Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness
In the 21st century, minimalism has come to be associated with a style of decor. This is pretty much the limit of its reach. Sure, people know what minimalism actually means – but most of us go against its core principles, in favor of consuming more and more.

The truth?

We could create a greater sense of meaning in our lives, if we can just let go of a lot of our stuff.

We fill our houses with all of the things that we’ve bought (and don’t really need), from the clothes pouring out of our wardrobes – including the ones that we have never even taken the tags off – to the random items that we’ve collected while we meander our way through life.

This is not necessarily a bad thing….but… the truth is….you could benefit from living a little bit more minimalistically!

1. Stop buying things that you don’t need

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness
In a modern world, we are always told that we need this or that. Commercials on television are constantly selling things from dawn until dusk.

Plus, there are advertisements on billboards as we drive to work and pop up ads on every website and social media platform that you visit.

Sure, advertising may not be the worst thing in the world.

But… these things do get into your head –and they may be stopping you from living a minimalistic life.

Before you purchase something, you should ask yourself a few questions…

  • Will this thing really make me happy?
  • Do I actually need it?
  • Does it serve a purpose, or else bring me a sense of joy?

If not, the likelihood is that you don’t need to buy it.

It is nice to treat yourself to things now and again that don’t necessarily serve a purpose.

But… if you usually overdo this, you should try and put your consumerism to an end.

Not only will this stop you from living a cluttered life, but it will also save you a lot of money.

Take a moment to think how much the average American spends each day while they’re shopping, on stuff that they wouldn’t necessarily purchase if they weren’t physically present in the store.

Stay away from stores unless you’re going out with a specific purchase in mind, as you could come out with a lot of items that you didn’t even want! (We are all guilty of this!)

2. Give fast food consumption a miss

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness
On any given day of the week, almost 40% of Americans are tucking into a fast food meal.

All over the world people are eating foods that aren’t really good for them, just to get a quick fix and to quench their hunger.

We are all guilty of doing so, because it tastes so good, but is the phrase ‘you can’t have too much of a good thing’ really true?

Perhaps, when it comes to living a minimalistic life, we need to go back to basics.

Not only is it a lot better for you to stick to the diet that is recommended (with the right balance of carbs, fruits, veggies, fats and sugars) but it also enables you to go back to those simple (yet tasty) ingredients that we should all be making a part of our diets.

We fill our lives with so much junk food, that we can’t really expect to go back to basics elsewhere, when we’re consuming dishes that have been churned out at McDonalds.

This does not just apply to food. It can also be said of alcohol and other things that are simply toxic for our bodies.

We don’t want to turn this into a lecture about rejecting cheeseburgers and wine. We just want to acknowledge that all of these things can prove to be highly addictive. And sometimes you just need to beat these addictions in order to live in a healthy, minimalistic way.

Symptoms of addiction effects the entire family, so see what you can do to help your family to live better.

3. Try to make your life less media-focused

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness
According to the latest studies, people are spending 11 hours a day consuming media.

This means that people are spending all day watching television, playing games, scrolling through social media, or otherwise using technology for recreational purposes.

With the increasing interest in the world online, we are continuously losing touch with things outside of this, and as such, with a minimalist, simple life.

Perhaps, then, we could embrace minimalism by cutting down on the amount of hours we spend consuming media. If you often walk outside, engrossed in your phone, you are probably missing out on the beauty of life all around you.

We know, it sounds pretty cliche, but there is the risk that we are beginning to miss out on simple pleasures, because we are so engrossed in the world inside our screens.

There are many ways to say goodbye to over-exposure to technology, from documenting how many hours a day you spend using your tech, to reading a book for an hour instead of watching the television.

Most of us struggle with this, as technology can also be addictive.

But… we would all benefit from a little less time spent consuming media.

Even an hour less a day is a great start on your journey towards minimalism!

4. Declutter your home. Learn how to get rid of stuff.

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness
Our homes are where we put all of our junk (we all have at least one junk drawer) and they can be cluttered with a whole host of things that we don’t need, and have never even used in some cases.

Sometimes we just think that everything has a purpose, or will do in the future.

We wonder: How can we get rid of it if there is even the slightest chance that it could prove useful to us?

This is the attitude that leads most people to hoard, a lot.

If you’re one of the guilty ones, you need to have a major declutter if you’re ever going to be able to live the life of a minimalist.

Go through your items and ask yourself:

  • Have I used this in the past few months?
  • Do I actually need it?

If it isn’t used regularly in your home, then there is no point in you keeping it (unless it has sentimental value, of course).

You need to be pretty brutal when it comes to this, or you’ll get nowhere.

Marie Kondo’s methodology is this:

If it doesn’t ‘spark joy in your heart’ you should get rid of it.

So, if you’re keeping that dress that you haven’t worn in 5 years just because you don’t feel like you should say goodbye to it, then you need to be a bit more strict with yourself.

Does this item bring you any form of joy, and if not, why are you keeping it?

Try to follow Kondo’s motto here.

5. Understand the spiritual meaning behind minimalism

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness
Sometimes, trying to live a minimalistic life is met with higher success when you understand the spiritual meaning behind it.

For example…

  • Are you buying a lot of things because you’re trying to make up for some kind of unhappiness in your life?
  • Or are you allowing your life to be controlled by your material possessions, and do you rely upon them to provide some kind of meaning that you haven’t discovered elsewhere?

It has been proven that we do actually feel more fulfilled when we buy something, and there is a ‘shoppers high’ that we receive when we are about to make the purchase.

In fact, we get a rush of dopamine, as we anticipate the reward that will come as we buy items in a store. We may be paying out for – and hoarding – stuff, therefore, as we have associated it with some kind of deeper happiness, rooted in the reward centers of our brain.

However, we need to unlearn these effects if we are to embrace minimalism.

Less truly is more!

You may need to focus upon other, more authentic sources of happiness.

Objects can bring you a quick buzz! But… is there anything quite like the prolonged happiness that comes from…

  • reading a book
  • understanding somebody else’s story
  • learning to be at peace with what we actually have in our lives already

In Summary

Living A Minimalist Life: Tips for having less and enjoying more happiness
In every aspect of our lives, we have begun to consume more and more, and we are always moving away from the minimalism that we once knew.

From technology, to clothes, and even to food, we consume things on a higher level than ever.

Mostly like this happens because we are always told online, and through adverts, that we simply need to have more.

Excess is sold to us as something that is desirable.

  • However, perhaps we could all try to live our lives with a little less excess, and more minimalism?
  • Perhaps less material goods would leave us with more room for mental clarity?
  • Maybe minimalism would even give us a greater sense of freedom from what we always believe that we ‘need’.

Try out minimalism in one of its many forms, and see whether it could help you to live better!

Think happier. Think calmer.

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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