What is Minimalism?
Minimalism is a mindset just as much as a lifestyle. A minimalist lives life with the bare minimum in order to reduce distractions away from their top priorities. Instead of placing importance on material possessions, minimalism focuses on things that are irreplaceable and intrinsic — valuable for its basic nature in and of itself.
Why Choose a Minimalist Living?
In our modern age, the onslaught of material, media and technological consumption is running rampant. You’re getting pulled in a million different directions with distractions. When you’re getting suffocated by all the noise, it can leave you feeling lost, hopeless, and misguided. Conditions of this caliber may cause you to lose a sense of meaning and self-worth in your life.
It might be wise, every now and then, to step away from the excess to evaluate what you find to be important. After honing in on your top priorities, you would strip away the distractions so that you can narrow your focus. By removing yourself from external distractions, you can focus more on the important things in your life. No more will you be a slave to the media, social pressures, and brainless scrolling on your phone. It’s just you and the things that bring meaning into your life.
Here’s a list of 15 tips to live a minimalist lifestyle so that you can spend more time focusing on what truly matters to you!
1. Focus on Relationships
Whether it’s family, friends, or relationships. These are all things that are irreplaceable. There’s no two people that are exactly alike. Because of that reason, no matter who you meet, they will be bringing in something special into your life.
2. Be Grateful
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. You might be so focused on receiving materials that you don’t have that it might be the very thing distracting you from what you intended getting the materials for.
3. Stay Healthy
None of this matter if you’re dead. Because of this, a healthy body may be the most important value of them all. Your body is the reason you can wake up in the morning to pursue your goals. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to do anything to bring meaning into your life. Stay healthy with exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting a full night’s rest.
4. Learn a Skill
When you learn a skill, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to expand your abilities as a human being. You’ll be able to invest time and effort into something that you enjoy doing that also has the potential to serve others in the long-term. Skills can widely range in the fields of art, entertainment, athletics, trades, medical, academic, business, and ect. Skills help build our character and self esteem, as well as provide a sense of purpose in our community.
5. Enjoy the Outdoors
A breath of fresh air might be all that it take to give you a release of stress built up from the day. Also, it’s free. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a plane ticket to go on vacation. All it might take is a hike through the woods to give yourself an outlet away from the daily grind.
6. Eat Recommended Food Portions
Overeating has its drawbacks. It weighs you down and can cause you to be less productive. Eating portioned meals, while also being mindful of what you’re putting in your body, can be a great way to exercise minimalism. It causes you to be efficient in utilizing your resources to its fullest potential.
7. Monitor Cell Phone Usage
Cell phones can become an outlet that distracts you away from reality. When this happens, it may be time for you to create restrictions on how much you’re using your phone. By limiting your cell phone usage, it can allow you to be more present in the experience that you are having. There are numerous distractions on your phone that can pull you away from what you may value as being important in your life. A minimalist approach one of mindfulness when it comes to your usage of a cell phone and ultimately how you can decrease that usage.
8. Limit Social Media Consumption
Similar to the reasons for limiting your phone usage, the same can be applied for using social media specifically. Social media is an amazing tool to connect us with friends and meet new people. However, when it stops being used as a tool and starts to control your life, then it might be time to walk away. It can be so easy to get pulled in by Instagram’s algorithmic grips and become a slave to scrolling down the feed. When this happens, ask yourself why you’re using social media. If you can’t think of a good reason, then it’s quite possible that social media may be using you as their tool.
9. Create Something
Instead of spending your days consuming content on the Internet, perhaps you can spend it being creative. Being creative provides you with the opportunity to express yourself, grow in your craft, and exercise your mind.
10. Pay Your Debts
No debt means nothing is chaining you down. You’re financially free. You won’t have the banks knocking on your door telling you what you can or can’t do. You won’t have the burden of worrying about a mass quantity of bills. You can remove yourself from maintaining the payments for material goods to focusing on things with intrinsic value such as family, friends, and personal development.
11. Get Rid of Excess Clothes
Technically, you only need enough clothing to get you through until your next dry cleaning. Clothing is pretty durable nowadays and can withstand multiple washes. Any extra clothing may be just for aesthetic or novelty value. You might be in a constant cycle of buying new clothes to chase the trend and then getting rid of old outdated clothing that is perfectly good to wear. Perhaps a new way to look at this is to buy clothes that are timeless. It could be as simple as getting rid of all the excess clothes, buying clothes that don’t get outdated, and then having the self control to avoid buying any new clothes until what you have are actually damaged.
12. Buy Food in Bulk
This might sound contradictory that a minimalist might buy more than enough food. However, we do have good reasoning. Buying food in bulk will allow you to spend less time and effort needing to go to the grocery store. Also, buying in bulk tends to be cheaper in the long-run. You will be able to worry less about groceries and focus more on what’s important.
13. Value Quality Over Quantity
Minimalism is all about stripping down the excess fluff so that you can get to the nitty gritty of what’s important. Instead of trying to have a lot of mediocre “stuff”, how about you try to have the bare minimum that’s most important to you.
14. Scale Down on Housing
At the end of the day, houses all serve the same purpose. It’s shelter for you and your family. As a minimalist, it might be wise to scale down. This will allow you to spend less money, time and effort on what you see to be more important.
15. Stay Humble
By living a humble life, you rid yourself from the desire to buy materials for the sake of showing off to other people. The mindset of minimalism allows you to be more at peace with what you already have. A humble approach to life enables you to not have any entitlement for more.
All of these tips are ways to free yourself from the distractions of the consumer world to give yourself control over your life. When you can rid yourself of these distractions, you can be more mindful about the choices you make. You might need to take the time to figure out what’s important to you before you decide to pursue minimalism. Once you do, you’ll be able to focus that time and energy that you would have used consuming and, instead, use it to create a meaningful life for yourself.
Living a minimalist lifestyle allows you to reduced the time and effort focused on getting materials and resources and helps you spend more time and effort focused on fulfilling intrinsic values.