inspiring focus, simplicity, and purpose

Freedom and Happiness with Minimalism


What are some of the best things about minimalism? Freedom and happiness. 


Since minimalism is all about taking away all the excess in your life, the first thing you'll notice upon applying it is you will have more time. 

Time to do the things you love to do with the people that you love to be with.

Freedom

An abundance of time in our modern society is extraordinary and is equal to freedom. 

Freedom from what?

Freedom from a life of busyness, confusion, and franticness. 

Freedom from expectations, labeling, and judgment. 

Freedom from the rat race that has engulfed every young professional these days.

Freedom from working just to be able to afford unnecessary material possessions and bad habits or vices that do not bring true and lasting happiness but are in fact detrimental in the long run.

What brings happiness is not all these material stuff. 

Happiness does not come from a certain status in life, as busyness is always associated with status. 

You have heard many times that “you don’t need things to make you happy.”

What really makes you happy is freedom.

The Problem of Stuff

The first reaction when people hear about minimalism is that “how can someone be happier with less stuff?” 

It is this wrong perspective on stuff that is actually the culprit for our society’s growing unhappiness and depression.

Most people equate happiness with stuff. Many believe
 that the more you possess the happier you'll get.

That is why many people own two or three mobile phones even if they can perfectly live with only one. 

That is why when there are special occasions (like birthdays, weddings, or Christmas) the first type of gift that comes to mind is a material present. 

Whether we acknowledge it or not, modern society’s obsession with materialism and consumerism has become unhealthy.

For most people, when they are depressed, inconvenient, bored, or wanted to express love and affection, the top solution that comes in mind is to buy stuff. 

This results in overconsumption that leads to possessing lots of stuff. 

And all these stuff comes with a lot of costs – freedom being one of them.

Aesthetic Stress

When there's plenty of stuff around – stuff that is not needed, left hanging in closets, unused, and unliked – it creates a lot of clutter in the office and home but does not really give life any meaning at all.

It causes unnecessary stress, as visual aesthetics plays a vital role on the way the brain processes stress. 

That is the reason why we feel relaxed and calm whenever we look at pictures of organized and minimalistic houses in magazines or the internet.

Financial Stress

Not only does stuff gives stress, but it also drains one's finances. 

Why does someone has to be compelled in buying the latest version of a gadget even if the current one is still in perfect condition? 

Why does someone has to buy something that is inessential just to keep up with the Joneses?

Having stuff costs money, time, and effort to maintain, take care, clean, store, and organize. Which is why one has to make careful consideration and become intentional about the things that he or she would really want to keep.

How to attain more Freedom and Happiness through Minimalism

It is not all about stuff. 

Minimalism also questions our lifestyle, the activities we do, and the people we are with.

Minimalism is simplifying life to clear away as much physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and social clutter until you are left with your minimum needs and wants so that what is really important to you will be emphasized. 

When you pursue minimalism, life becomes simpler, more focused, and more satisfying because you only do the things that you enjoy and love the most. 

That gives ultimate freedom and happiness. But how does this happen?

For example, if you pare down all your possessions and schedule to the bare minimum, meaning you only have what you really need every day to survive, and you learn to say no to needless appointments or events, and you let go of people that do not encourage or build you up, then you find the freedom to spend time with your family and the people that you love and to do the things that are most important to you. 

Of course, this results in real happiness.

How to Know Your Essentials: An Experiment

One way of doing this is to pack all your belongings into different boxes and label them accordingly: hygiene, gadgets, magazines, books, decorations, shoes, kitchen utensils, casual clothes, winter clothes, etc. 

As you continue with your daily routine, you can unpack from the boxes the things that you will only actually use.

Most people who did this technique discovered that more than 70% of all their packed things are still inside its boxes after 6 months, and more than 50% after a year. 

This means that there is so much stuff in our lives, in our homes and living areas, that we really don’t need.

Saying "No"

When it comes to activities, the best way to pare it down is by saying no to any endeavor that does not interest you or concern you. 

Saying "no" may seem to be the hardest thing to do because you would naturally not want to offend anyone.

But you have to realize that always saying yes to other people’s requests means saying no to yourself every single time. 

There are proper and polite ways to express a firm no without offending someone, and one way is just by being honest and sincere that you prefer to use your time for something else more important to you.

"Do Not Be Conformed To The Pattern Of This World"

Minimalism allows you to get your life back by not conforming to what the majority is doing. 

Minimalism makes you realize that stuff is not all there is to life and is not the objective of life. 

Minimalism makes you feel happy and content, so when other people offer you more, you will be able to say “Thanks, but I’ll pass.”