We live in a society overflowing with advertisements telling you that you need more stuff. Shops with endless varieties of the exact same object. Social media where people showcase their ‘perfect life’ and become the object of envy to so many.
We also live in a society where self-worth is based on the amount of likes your social media post got. Where happiness depends on the amount of possessions you have. And we complain of having no time, but can endlessly scroll through social media.
Like so many others, I was also stuck on the hamster wheel of life. It started spinning so fast it got harder and harder to get off! The spinning stopped abruptly two years ago when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Step by step I started assessing every aspect of my life. In My Autoimmune Disorder Journey (part 1) and (part 2) I shared my full journey – the highs and lows… I didn’t see the whole staircase I was about to embark on. But I just took one step at a time. Which made all the difference. Minimalism wasn’t the first step. It was part of a ripple effect that happened naturally and presented itself at exactly the right time.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is the act of removing all unnecessary stuff from your life. In order to focus on what matters most to you.
I use the word ‘stuff’ because it isn’t just physical objects. It’s limiting mindsets. Relationships that don’t add value to your life. Freeing up your time to live the life you want to lead.
The beauty of minimalism is that it isn’t a cookie cutter mould of ‘one size fits all’. Instead it guides you to remove all the clutter from your life to give you the best life FOR YOU. I follow some minimalists that can fit all their possessions into one bag, because they want to focus on traveling. There are others that have kids and a family home. Living in the suburbs because that is the life they want.
Minimalism isn’t about owning a certain amount of items. It isn’t all black and white interiors. And it isn’t a life of deprivation…
Minimalism is a life curated by you. Where you remove everything that is blocking the path to the life you dream of. It is a life devoid of excess, a life without rules set up by society, a life of focus.
How minimalism has helped me
Our home causes less anxiety.
Our home has become our safe haven. We are not overcome by stress and anxiety the moment we set foot in our house.
My wardrobe is more flexible.
Even though I own less clothing, dressing every morning has become easier. Your wardrobe is something that you face every single day. And it’s your first point of contact when you start the day. So it should be happy interaction and not a stressful one.
Less time wasted on searching for stuff.
I’m sure you know the feeling of looking for something… Wasting time searching for a specific item. Whether it is your favourite pair of jeans, your car keys or your child’s dummy. When you own less, it’s easier to find stuff. Because everything has a place.
Feeling less overwhelmed.
I am the type of person who is more prone to anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Ever since I was in high school, I got claustrophobic around rooms packed with people. Events with too many different loud noises (even though I love loud music!). Removing the excess has helped a lot in terms of becoming overwhelmed!
Time is much more valuable
Making better use of time that I have on my hands. Writing and blogging. Sharing my journey with people instead of just scrolling through social media. Taking up some of my long lost hobbies. Reading books or posts that challenge my thinking / stuff that I want to learn. This does not mean I’m never on social media, I’m just more aware of the amount of time I spend on it…
Become more clear about what I want in my life.
Minimalism has helped me evaluate my life, and distinguish what I want to get rid of and what I absolutely love and consider useful. That mindset doesn’t only apply to physical objects, even although that is mostly the starting point. It helped me become more aware of negativity, limiting mindsets, beliefs I’ve carried around that wasn’t serving the life I wanted.
This morning I heard a radio advertisement, saying “Who wants less? Nobody…”. In that moment I realised something… Just because we live in a society promoting a certain lifestyle of ‘more’. It doesn’t mean we have to be defined by its standards. It takes a lot to change habits and mindsets that took years to shape. But this journey to less has been the most life-changing experience to me so far.
What is your personal view of minimalism? Have you embraced it in your life, and if so, how has it impacted your life?