There has been a common theme creeping across blogs, websites, and social media platforms in recent years, and all of a sudden, minimalism has become mainstream. Fans and enthusiasts cite a huge number of benefits, but can minimalism really improve your mood? We decided to take a closer look.
What is Minimalism?
There is no clear, straightforward definition of minimalism. What is clear is that it can mean a number of different things to different people. When discussing the concept, there are a few ideas that many people discuss in an attempt to determine what minimalism is.
Consider these aspects:
- Owning fewer possessions. On the surface, minimalism is reducing the number of possessions that you own and focusing on living only with those things that you really need.
- Living intentionally. Minimalism also requires the ability to live with intention – you are consciously promoting the things that you value the most and actively removing things that do not offer value.
- Freedom from consumption. The modern world tends to prioritize consumption over everything else – we are always told that we need more stuff, newer stuff, shinier stuff. Minimalism offers a chance to get off the treadmill and go back to basics.
- Freedom to be authentic. Minimalism means that you are no longer trying to be something that you are not. There is no need to chase trends and fashions or keep up with your peers and neighbors. You can simply be your own authentic self.
Can Minimalism Improve Your Mood?
So, just what impact can minimalism have on your overall mood?
There are a few possibilities, including these:
- Minimalism meets your psychological needs. According to experts, human motivation requires three components: autonomy, relatedness, and competence.
– A low consumption lifestyle such as minimalism meets these, giving you freedom, self-sufficiency, and community.
- Minimalism makes you happier. According to a number of studies, those who prioritize simplicity and spirituality over consumption live happier lives and are more satisfied in day to day living.
– Conversely, those who favor materialism and consumption were generally less happy and reported lower levels of wellbeing. Essentially, more stuff can make you less happy.
- Minimalism prevents loneliness. When you stop using items and physical things to keep you company, you are forced, instead, to consider what truly strengthens your wellbeing.
– You are more likely to pursue values that feed the soul, such as creativity and helping others, and this reduces loneliness.
- Minimalism clears your mind. If you find it difficult to focus and concentrate, your stuff could be the culprit. Too much clutter is known to cause stress, procrastination, and difficulty concentrating and focusing.
– The states of your internal and external worlds often mimic one another, and too much stimulation can impact your ability to focus when it matters.
- Minimalism brings you back to the now. When you consider minimalism, you are forced to live in the here and the now, and this can be useful in combating feelings of anxiety.
– Rather than spending your precious time wondering what others are doing and comparing yourself to them, you can feel confident that you have everything you need to be happy and satisfied.
While there is no definitive answer to whether or not minimalism has an impact on your mood, the combined evidence suggests that it could definitely play a role in boosting your overall wellbeing and happiness.
When you turn your thoughts, focus, and attention away from consumption, it stands to reason that you will find a sense of inner peace, and this can have enormous significance for your physical and mental health, as well as your overall happiness and wellbeing.