Is minimalism the new happiness trend?

less is more sign

I have enjoyed reading books and watching documentaries and Tv series about minimalism in the last two years. Being a minimalist is something that has become more popular in recent years. People are tired of materialism and consumerism and intentionally decide to live with less.

Simplicity can spread into all aspects of life, from how we live, buy, consume, and minimize stuff. It can also translate to redirecting your priorities like being grateful for what you have.

As I’m always looking to recommend mindful habits to improve mental balance, resilience, and happiness, I decided to investigate this minimalist trend. 

Is minimalism the new happiness trend?

Let’s begin with the brain and how it adapts

Our brain tends to quickly get used to things you do, and buy. because it adapts, it has to be on the lookout for more excitement. If you are holding on to the idea when you buy a house, a car, or a new designer bag, you are going to be happier, your joy will pass sooner than you think. Your brain will get a high and feel good when you acquire the item, but it will wear off. 

.The repetitive behavior of buying keeps you wanting more, and in the end, it won’t give you the satisfaction and joy you expect. The desire to keep buying won’t stop as your brain goes into hedonic adaptation, and the high will pass. If our brain adapts to material things, would it be better to spend our time doing something that provides long-term happiness?

One antidote to consumerist addiction is to reduce consumption. When you consume less, you will stop feeding the faulty happiness trap to focus on the real things that bring true happiness.

Be a happy minimalist

Love life, not stuff

How we spend our money can influence how happy we feel about ourselves and increase life satisfaction. So, if you are buying less, what do you with your money. Well, if you are in debt, that is a great option to spend your money. Eliminate your credit cards and only buy what you can afford.

If you have some money to spare, some things can you do that will increase your happiness. Here are some proven ways to do it:

Buy experiences

Spending your money on experiences is proven to enrich your life with activities that will give longer satisfaction and work to build sustainable blender happiness. When you go on a weekend away, you create memories that you can treasure, recall, and feel grateful for. 

Treasure the moments

Value the simple things in life. Observe and notice the special moments that happen to you daily and be grateful for them. Treasure the simple pleasures of enjoying the mundane and make them extraordinary.

Snap those special moments and get into photography. When you take photos and talk about the positive experiences, you reconnect with those memories and build more positive emotions. With more positive emotions and adding a dash of gratitude, you will squeeze out more happiness. This happiness from grateful experiences will stay with you longer than buying something that will quickly wear out the excitement.

Spend more money and time in relationships

If you have less stuff, there is less to maintain, clean, and upkeep. That gives you more time to spend on other things. Having less allows more hours of your life to shift to doing things that add more value and happiness. You can also create more space in your home to highlight the thongs you love and display them better. You can have more room to showcase pictures of that great party that your family for your grandparent’s anniversary. Maybe you can showcase that beautiful art hat your kids made on a frame, and there is no clutter in the living room and on the tables. 

Also, consider spending your time nurturing your relationships, Adding more family outings, walks, and movie nights with the people you love and disport you.

Less stuff, more mindfulness

I once had a friend that she was feeling very stressed and overwhelmed after a divorce. She was very interested in starting a meditation practice and wanted my advice. One day she invited me to look at her bedroom to show me an area she created inside her bedroom to meditate. 

Her room was very cluttered; there was barely any room to walk around the bed. There were boxes everywhere. Her desk had piles of stuff that covered the whole top surface. The floor was full of boxes of clothes, albums, and other things that she thought of clearing. 

As she asked my advice to set up a meditation area in her room, I took the opportunity to advise her about her room. I talked to her about decluttering and the importance of a calm space for meditation. Her meditation space was not going to be her relaxing space if it felts like chaos in the room. 

Her bedroom was reflecting on her mental chaos. Clearing the space was the first step to creating a better meditation space. Also, clearing her room from clutter will give a space to sleep better and create a more calm environment to begin and end every day.  

Having less clutter around you will help you and anyone focus and concentrate on the things that matter the most. For my friend, it had a positive influence to let go of physical and mental clutter. Less clutter meant fewer distractions. My friend was able to sit more consistently for her daily meditations with a tidier room.

One quote

“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.” 

-Dalai Lama

One question

How can you apply more simplicity to your life and create more happiness?

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