Minimalism is an attitude towards life! I believe that it is a mind-set by which an individual has a focused perspective on his or her life. This perspective causes someone to minimise distraction and heighten their awareness on what adds meaning to their being. Often many people think that the aim of minimalism is too reduce their possessions and while yes this is true it’s not the only benefit minimalism has to offer.
In my walk with minimalism I’ve come to realise what it means to be a minimalist for me. It’s about de-cluttering my environment so I have space to think, space to explore and space to breathe. I find that in my character I’m quite sporadic in my thinking. I can wake up feeling great and then as the day progresses my stress levels rise alongside my fears and doubt leading me to feel all kinds of negative emotions. I guess I just figured that if I can gain control in my life physically then perhaps it would help my psyche to slow down and be less tense all the time.
Often when I try and relay this ideology to others they don’t understand how letting go of things translates to a less stressed mind. I can’t speak for everyone but from my own experience I feel that it’s the principles and discipline minimalism has to offer that helps to ease my mind. The principle of physically letting something go helps me to let go of things mentally. Often, we harbour past experiences and bring them to the fore-front of our mind. What’s even worse is that these memories tend to be negative as opposed to positive ones. The problem is we give too much life to those experiences we allow them to dwell in the present and have power over us, we remember all the negative connotations associated with that moment in time and thus we relive that painful point in time repeatedly. The consequence of this are that it prohibits your life in future; this is where the principle of minimalism comes into play, just as you would let go of an item that no longer serves you, you can do the same mentally.
Of course, it’s not as simple as putting old clothes in a bag and handing it to charity in the hopes that it helps another but with time, patience and persistence you can begin to train your mind to spend less time in the past and more time taking advantage of the opportunities the present has to offer thus building a future that keeps you in tune. In addition, the principle and discipline minimalism teaches reminds you that yes even in this world you do hold some control in what you allow to dwell in your life whether it be physical possessions or intangible assets like your thoughts and feelings it’s a possession none the less and you can choose to let go of any thoughts that no longer serve you in your favour.
So how do I do this?
It’s simple really start off by looking at the space you have in your environment whether it be your room, closet, office and if you can your entire home. Look at the objects that surround you and ask yourself what do I need, what do I not need and what is just taking up space with no actual purpose? I think a good way to go about the process of downsizing is to start small. Start with spaces you tend to be in often for me that was my room. Now I share my room so of course I don’t have the power to get rid of everything. The first place I begun to declutter was my wardrobe. I had so many clothes that I either never wore or didn’t look good on me. I got rid of a lot of clothes and donated to charity or family members. When I came back to my closet I decided to think differently about my style. When I shop, I look for three things; comfort, theme and longevity.
I buy clothes that suit my body and make me feel good (comfort), I have three colours that I look to I’m sure if you look at my insta I’m usually either in black, white and grey I choose these colours because I like how they look on me, they all go well with one another and their easy haha. I think a final tip and perhaps the most important is longevity; don’t invest in clothing items you known won’t last more than 6 months buy things you can see yourself wearing repeatedly until the item itself is worn out. It’s better to spend a large sum of money on items you will get a lot of wear out of as opposed to buying the same cheap thing repeatedly. In the moment, it looks ideal but all it does is burn a whole in your pocket and waste resources.
Don’t just apply these method to clothes but also to habits, people, food anything. Time is precious and I don’t think any of us have the luxury of wasting it on insignificant things that add no value to our life and yes that included people.
We live in perhaps the most consumer rich era in humanity. Everywhere you go someone’s trying to sell you something with the promise that it will improve your life in some shape or form. Not only is this detrimental to our planet but also our mental health. The concept of happiness is often blurred, it’s not about obtaining a certain status that makes one happy it’s about being at any state of life and being content with what you already have. No object or person will ever give you happiness in its pure form you have to give it to yourself mentally. I’m not saying you have to own nothing and disconnect yourself from everything but I do believe we should spend our time in the presence of things and people that will help us to be a better person. Spend less time fussing over your makeup and more time on things that will grant you true fulfilment in your short life.
Minimalism is an appreciation of space.