You’ve heard about minimalism, the practice where people learn to live with less, but enjoy their lives more, and you’re not sure where to start. Minimalism doesn’t need to be daunting, and you can begin right away. Here are five easy ways to start practicing minimalism now so that you can begin living the life you want.
1) Buy Less, Appreciate More
Many people use shopping as a reward, or as a coping mechanism after stressful situations by telling themselves that they, “Deserve!” whatever item they’re buying. But shopping can be a dangerous addiction and one that many people struggle with. Once you make a conscious decision to buy less, and only what you need, you’ll be surprised at how free you feel. You are no longer imprisoned by your “Stuff”. Keeping up with your friends and neighbors can be very stressful, but when you no longer have that compulsion, you realize how much of your life was spent obsessing over objects. With this new free time (and money), you can appreciate what you already have in your life and the people / beauty in your life, which is minimalism at its core.
2) Eliminate Time Vampires
There are many ways that time can be drained from your day, from television to browsing the internet. Any activity that disconnects you from the now and doesn’t bring you fulfillment or joy needs to be eliminated from your life. Take some time for reflection and write a list of how you’d like to feel and the sources of stress in your life. Likely, not having enough time, or spending too much time on things that don’t bring you joy will be at the top of your list. So, make an impact on what you can control–how much time you waste on the internet or watching television. Minimalism means more than just removing physical objects from your life. It’s also important to focus how you’re spending your time and ensuring that it’s on activities that you truly enjoy.
3) Remove That Clutter
Everyone associates minimalism as living with less, and while this is can be a part of minimalism, it’s better to break it down into something that’s more manageable and focusing on living with objects in your home and life that bring you happiness and contribute to your well-being. Often, people surround themselves with clutter brought about after retail therapy, but it only adds to their anxiety when it piles up in their home. Eliminating clutter will have a double impact on your life- not only will you have a clean, beautiful living space, but you will also be less likely to buy more of the same clutter that filled up your life in the first place.
4) Eliminate Negative Environments
The key to succeeding at a minimalist lifestyle is by not only changing your surroundings, but also changing your thought processes and being selective about the people who you spend time with. It is easy to get caught up in drama, but minimalism encourages you to reduce clutter in all aspects of your life. Are you surrounding yourself with negative people who drain your energy and take up your time? Are you focusing on all the things you’ve done wrong in your life, instead of all the steps you’re taking to change and improve? Minimalism works best as a series of small commitments to change, and starting within will help ensure that you are able to adopt minimalism into your life. Focus on what you’re doing well and surround yourself with people who encourage your new lifestyle, which will help to promote a healthy, positive environment for you.
5) Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations can help you in all aspects of your life, minimalism included. Start small and focus on something that you truly believe about yourself–I am smart. I love myself and the changes I am making. I already have all that I need. I am committed to minimalism. Choose a phrase or an idea that is meaningful to you and then adopt it into your daily routine. By focusing on these short, positive affirmations, you’ll be able to help eliminate negativity from your life as well as harmful mind-clutter, which will aid in your development of a minimalist lifestyle.
Adopting minimalism in your life will help you to see how much of what you have is already enough, and what you experience, already joyful. Sometimes, people get caught up in the chaos of life, but minimalism helps bring you back down to earth. Utilizing these five easy ways to start practicing minimalism now will ensure that you are living the simple, focused and happy life that you deserve.
By Rafael T.