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What is Minimalism-Minimalist Lifestyle Philosophy of Simple Living Guide

To put in simple words or meaning minimalism is a method to simplify our life and for the betterment of our life.

Minimalist lifestyle is a philosophy in which we decrease the needed things, unproductive time, reduce even the negative thoughts and value the people more. It can be done for many reasons like the pursuit of happiness, more freedom, being the better version of yourself, helping yourself and others in the process. 

It is not that having less than a certain amount of things will make you a minimalist. Minimalism is not to claim yourself to be a minimalist but it is the journey that matters. This journey is all about  to attain a better and simple life as long as it makes you happy or content. Every step in this journey for betterment will benefit you in the long term and will make positive changes in your life. If you don't feel relieved for good after decluttering, If you are not feeling positive changes in your life and thinking after sometime. Then maybe you are not doing it right or minimalism is not just for you. 

So a minimalist is a person who is in a process of becoming the better version of oneself with the use of only the few necessary things in simpler life. 

Minimalism lifestyle philosophy
Minimalism lifestyle philosophy


There are many factors, principles and benefits of minimalism like freedom, happiness, productivity, creativity, simple living, more focus, quality time and making better use of the resources. Which indicates that minimalism is not bad but actually it can be good for us.

These factors of minimalism are

  • Happiness or contedness
  • Decluttering
  • Being Productive
  • Knowing purpose of life
  • Spirituality of Minimalism
  • Increase in Creativity
  • Freedom in Minimalism

Happiness or contentedness

Happy people are those who don't have the best of everything but make the best of everything. This is a saying that every minimalist will agree on. The definition and the pursuit of happiness differ for every single person. Some feel more satisfaction or content in having more and more worldly possessions. They feel that it can make them happy in their life. For some very simple living is the ultimate happiness for them. Like the Buddhist monks, some Pundits, many other people following different religions, digital nomads, digital minimalists, some hippies, and many other types of people that don't come into the limelight.

So maybe being a minimalist won't make you happy but it's worth trying. 

Decluttering

Many times letting go of things can help make us think clearer and better. 

There is always a room to declutter or donate the unwanted unnecessary things. We can declutter many things from our living space, our kitchen, things in the washrooms, in our room and wardrobe. We can make use of the Bea Johnson’s 4 R’s in Zero waste of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle in minimalist decluttering too.

Decluttering more than just things

Moreover decluttering is not only about getting rid of the things but it is also about getting rid of the negativity around us. Decreasing the time that we waste on the things that really don't matter. Also getting rid of the actions that are limiting personal development. We have discussed the life decluttering, decluttering home and decluttering of the mind in other articles.

Misconceptions about minimalism

There are many misconceptions that minimalism is having less than a certain amount of things. To deprive yourself of the things. Having all the things in black and white colours like having furniture and paint in the house and black and white or having clothes in just black and white. But minimalism is a whole way of thinking.

Being Productive

We tend to procrastinate every task in their whole life. One of the big reasons for this is getting your mind complicated in processing many tasks at a time. Then prioritising the main goal at the very end. The human mind is not made this way to multitask for going through many thought processes at a time. 

Minimalistic productive with no distractions
Being productive with little distractions


Removing distractions

Taking off our mind of all the distractions and all the other tasks we can really focus on all the main goals we want to achieve. One by one we can take off all the burden of the objectives and finally be satisfied with our performance.

Making small habits 

There are many theories to become more productive in our daily life. One theory is to make small habits of things.

Making small habits for doing smart work consistently or persistently we can then achieve big goals.

Not lazy but productive

There is a  misconception that the minimalists are lazy. This kind of question arises when you are different from the others in the crowd. People think that minimalists are lazy because minimalists don't work hard as other people do.That is kind of true in a different perspective. Minimalists really don't try to work hard on the things that don't matter. But try to work very efficiently making the best use of time for the better things in life. minimalists feel very satisfied with this kind of approach because they don't have to run like a lab rat. 

Knowing purpose of life

When we define the purpose of our life can we get to know the things that are really important for us. Then we prioritise the things that create value for us above than the other things. We value the time that really makes us happy. 

We make the bond with the loved ones stronger giving them more value and time. Trying to make time for exploring new passions for us. We try to have new experiences of different things in the world. We explore different parts of our personality. Really define ourselves with our thoughts and actions. We work more on our spirituality than the worldly needs.

Bonding 

Minimalism gives you a reason to make stronger bonds with the people around you. Decreasing the dependence and bonding with the things we can focus on the bonds that really matter.

There is a common saying “that use things, not people”.

