A popular idiom tells us that less is more. First coined by poet Robert Browning, it describes a preference for things simply and beautifully done over unnecessarily complicated or fussy things. Although the notion that less is more is central to modern-day minimalism, this approach to life isn't merely about having fewer possessions. Instead, it promotes the idea that we should carefully cull our surroundings and invest our time, energy, and space only in those things that are personally meaningful. Because it requires a great deal of thoughtfulness, embracing aspects of minimalism can help us lead happier and healthier lives. Best of all, it's easy to incorporate practical elements of minimalism into everyday life in our homes.
Modern Day Minimalism DefinedAt its core, minimalism is all about intentionality. This approach encourages us to seek a purposeful life beyond possessions, fads, and the consumerism that defines so much of culture. Through minimalism, we consider who we are apart from our things. Many people find such thoughts enormously freeing. We let go of competition with others and any other external, imposed ideas of who we should be, what we should have, and what we should do. Most importantly, minimalism is not an all-or-nothing, one-size-fits-all philosophy. As individuals, we are encouraged to decide what matters most to us and leave the rest. Some of what we leave behind will inevitably be possessions we thought we should have but eventually realize we don't want or need.
How Minimalism Impacts HealthEmbracing minimalism does more than just help us free up space at the back of the closet. We can realize real and lasting health benefits when we dare to pare down and live with intention. Minimalism helps us:
- Avoid the high cost of clutter. Physically decluttering our lives can help us mentally declutter, leaving us with space for clearer perspectives. As a result, we feel less stressed and anxious.
- Create healthier homes in which to live. Clearing out and cleaning up means we will be breathing air free of dust and other allergens.
- Save money as we more thoughtfully consider purchases. Prioritizing spending helps minimalists more quickly achieve long-term financial goals.
- Live freer, more intentional lives. This includes learning to say no to elements of life that don't align with our interior values, a freeing process in and of itself.