Flourishing With Fewer Things: How a Minimalist Approach to Life Can Help

Everybody is feeling the stress of what this world is going through. Many people are having to make sacrifices in many parts of their lives in order to benefit others.

However, while cutting back can seem like a negative thing, there are aspects to cut back that we can all benefit from. It may seem like a very negative approach to life, especially given the current circumstances, however, a minimalist approach to living is something that can help so many of us.

A minimalist approach is a philosophy of living more simply or living with fewer things. How can we bring this into our lives, but also what are the benefits?

We, Will, Have More Money

The fact is having few things means you have more money to spend on things that actually matter to you. Having a mobile phone contract is one of those things that we are locked into for years, but there are so many SIM only companies that can give you a SIM card deal while keeping your old phone. A lot of people are spending a lot less on their phones with this approach.

When you have more money because you are buying fewer things, you start to realize that you can use your money for better things in your life. We think about possessions as being an important part of who we are. Do we really need more stuff? Instead, we can use the money we have to pay for experiences and invest in quality time.

You Start To Think About the Meaning of “Stuff”

We all have that belief, on occasion, that if we have more things, it’s going to make us happier. We can see it in our children. Lots of children feel that they need to have more toys so they have what everybody else in their class has got. From our perspective, if we don’t feel that we need certain items to benefit our lives, we can certainly invest in these things for our children.

A lot of parents talk about not giving their children so much stuff, but we’ve got to get the balance right here. We can certainly preach a minimalist approach to life with our children, but the fact is that they have not got the wealth of experience in the world as us. They can certainly have stuff, but it might be beneficial to show them the importance of having a few of the things they want, rather than everything that they deem essential.

Minimalist life couple

If you start to get them thinking about the meaning of having more stuff as they get older, they may naturally lean towards the things that give them more meaning in life. The problem is that we live in a world where we have access to everything; we can order items online and they can be delivered on the same day.

When we start to think about what stuff actually brings, we can apply a laser focus to the things that really do matter. Therefore, we are having fewer items in the home and more money, but we’re also thinking hard about the benefits of those few items.

Less Stress

When we have a more minimalist approach to life, owning less stuff means that we experience less stress. If you have more items in your home, you may spend more time doing the things that really don’t help.

You could spend more time cleaning, organizing, or going to the store. Having more time in your life means that you can start to think about things that will benefit you more, rather than filling your life with to-do lists. Everything we own has to be taken care of and that anxiety of having more stuff immediately equates to increased clutter.

Having fewer items in the home means that you will be taking care of these things. Therefore, our well-being is far better. Ensuring that we are happier in our lives gives us the laser focus to do the things in life that are good for us.

What tends to happen is that we start to put our focus on the big distractions. We all spend too much time on social media, and therefore when we start to think about the things that we are using as distractions, we undergo the process of mental decluttering where we are starting to look at things and asking ourselves if they are benefiting us, we start to realize what is good and what is bad for us.

That sense of clarity allows us to push forward and enjoy the real things that we appreciate. Some people enjoy the simple pleasures in life; this is something that we’ve all gotten away from. The simple pleasures of eating an amazing meal have been replaced by fast food or make-your-own meals at home kits. We need to have things that are satisfying, but also give us the energy to actually push through in other parts of our lives.

Life is incredibly exhausting, primarily because we have a lot of stuff, therefore, we have a lot more things to think about, and those mental tabs are all open in our brains all of the time.

Even having the opportunity to switch off your phone for an hour to stop you from checking it every few minutes will help to sever that invisible cord. We start to feel that having fewer things in our lives means that we can focus on the quality, rather than the quantity, of life.

How Do We Start To Live Minimally?

The best place to begin is in the home. A minimalist home is something that we should all strive towards. Living more minimally can be achieved in some of the following ways:

Do You Use It? If Not, Lose It

We start by decluttering and making our home into a clean slate. Minimalism is different for everyone. You may want to set out your rules that ensure you have the right approach. A minimalist mindset might mean switching your phone off after a certain time so you don’t have all of those tabs open in your mind.

The initial shock of doing this is a lot for some people, but this is when having a good distraction, like a book or writing everything you need to do on a notepad, can get all those stresses out of your mind. Once you’ve decided what the rules are, you may find items that you don’t use, and when you find these items, a general rule is that if you haven’t used it at least twice over the last 6 months, it is time to get rid of it.

You may feel that there are a lot of items that have value to you. Nostalgia is a very important thing for a lot of us because we are inherently nostalgic creatures.

The modern world is not making life easier for any of us, therefore there is a lot to be said about nostalgia as a distraction. But you have to choose whether to have these things on display or to keep them stored safely. You can always put items into storage or put them in the loft in the meantime.

Asking Yourself Tough Questions

Sentimentality is a double-edged sword. If you are wondering whether something should stay or go, ask yourself:

  • Does it bring you joy?
  • Is it the only item you have?
  • Is it actually useful?

The tough questions are things we all put off, but if we are hoping to make more space in our homes or trying to streamline our lives for the right reasons, we have to remember the benefits of having fewer things. These three simple questions can easily result in you streamlining your wardrobe pretty quickly. This, in combination with the 6-month rule, can benefit anybody looking to cut back in certain ways.

Streamlining Your Mindset

If you start to cut back on the things in the home, this can give you a far better understanding of what it takes to make your mindset far more organized. While variety is the spice of life, when we are hoping to start operating in a more minimal approach, there are things that we can all benefit from in terms of our everyday living. For example, in order to live a healthy lifestyle, you can easily cut back on certain types of food.

A lot of people need to save money during this tough time and having a streamlined menu may not be music to everybody’s ears, however, it can do a lot in the short term. It gives you a lot less to think about.

Cutting back is not something we like to do. But it’s important to remember that there are benefits to some aspects of streamlining. It’s not about going without, but about making sure that if you are going to feel less stressed and not as overwhelmed, everybody can benefit from having fewer things, whether it’s in the mind or in the real world.

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