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What is a Minimalist Lifestyle?

minimalist lifestyle and slowing down - woman enjoying seaside

Minimalism and minimalist lifestyle have been a trend for a while now, but what does it mean? Can anybody become a minimalist? Should we consider it? What are the main principles of a minimalist lifestyle, and what benefits it brings?

“I would rather have extra space and extra time that extra stuff”  

Francine Jay

Minimalist Lifestyle Concept

A minimalist lifestyle is a way of living that reduces or completely excludes all unnecessary possessions and activities and focuses on essentials. A minimalist will persistently look for ways to simplify his life by freeing up his physical and mental space to appreciate what truly matters to him.

Minimalism is not only about significantly cutting down on the stuff we own but also about how we live our day-to-day lives. As minimalists, we should focus on our goals in life, what brings value or deeply matters to us, or what brings us joy and happiness. Everything that can be considered superfluous should be eliminated. Both material possessions and various activities in which we participate. 

Minimalism focuses on what truly matters in life: relationships and experiences. Not material possessions, gossip and anger. The ultimate goal is freedom and happiness.

Fundamental principles of a minimalist lifestyle

Decluttering

A true minimalist excludes everything that does not serve a meaningful purpose. That might be physical items, digital clutter, toxic relationships, or activities that do not contribute positively. Decluttering can help us to know ourselves better and enhance our sense of space, clarity, and purpose.

clutter free home at the core of minimalist lifestyle

Intentional Living

Living intentionally means that a minimalist is mindful and purposeful with his choices in his daily life as he understands his core values and priorities. This self-awareness guides his life. We could all immensely benefit and improve our lives by learning to consciously decide what adds value and reduce or eliminate the rest.

Prioritising experiences over material things

A true minimalist will always prioritise experiences and relationships over material possessions as they are more important. The ultimate goal is freedom and happiness that cannot be bought and possessed. They can only be experienced.

Quality over quantity

A minimalist chooses fewer items and activities and prioritises quality, which brings more value to his life. This, in turn, helps avoid overwhelm and clutter. 

Mindful consumption and essentialism

A minimalist will deliberately purchase only what he truly needs. However, this concept extends to other areas of life, like social media, TV, relationships, etc. 

Living in the present

A minimalist lives in the present moment and is aware of current experiences and opportunities. Constantly dwelling on the past and anticipating the future, on the other hand, may indicate an unconscious existence.

man reading a book in calm and clutter free environment

Core benefits of a minimalist lifestyle

Reduced stress

It is possible to significantly reduce our stress levels and increase our sense of calmness by simply slowing down and simplifying our lives. With fewer things to take care of and fewer activities to participate in, we experience less decision fatigue. When we declutter and embrace essentialism, our environment becomes organised. As a result, we have fewer visual distractions, which promotes further relaxation. 

Increased clarity

Clearing out our surroundings and calendars can bring much clarity to our lives. With fewer distractions, it is easier to concentrate on our priorities and facilitate a clearer understanding of our needs and desires. That, in turn, reduces confusion and complexity. Therefore, we can be more effective in dealing with our daily tasks and facing any arising problems. And we are likely to accomplish much more in less time. 

Financial savings

Halting impulse buys and activities can help save money or get out of debt. A minimalist is intentional about spending by prioritising long-term financial well-being over short-term indulgences. Moreover, a minimalist lives within or below his means and does everything to avoid unnecessary debt and financial stress that comes with it. Conscious consumption and reduced consumerism add up to significant savings in the long run. 

Greater appreciation for life

Minimalism is a powerful tool that can help us recognise and appreciate what we truly enjoy in life and what matters to us. By shifting our focus away from consumerism, we can stop the endless pursuit of accumulating more possessions and the damaging habit of comparing ourselves to others. This shift allows us to connect more deeply with other people and nature, leading to a more mindful, intentional, and fulfilling way of living.

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