutter and get rid of your inessential material possessions, it can feel like a relief. With less stuff to worry about, many people find that they end up with less stress to match.
But old habits die hard, and most minimalists find that within a few months that they’ve acquired more things that they don’t need.
This is why maintaining a minimalist mindset is important, as you don’t want to slip back into your shopping habits and end up replacing the old clutter with new clutter.
Recognize the value of time
There’s no denying that money is important in a modern world, as you can use it to take care of the people that you care about. But some things that more valuable than money, and in fact the most important currency that we will ever own is time.
Once you realize that time is the ultimate currency, the way that you live your life will begin to change. Acknowledging this is the first step in a path towards a more intentional life, with a focus on your health, self care and enjoyment of the simple pleasures that we have in life.
The Idea of Success
Minimalist living involves changing your mindset from what most people nowadays tend to believe. In our Western minds, the idea of being successful largely revolves about the amount of money that we own, and the material possessions that we have.
But many minimalists find that their mindset changes after they get rid of these possessions, and begin to realize what really matters to them. Spending an afternoon with your family, or going out to see friends becomes more important.
And your idea of success changes from one that’s heavily swayed by how much money you earn to the commitments you can fulfil, how smoothly your relationships go and how much free time you have in your week.
Is it an impulse buy?
To me, living a minimalist life means prioritizing the things that I need over the things that I merely want. Buying the things that you want temporarily may cause immediate satisfaction, but too often do we buy things that end up going unused or unappreciated.
This ends up in a never ending cycle of decluttering, only to go back to buying things straight away. So if you want to ensure you stop doing this, it’s a good idea to note down all of the things that you truly desire, and to try and stay in the mindset of avoiding impulsive purchases.
This can also relate to the idea of having experiences over buying more things. Experiences are things that last with us forever, and younger generations are moving towards a life lived fully as opposed to a life filled with material things.
Whilst you may think that these experiences aren’t essential, they can undoubtedly bring more lasting satisfaction and more meaningful memories than a new pair of shoes or a designer t-shirt.
Reduce Unnecessary Distractions
An example of this can be shown by those that become a digital minimalist. Digital minimalism refers to decluttering your devices as opposed to your home, and to tackle the increasing reliance on technology that us humans have to contend with.
Ever found yourself scrolling on your phone whilst you’re meant to be having a conversation with someone? Or checking your social media accounts while you’re eating dinner, or watching a film?
These may seem like little things, but they’ve become second nature for the majority of people in society. One way that we can combat this is to put restrictions on our devices so they don’t distract us, and to keep them outside of the bedroom.
Another way that you can increase focus is to set yourself tasks and goals that you need to achieve, either on a daily or weekly basis. This can help you to maintain focus during your work time, which actually ends up giving you more free time to play with in the long term.
Appreciate what you have
Having you ever felt that you’re constantly chasing happiness? There’s a good reason for this, and those that end up on the perpetual hunt for happiness often never end up finding what they’re looking for, despite what they achieve in life.
This is because true happiness lies in being content with what you have. This can be things like spending time with your loved ones, living in the present moment and other simple things that we as humans often take for granted.
This doesn’t mean that you have to stop wanting your next promotion at work, or trying to pay your mortgage off. Everything that minimalism teaches us is about balance, and each individual is destined to find their own.
For those that have just started on their minimalist journey, you may still be adapting to all the things that come with it. It can help to network with other like minded people to get an idea of what it means to them, as it’ll obviously impact your own life differently.
It’s a common misconception that the minimalist mindset is solely about frugal living and trying to save as much money as possible. Whilst extra money at the end of the month can be a bonus, this isn’t all that it entails.
A minimalist mindset encourages us to live a meaningful life free of exorbitance and over-indulgence. It’s about prioritizing the things that are truly important to you, and being intention about the decisions that you make.
It’s about getting rid of the things that don’t matter, and spending more time and energy on the things that do – this is what the minimalist lifestyle is all about.