Why I'm a Minimalist
Research published in the International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology in 2020 found that minimalists report various benefits to their well-being. These include a greater sense of autonomy and competence, feeling more in control over their environment and themselves, having more mental peace and awareness, and positive emotions such as joy and gratitude.
In contrast, the study reports that a lot of research shows that materialism and consumerism are associated with negative outcomes such as higher levels of stress and dissatisfaction with life, along with more debt and all of the problems associated with that. Research has also shown a connection between materialism and a lack of concern about the environment.
If you're interested in minimalism, these conclusions probably don't surprise you. You may have discovered the benefits of choosing to live with less for yourself.
But it's always nice to get "official confirmation" that you're on the right track. In my opinion, minimalism is the way the world needs to go. It's better for us, for the environment, and for the other 7.9 billion people who share our planet.
Occasionally I'm asked about why I'm a minimalist, and these are some of the answers I give.
6 Reasons to Become Minimalist
1. I want to be satisfied.
I grew up with a mother who was never satisfied. Maybe it was because of her childhood during the Depression and World War II, but whatever the reason she always wanted a better car, a bigger house, trendier clothes, a more enviable vacation. My dad worked 60-70 hours a week to make it happen, and still she was never satisfied for long.
I choose to be satisfied with what I have. As long as my family's needs are met, I'm grateful for any extras, and I don't want to chase after more.
2. I want to feel secure.
My husband and I have been in debt, and we've been out of debt, and it's easy to say which state I prefer. There is no security like that of being debt-free.
3. I want to be generous.
Minimalists tend to spend less than they earn because they're not trying to buy their way to satisfaction. Spending less means it's possible to save and give more. I love feeling that I have money to spare so I can bless someone else. To me, having room in my budget for generosity is the ultimate wealth.
4. I want to have time.
Owning less (and living in a smaller home) means I can keep my house clean and still have fewer chores every evening and weekend. Shopping less saves money, but it also saves time and energy for other things. Minimalism gives me more time to pursue interests, hobbies, relationships, and new opportunities.
5. I want to understand myself.
Minimalism requires me to make choices, and to do that I need to understand what matters to me. Years ago, minimalism made me question assumptions I had made about my goals and purpose; in fact, it became clear that some goals, such as home ownership and the career I thought I wanted, might possibly divert me from my real calling. This isn't true for everyone, but it was true for me. Minimalism helped me uncover the real me.
6. I want to feel blessed.
Of course we all have goals and aspirations, but those need to be tempered by a constant awareness of the belongings, opportunities, and relationships we already have. Paying attention to simple pleasures lets me enjoy life every day, rather than always wishing for the next big event, accomplishment, or purchase.
As you can see, I really want a lot out of life. Minimalism makes it all possible.
Want more? 5 Reasons to Simplify Your Life
Photo by Clever Visuals on Unsplash