After discovering the minimalist lifestyle a couple of years ago I was keen to learn everything I could about this concept. After reading everything I could possibly find on the subject I started making small gradual changes and found very quickly that this was having a positive effect on many areas of my life. By reflecting on what my experiences were on this minimalism path I hoped it might help and inspire others to discover the benefits of living a more intentional life. There are no set rules for minimalism, it is different for everyone and is useful a tool to create a life that brings you happiness. Here are 10 Benefits of a Minimalist Inspired Life that I have found over my journey.
- Less stress.
A minimalist inspired lifestyle has helped me to feel the least stressed I have felt in a long time. It empowers you to be more comfortable saying no to things that take you away from your goals and yes to things that bring you closer. It will allow you to reassess the relationships in your life, which could entail leaving a bad relationship or setting new boundaries with a friend or family member to ensure those close relationships aren’t detrimental to your well being. It might give you the courage to leave a job that is negatively impacting your health or consuming all your time. By identifying the aspects in life that are most important to you, you can reduce the time and money that might have gone into less important pursuits previously.
- More free time.
On your minimalism journey you will start to identify which aspects of life bring you joy and which don’t. Once you start saying no to things that don’t bring you joy, you can start freeing up more time to say yes to thing that do. Whether that be limiting social events with people that you don’t genuinely enjoy spending time with in order to find more time to spend with those who you do love to see, or finding ways to better balance your time between friends, colleagues and family so you aren’t neglecting relationships that are important to you. It’s also important to allow time to reset our batteries so this include blocking out time in our schedule for relaxation or to allocate time to hobbies that may have seemed impossible to fit in.
- You will be able to remove the excess in your life to focus on what is more important.
Having less clutter and adopting a minimalist approach allows for more time and money to spend on things that are valuable to you. Removing the excess means you might reduce the need for a large home to store unnecessary possessions. This could give you the opportunity to downsize your home saving you money on your rent or mortgage, potentially require less hours working to pay for that larger home and save you time each week in cleaning and maintenance that can be freed up for more enjoyable activities. Removing the excess in your life can open up new opportunities and allow you to take on new goals that you might not have been able to take up in the past.
- Showing you the joy of experiences over material possessions.
Minimalism has helped me to realise the joy of experiences over material possessions. Buying material possessions may brings a temporary increase in happiness, but that disappears over time once we adapt to having that item and wears off much quicker than experiences. When you prioritise experiences over material possessions it provides you with joy that no physical purchase can really come close to particularly if the experience is shared with someone. These are memories that we can talk about for years to come with loved ones, and share our joy with future generations and although they may not provide us with a physical thing to show in our homes, the memories are with us for life. Tomorrow is not given, don’t hold off on experiences in the pursuit of stuff.
- Letting go of what others expect of us.
There is so much pressure placed on everyone to have the most impressive sounding job, newest car, biggest home and the focus has shifted away from what makes us happy to what we can do to impress others. Minimalism helps us to shift the focus from being defined by others expectations and is a tool to help us put our needs first. If it is important to you to be debt free and drive a reliable, affordable car instead of a new more impressive vehicle do that. Maybe it is more important to you to have more free time to follow other passions than having a high-stress managerial position with long hours. Spend less time worrying about what other people expect of you and focus on doing what makes you happy. The more of us who chose to follow a path of happiness, the more we can help to set a new example to those who do feel the pressure to live up to society’s expectations to break out of that mold and follow their own passions.
- More focus on health.
Minimalism helps you to prioritise the essential things in life, one of the most important being health. It can be easy to get caught up in day-to-day life bills, chores and work and long-term your health is going to suffer if your well being takes a backseat to those other priorities. Minimalism can help redirect your focus away from what you might be spending your time on such as 20 minutes of Facebook scrolling and make you more aware of your habits so you can make conscious changes to more useful activities such as exercise. These changes will feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders, a weight you might not have even realised was there. Reducing debt and decluttering your home environment and schedule, can greatly increase our happiness.
- You find more direction in life.
When you clear the excess, the bills and debt, the clutter, and get down to what you truly love, you start applying this philosophy to other aspects of your life – not just the stuff. Does this house bring me joy or does it just take up my spare time cleaning it? Am I passionate about this course I am doing? Could I have my dream job if I could take a pay cut? Minimalism seeps into all areas of life and can open you up to a whole new direction in life. It helps us to regularly reassess where we are in life and over time trains us to apply our thinking of small decisions such as do I need this kitchen gadget to the bigger decisions that have a larger impact on our life.
- Less decision making.
Minimalism helps us find ways to reduce every day decision making which takes away from more valuable uses of our creativity. Decisions such as what to wear to work today take up more thought processing than necessary. Having a massive wardrobe can lead to unnecessary stress and overwhelm us before we’ve even stepped out of the house. A capsule wardrobe like in Courtney Carver’s Project 333 http://bemorewithless.com/project-333/ can be a curated selection of your favourite clothing, shoes and accessories that can be mixed and matched and save decision overload. Same goes for preparing dinner, trying to have endless recipe options can get overwhelming. Life can be simplified so much more by limiting everyday decisions so we can focus on more important things.
- Spend less time cleaning.
Nothing has sped up the cleaning process in my home like Minimalism has. Less is definitely more here. Removing stuff from your home allows you to spend less time cleaning it. Fewer things on the floor means a quicker vacuuming and mopping process. Limited stuff on the counter tops allows more room for food preparation and is much easier to wipe those benches down. Less decor saves you on dusting extra stuff – I now see pretty things in stores and ask myself would I be willing to dust that? The less stuff in your car, the less time you will spend tidying it up when someone needs a lift. A massive benefit to my home was having a smaller wardrobe, which has made it so much easier to get on top of our laundry instead of attempting to try and tackle baskets of unwashed clothing we now have manageable loads.
- Allows you to be grateful for what you have.
After realising how much I don’t need to be happy I’ve developed a greater appreciation for what I do have. I don’t feel the need to have the best of everything and am so grateful that I have the knowledge at this age of how important experiences and relationships are over things. Minimalism has helped me to acknowledge the small joys in everyday, whether that be time spent with a close friend or a lovely home cooked meal. The emphasis is not on what you buy or accomplish to impress others but on what truly makes you happy.
I am excited to see where minimalism and intentional living takes me in the future and hope to see even more benefits over time. If you have adopted a minimalist inspired lifestyle comment below with what benefits have you found and how minimalism has helped you.