In this post we are going to explain what minimalism is, and some ways you can incorporate it into your life.
We will cover the benefits of minimalism, along with tips for adopting a minimalist mindset.
If you're ready to embrace minimalism and find contentment in your life, this post is for you!
Let’s get started..
What is Minimalism
What is minimalism? Most of the 'official sources' define it from the aspect of art and design. For instance, according to Webster, it is defined as the use of the fewest and barest essentials or elements, as in the arts, literature, or design.
However, since we view it as a lifestyle, we define it as a set of principles. These principles being intention, moderation and efficiency; which are used as a means to improve everyday life.
What is a minimalist? We would say someone who is using these principles as a tool and guide. Another definition is simply advocating moderation.
Either way, minimalism in action can be a great way to simplify life overall.
There are several reasons why one might look into becoming minimalist.
Mostly, someone gets to a point where they feel drained, burnt out, trapped, overextended and overwhelmed.
When someone gets to the point where they’ve reached their limit, a simpler way of life begins to look appealing.
This is exactly what happened to us.
The Appeal of Minimalism
Minimalism offers us a way to gain back some control.
It can help us sort through accumulated clutter (be it mental or physical), gain insight on what truly matters, and eliminate unnecessary distractions.
By slowing down and simplifying our life, we also cut back on the sensory overload that would normally be a drain on our energy levels and steal our focus.
However, some may be hesitant to embrace minimalism meaning there are certain factors about it that might turn them off. We will cover some of those below.
Some ‘Issues’ With Minimalism
Of course minimalism has a lot to offer, however when you feel as if you have to take on the entire lifestyle, it can seem daunting.
You might not have to make such drastic changes in order to reap some of the benefits. It’s not always necessary to cut your possessions down to just the essentials, or take on a minimalist style to your wardrobe.
There is also no need to compare your journey to other minimalists. Not everyone is on the same path, nor requires the same lifestyle changes.
The issue arises when we look at minimalism as one size fits all. There are many practices you can choose to incorporate that make sense for you, but taking an all or nothing approach is truly not necessary.
How To Embrace Minimalism
There are 3 specific areas to focus on when seeking to embrace minimalism. These are your Mindset, Habits, and Lifestyle Design.
As with any major change or goal in life, your mindset is the foundation. Your mindset is shaped in several ways, two of these being your intentions and your attitude.
When it comes to your intentions, this is about being clear on your why. What are the underlying reasons you are pursuing this lifestyle in the first place? What is motivating you?
It could just be the need to slow down. Maybe you want to eliminate distractions in order to see what’s truly important. It could also be the need to clear out accumulated clutter. Whatever the reason, staying focused on your intentions will help set you up for success.
The other aspect of your mindset is your attitude, or your outlook. Developing a positive attitude is about making an effort to focus on the upside of things. A focus on opportunities instead of obstacles, on gains as opposed to loss.
For instance, how many people don't stick to their fitness goals because they put all their focus on foods they have to give up and gym time they have to commit to; rather than focusing on all the energy, confidence and strength they will gain.
The same can be said with moving towards a more minimalist lifestyle.
If we focus on things we may have to ‘give up’ (such as items we’ve been holding on to for no reason, or frivolous spending habits) we may miss all we are gaining. Things such as all the space, extra savings, and freedom we are creating in the process.
When you focus on the positives of minimalism and all that can be gained, your attitude towards the process itself will shift.
So to recap, when it comes to your mindset - get connected to your why, and stay focused on the positive.
Once you have the right mindset, it’s easier to create new habits. When we have the right attitude moving forward, we understand that the new habits are meant to help us grow and succeed.
When it comes to creating these habits, just starting somewhere is key. Taking the first step is the most impactful because it sets you in motion. Once you have momentum, you can build upon habits from there.
Start small, and stay consistent.
One of the main concepts we feel is necessary to simplify life is creating balance. Simplifying should be a holistic approach. So keep in mind all areas of life when forming new habits. If one area is neglected, it can inadvertently affect the others.
Some habits to consider when embracing minimalism are things like spending more time on your priorities, such as family time and nurturing relationships.
Also, take time nourishing yourself, and spend some time in self-reflection by journaling. Prepare more home cooked meals as opposed to take out. Set limits on screen time.
The idea is finding habits that will help you slow down, simplify, and create balance.
3. Lifestyle Design
Your habits create your life. Keeping this in mind, your lifestyle design is about making sure your daily habits are building the life you want.
Lifestyle design is about getting clear on the bigger picture and ensuring we are doing the things that result in this picture. Our daily actions should line up with who we are and aspire to be. If they don’t, we become out of balance, and things begin to feel chaotic.
Using minimalism as a tool, by applying the minimalist principles, can help us design a life of meaning.
Using the principle of intention is a way we can take action and move forward with purpose and direction. Moderation helps us avoid unnecessary excess, and develops self discipline. Efficiency helps us avoid waste, and allows us to be more effective with our time, energy and resources.
Overall, lifestyle design is about letting go of things that no longer serve us and creating our life in line with our priorities.
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Embracing minimalism is a process.
Keep in mind it’s about progress, not perfection. Make steps in the direction, and build upon your habits.
And again, minimalism isn’t meant to be ‘one size fits all’ either. Just embrace the practices that work for you, and fit them into your life where necessary.
One of my favorite minimalism quotes is:
Be as simple as you can be; you will be astonished to see how uncomplicated and happy your life can become.
What about you?
What habits do you find help simplify life?
Let us know in the comments below!
Taking a break at work or at home helps me to slow down and simplify. The break may be a short pause, but it’s still relaxing, especially while enjoying a hot beverage like herbal tea.