How minimalism can make your life better: a brief guide to happiness

I’d like to invite you to imagine a life without.

Your life but less.

A lighter life, where you reach within instead of reaching out.

What’s your vice?

Food? Drink? Clothes? Things? People?

We all have something we reach for when we feel unhappy. We don’t want sadness to settle in, so we give it a pacifier.

Pacifying unhappiness doesn’t fix us or elevate the sadness we feel, but we read what we need in what we lack. When we consume we assume our pain will decrease, or our mood will be lifted.

Minimalism teaches us that clarity and mental health can be gained from freeing ourselves from the pressure of things.

Even as I write this, I’m trying to practice my own contribution, with a little more care for the economy of words.

Isn’t it easier to read this?

Decluttering can happen at any level of your life, whether it is in the words you choose to say, or by giving away the clothes you haven’t worn for a year or more.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to give up all your worldly possessions to be considered a minimalist. Minimalism is about making life-choices that are driven by utility, rather than excess.

When you embrace a minimalist lifestyle, you look to free your time, not fill it. In your free time, you can pursue the things you actually want to commit to, and this is real liberty.

The things we consume cannot address internal feelings if the things we introduce into our lives contribute to white noise.

Remember Fight Club? A classic ode to less.

Chuck Palahniuk said “The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.”

Whilst you don’t need to adopt a militant approach to minimalism, Chuck’s idea isn’t so far off the minimalist proposition.

The more we accumulate things, the greater our fear of losing it all. If you let go of your attachment to things, you have very little left to fear.

Trying to solve your pain with things creates a false economy that relies on pleasure.

The things we consume create false pleasure that only momentarily satisfies us. When we stop feeding our unhappiness with food, drink or things, we are left open to break this cycle and develop healthy acceptance for the mood we are experiencing.

True pleasure is on-going, sustainable and powered by intention. You don’t have to spike your way through life, dipping from crippling lows to euphoric highs. Minimalism simply asks you to consider what you need and address it with presence of mind.

In short; when you embrace minimalism, you step out of the consumer mindset and let go of the insatiable want.

Seeking pleasure in food, drink, clothes or things, means you are always addressing LACK with ESCAPE.

Think about it.

You don’t even really want half the things you consume, but you think that by consuming X, you will somehow get rid of Y.

But…

If you can reclaim your life from things, then you free up space, and space naturally creates peace and clarity.

So the biggest takeaway from this small contribution to minimalism is the idea that we can all in some way, benefit from a life of less.

The single greatest barrier to our personal happiness is the moreness we face when we feel sad.

We crave moreness, and it is this insatiable hunger that leaves us feeling empty inside.

Our society teaches that when you are feeling down, buying clothes can lift you up. And if you are feeling sad, food can make you feel good. And if you are heartbroken, a drink can heal your pain.

Did you know that you can be unhappy and fine at the same time?

This isn’t a secret that the world has hidden from you, this knowledge is yours and all you need to do is take it. Happiness begins when we can free ourselves from things, and make peace with ourselves as people WITHOUT.

The space you occupy once you have gotten rid of the heavy weight of excess is a space you will comfortably live in. All you need to do is believe it, and this begins with making decisions that reflect intention, awareness, and utility.

Remember, start small.

Declutter your life.

Do you need the things you have? Do they serve you? Do they add value?

If the answer is no, try something new, try reaching in instead of reaching out. Try to let go.

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Nadia Amer

Copywriter & Bo̶n̶e̶ Story Collector | Roam here for the BBQ version of me. Lots of raw bits, burning pain, and meaty memories | Hire me at imnadiaamer.com