Often when people hear about minimalism, what comes to mind is a bare-looking home and people who are frugal with their money. While the practice does encourage people to keep what is important, there are ways it can benefit a person’s life that you might not have considered. Here are three ways minimalism can help you to prioritize your life and get it back on track and under control.
1) More Money and Time
One of the primary reasons individuals start practicing minimalism is that they feel as though they have lost control of their lives, which often includes managing their finances and their time. Minimalism can help you to focus on what is important and eliminate the rest. Sometimes, people get caught up in lifestyles they cannot afford, merely to impress other people. That can lead to a series of problems, including debt and unhappiness. When your lifestyle doesn’t line up with your budget, you may find the debt creeping up on you until it becomes unmanageable. Also, if you spend a lot of time eating out or going to costly events, you might start feeling mentally and physically exhausted as you don’t have any time to recharge without stimulation.
Fortunately, minimalism can help you regain control of your life. It is important to sit down and go over your finances in detail. Focus on where you are spending your money and see what can get eliminated. Instead of eating out, why not try cooking meals at home or packing a lunch for work? If you’re spending time with people who expect you to pay a lot to go to certain events or engage in their hobbies, it might be time to suggest activities closer to home, like movie nights or eating in. Tell your friends about how you are starting to practice minimalism, and if they aren’t supportive of your new priorities, you may want to consider whether you’re the one always making the effort to please, and adjust your circle of friends accordingly.
2) Help To Reduce Anxiety
When you commit to minimalism, you’ll likely experience less anxiety than before. When your life is centered on spending money you don’t have, or filling your house with more clutter than it already has, the weight on your shoulders can feel oppressive. Minimalism strives to help people find their center and realize what genuinely matters. If you are a compulsive shopper or make a lot of purchases to make yourself feel better during stressful situations, minimalism can help you regain control over your money by considering whether you are buying something you need or simply assuaging a habit.
When you stop basing your life on how much you own and what new technology you have, you may become less inclined to compare your life with anyone else’s. A significant source of anxiety for many is the idea of not living up to the expectations of other people. Minimalism helps people to focus inward and stop looking for external validation or judging their worth by their possessions. When you acknowledge what truly makes you happy, without the excess stress of keeping up with the latest trends or your friends’ lifestyles, your anxiety may lessen.
3) Help Improve Your Relationships
Minimalism isn’t just about eliminating clutter or resisting the urge to buy stuff you don’t need; it is also about refocusing your time and priorities so that you can be present and engaged with the people you love. Many individuals are tied to their technology, so even when they go out in groups, they are more interested in their phones than the people they’re visiting. Some people choose activities, such as concerts or movies, where socialization isn’t a priority. While these events can be fun, they can also put up a barrier between yourself and others.
Instead of going out with friends only to spend more time looking at your phone and less time engaging with each other, why not leave the phones at home, or at least in your purse or pocket? Consider making arrangements to meet together at a friend’s home or at an event where socialization is emphasized. With electronics programmed to siphon your attention away from what’s going on around you, and events where you spend money on things instead of time with your friends and family, take a moment and be present with your loved ones. Work to eliminate the distractions and barriers to connection; instead, focus on what draws you and your friends together.
With increasingly stressful lives, many people find it hard to balance work, life, and relationships. Minimalism can help you find and focus on what genuinely matters in your life and eliminate the things that cause you undue stress. With these three ways that minimalism can help to improve your life, you may be able to learn how to recognize what brings you joy, such as time with family and friends, instead of focusing on external factors that contribute to your stress.