Less is More: Why a more minimalist lifestyle might be for you
7th May 2020
If only life could be simpler - this is a thought that almost everyone has from time to time. The world we live in – and the lifestyles we then lead – can leave us feeling overwhelmed. We believe that taking a step back and hitting the off switch from time to time is important; allowing yourself to pause and notice the smaller details in life. Mindfulness can manifest itself in many ways – one specific example of this is to practice a more minimalist approach to life.
Minimalism allows you to have a purer life experience and focus on the things that are most important to you. It’s mantra – ‘less is more’ – asks you to distil what is important from the rest, the ‘noise’ if you will. This is often especially directed towards the material bulk of modern life (i.e. our stuff). It asks you to reject ‘consume and collect’ culture. That doesn’t mean packing up one bag and moving to the woods – although it is a tempting offer some days. It simply asks you to respect the things you need and treasure the things that you love.
To break this down, first consider the things you have on a shelf or drawer in your bedroom, then ask yourself how many of those things you need or love. If there are items in there that you haven’t looked at in years, it’s highly unlikely that you need or love them.
Living with less stuff, removes obvious stresses such as cleaning and provides a more spacious environment in which to relax. You may have heard of ‘feng-shui’, which is a pseudoscience of organising your space, which is related to minimalism. Aside from this immediate benefit, a minimalist lifestyle provides much deeper benefits.
Consider the amount of time you spend with objects rather than people – on average we spend 24 hours a week on our smartphones, for example. This time could be better spent on your health by exercising, by being with your loved ones, or spending time on hobbies. Exercising, socialising and spending time on things which you deem to be purposeful (i.e. hobbies). The above activities have been scientifically proven to lead to a healthier, longer life (both physically and mentally).
Minimalism encourages a connection with your wider surroundings. Most people will have heard of green living as a concept – the idea of living frugally, recycling materials and creating as little food waste is becoming more popular. This is essentially a branch of minimalism – returning to a lifestyle in which you only have what you need and love. If you consider the fact that 1.9 million tonnes of food (enough to fill Wembley Stadium to the brim) is wasted every year in the UK, it’s clear that this is a worthwhile cause.
You don’t need to get rid of everything you own and live in a tent in the wilderness to achieve minimalism, simply get rid of what you don’t need and treasure what you have. So, give the things you no longer need or love to charity; wear the piece of jewellery your loved one bought you every single day; buy just enough shopping and cut down on food waste; get off your phone and spend more time with loved ones. With time you may discover that having just enough is plenty; that happiness is about less not more – and who doesn’t love being happy.