In the age we’re in, it’s easy to drown in excess. Possessions. Relationships. Thoughts. To counteract that, living a minimal lifestyle will allow you to live a more intentional, meaningful, and rewarding life.

It’s not just about subtracting from your life, but it’s about what that subtraction then gives you.

“Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. From overwhelm. From guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.” – The Minimalists

The above description captures it perfectly. It’s not about restriction, but actually the opposite. It’s about creating room for what matters most, by removing the negativity that can be associated with excess. (The above phrase is by the Minimalists, the absolute thought leaders in the field. Their work has had a profound effect on both me and The Lost Lot, so if you’re looking for your entry point into minimalism, then these guys are your go-to source of knowledge.)

There’s an argument that minimalism is for the rich. Or the misconception that it is boring. But living a minimal lifestyle can be for everyone. It’s a unique approach to life, depending on who you are. What I enjoy in my life and what I can cut out, will be different from yours. But at the end of it, it’s creating that freedom from restraint so that you can enjoy things, whatever those things may be.

 

What are the benefits of living a minimal lifestyle?

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Living a minimal lifestyle takes some doing. You can’t half-arse it, you have to commit to it and buy into the approach. But by doing so, you’ll start to see some benefits in the medium to long term, which include:

Freedom – There’s no need to be held hostage by worrying thoughts that have formed based on unnecessary things. As soon as you have just what you need and enjoy, you can free yourself from the clutches of the different vices in life.

Clearer thinking – With fewer things clouding your mind, there are fewer decisions to make. When your mind isn’t focusing on choosing, it can focus more on the things that matter.

Peace of mind – Living a minimal lifestyle cuts out the noise. There’s not the incessant drone of confusing influences, allowing you to focus on what you want, which will bring calmness to your life.

Happiness – Cutting the excess cuts out the anxiety, the unnecessary, the sadness, the worry, the uncertainty, and everything else that you don’t wish to have. By default, you’re leaving more space for enjoyment and happiness to take hold.

Shows your values – If you only keep what you value, it reveals what’s meaningful to you. There’s no baggage, just the good stuff and that reflects who you are as a person and your core values in life https://www.thelostlot.com/what-are-your-core-values-in-life-and-why-are-they-important-to-know.

 

How to implement a minimal lifestyle

Assess and align

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What do you value? What holds meaning to you?

Knowing your core values is important, as your life is a reflection of them. Find the things in your life which you cherish, and of which you genuinely gain something from. We all have a habit of forming self-sabotaging attachments to things that rarely serve us.

So take some time to assess what’s in your current life, and find those things you can’t live without.

Once you do, you can begin to trim the fat.

 

Declutter

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Use it or lose it.

It’s easy to hoard. If we’ve invested in something, whether time or money, it can be hard to cast it away, as it feels like a waste. This can be despite the fact it serves us no purpose in keeping it. The old “oh well I may use it” comes into play. Or, “I may wear it at some point”.

Stop kidding yourself and be a bit ruthless. If you’re on the fence with something, get rid of it. Minimalism is about freeing up time and space for the things you enjoy, in all aspects of life.

So begin the cleanout and allow yourself a fresh slate.

 

Simplify

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Don’t overcomplicate it.

There’s a reason some of the most successful people wear the same outfit every day. The brain can only make a set number of decisions, and possessions shouldn’t be taking up that capacity. You don’t need a million options, and having less makes things simpler, quicker, and easier. When life is like that, you’ve got more time to focus on doing what you love, or enjoying what you enjoy.

Allow yourself freedom by removing the constant questioning.

 

Reuse

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Recycle what you have.

We’re not talking about helping the environment here (although that is also important). But reuse what you have. Reduce your purchasing, consumption, and excess. You’ll find there are things that you can use again, which save you from going out to buy, straining your finances and forcing you to make more decisions. Although we’re encouraged to spend, spend, spend, it’s important to reign it back and see how else to make it work.

You already have the solution, you just need to find it.

 

Gratitude

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Learn to be thankful for what you have.

It’s easy to always look at the horizon for new things. It’s the “grass is greener” problem. There’s always something more, something new, something shinier. But in doing so, you’re showing a lack of appreciation for what you already have. Of which is someone else’s greener grass. Once you’re living a minimal lifestyle, you’re left with the things you enjoy, and those things which bring you a level of joy.

Be proud of what you’ve got, and thankful it’s in your life.

It’ll then be a lot easier to not cast envious glances elsewhere.

 

It’s important to again highlight that minimalism doesn’t mean getting rid of everything, even the things you love.

It’s trimming the fat. Getting rid of the excess. Binning what doesn’t serve you. Do not limit this to just possessions, but apply it to your life in general, as it’s important to be sure to assess where you currently stand as a whole.

Keep it light and keep it meaningful. If you do, you’ll find your life improving as a result.

 

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