New experiences

With all the distractions aside, exploring new experience of minimalism makes way to explore other kinds of adventures or experiences. That truly is in line with your purpose of life or you always wanted to do.

Increase in creativity

This was some old absolute research that a messy room can make you more creative. The new authentic research indicates that a simple, minimalistic and clean room will actually make you more creative. reasons being once again decluttering your mind, your home and your lifestyle. It will make you more focused and creative. 

Minimalism increases creativity
Creative approach to life


Spirituality in minimalism 

Minimalism is spiritual enlightenment to redefine your purpose and goals in life. It is to work on your every chakras. Improving your spiritual life rather than to increase the bodily desires and needs.

There's a world outside and also there's a whole unexplored world within yourself. Like Nikola Tesla said that “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” Minimalism is to make bond with yourself. There can be many ways to do it like meditation. 

Religious spirituality

Meditation can be of many kinds like many types of yoga, or like offering prayer in many religions. We don't talk about the metaphysical connection, meditation or the eternal war of good versus evil that every religion focuses on. Because the common perspective about the religion is not that religion can make us better in any way. The perspective narrated by the popular media just like consumerism is supported and promoted by the media. Meditation is an essential part of all of the major religions. All of these regions relate to the metaphysical world and emphasize on meditation. We don't try to look at this part of every major religion. We know the benefits of yoga in our life and also it means to submit your soul to the Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva who is a Hindu God. So basically there is a religious element also in Yoga. 

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Matthew 6:19-22.

We can find many instances in every major religion about living simply and naturally and not giving up yourself to the worldly things of this world. 

Spirituality in minimalism and decluttering
Minimalism spirituality

Freedom in minimalism

Minimalism is not any very strict practice that binds us to some basic rules but it is actually freedom. It is the freedom from the psyche of consumerism. From the chain of capitalistic mindset, it is anti-cultural and it creates more value and time for family, loved ones and friends. It is a process to feel satisfied with whatever you have and value while you have it. It is the effective management of everything, power, the people close to us, the time, the energy, the thinking and many other things. 

Capitalist consumerism mindset

This capitalistic world is programming us to make impulse decisions and buy things that we even do not require. There is a difference between “want” and “need”. We can learn it by knowing the principles of marketing. People buy with emotion and justify it with logic. So there is a whole buyer psychology in marketing that is focusing on encouraging the customers to make impulsive behaviour and promotes consumerism. In buyer psychology emotions like missing out on something and negative emotions like jealousy, envy, fear are used. Also it is made to trigger dopamine level in customers to make them feel happy with their purchases. 

Making just chase the lives of others and to look and be like them. Everyone is different and beautiful in his or her own way. Making yourself better is definitely a good thing and we should try to adopt good things from the good people. But our culture enforcing from our media are constantly presenting the celebrities and their lifestyle as our ideal. Are these celebrities are really the good people in life, we don't know because of the media and we are not interested in knowing it. We are only interested in knowing their luxuries which represent their happy life. If all of them are really happy in their lives then there shouldn't be any depression and suicide among the rich people. Yes we feel good after getting anything that our emotions are pushing us to get. That is because our brain is built like that. We should ask ourselves if they are really our ideal or maybe we are neglecting the real heroes and our closest people.

Relation with the mind 

If you get a gift from someone then our brain send us the signals which are dopamine the happy chemicals. These chemicals give us happy emotions. The rate of these chemicals fluctuate throughout our day depending upon our activity and events. Even the small tasks like walking or for going for a run can rise over dopamine level. Also like other activities like eating a cake can raise these chemicals. The point I am trying to make is that we train our self and our mind that can make us content temporally or make us feel good for a longer time.

Relation with the body

If we eat sugar or cake more and more then we will crave even more sugar. This will give our brain these chemicals making us feel good for a small time. But we know from many different researches that sugar in high quality is not good for us. It will make us obese and can result in many diseases and problems. Also sudden spike in dopamine in many cases can result in loss of dopamine for the rest of the day and can result in negative emotions like others. So getting the luxuries will make us crave for more luxuries and it can promote the negative emotions in us if we could not get them. It all depends on which wolf we feed in us. Either we feed the spiritual wolf or the wolf of greed. 

Freedom in minimalism from consumerism
Freedom in minimalism


So less is more in many cases. Turning towards self sustaining, simple and minimalistic lifestyle. Not comparing ourselves with others but only trying to improve ourselves can make us happier forever in our life. We should be aiming for permanent happiness rather than making yourself happy for a little time. Constantly running towards temporary happiness from time to time again. Like a lab rat continuously running on a treadmill to get what it wants. But what you want and what you need can be different things.

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