Exactly a year ago, I decided to become a minimalist after reading an article about minimalism. I didn’t have to finish the entire piece before making the decision to convert; the idea was just plain attractive. I know I am still a long way off to applying all the principles of minimalism in my daily life, but in my heart of hearts, I am minimalist. But just what is a minimalist life, you may ask. In the words of Leo Babauta, a minimalist life is “One that is stripped of the unnecessary, to make room for that which gives joy.” That definition alone is enough to give you an idea of what living a minimalist lifestyle could offer you, but to help you understand further, here are six benefits you can enjoy by deciding to be minimalist.
It Gives You More Freedom
Living a minimalist lifestyle will give you more freedom in a sense that it sets you free from the mindset that acquiring stuff makes you happy. Such thinking is actually a form of bondage, because it causes you to spend your energy and resources on things that are not really important and leave both your wallet and your heart empty in the end. Another way minimalism can give you more freedom is by setting you free from distraction. We are now living in a generation where the amount of distraction is unprecedented and that every single thing seems to constantly demand our attention. Email, social media, video games – all these things seem good, but they actually eat up the time, money, and energy we could have spent on things that are more essential. By becoming a minimalist, you can be set free from such distractions and have focus on the things that are really needed.
It Gives You More Time for What’s Important
Minimalism is not just getting rid of inessentials, but is also giving room for what is more important. For instance, minimalism isn’t only about quitting on junk food, but also replacing the junk with what is actually healthy for the body. It’s not only about quitting playing video games, but also about replacing the time you spend on playing with a time at the gym. It’s also not just reducing commitments, but also spending more time with your wife and kids.
It Gives You Fewer Things to Worry About
One of the most important benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle is that it gives you fewer things to worry about. Once you begin to declutter your home or reduce your commitments, your mind will be more focused and less distracted. You see, the human brain can be likened to an Internet browser. It has the capacity to open multiple tabs at once. That doesn’t mean, though, that opening twenty tabs simultaneously is ok. Try that with your Chrome browser right now and you will instantly notice a slight difference in the performance of your computer. The same thing happens to our brain. When we focus on several things at once, our brain function is affected, resulting to us having a slower response. Minimalism helps us close unnecessary mental tabs, so that we can focus on the most important one. The fewer things we need to worry about, the more efficient and productive and the happier we become.
It Helps You Become More Frugal
Minimalism and frugality go hand in hand, because when you get rid of the tendency to acquire stuff all the time, you will be able to save more money. When you’re living a minimalist lifestyle, you are not only saving money by buying only a few stuff, but you are also saving money by having fewer stuff to maintain.
It Helps You Become Greener
Being minimalist also helps you live an eco-friendly lifestyle. Today, most architects and interior designers incorporate green minimalism when building or redecorating houses. If you are planning to revamp your home, consider investing in materials and furniture that do not only give your home a minimalist look, but are also friendly to the environment.
It Helps You Become Healthier
When you’re living a minimalist lifestyle, there’s no way you won’t be a healthier individual. Minimalism gives you more time to what’s important, such as going to the gym to exercise, or spending more time with your family. These things are vital to your health. Minimalism also helps you get rid of junk from your plate, so that you can give more room to food that’s healthier and more nutritious.
It Makes You a Happier Person
Finally, minimalism can help you realize that if you abandon your need for things and if you can adjust your lifestyle so that you value experiences and relationships instead of material possessions, you will not need to be wealthy to be happy. Add to that all the above-mentioned benefits of living a minimalist lifestyle and what do you get? More happiness in life!
The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life