Minimalism Meaning, Myths and Benefits | Divya Toshniwal |

Hoardings on the street, Television, Social Media, Websites, Email Subscriptions, Magazines and everything that we live around make us realize that we don't have enough to be happy. Everything around us shouts and declares that we need to buy more stuff and spend more money to stay happy. To spend more we need to earn more, to earn more we struggle more, to overcome the stress of the struggle we spend more thinking it will make us happy and thus we realize we need to earn more.

I came across the concept of minimalism around a year ago. In the beginning, I was a bit confused between minimalism and frugal living, but with time it was clear in my mind that both these concepts were very different from each other. 

Before coming to what Minimalism is I would like to talk about what minimalism is not. 

  • Minimalism is not getting rid of everything that you own. It's not about deprivation but about choosing to live with less.
  • Minimalism is not rigid. It does not restrict you to own or disown any particular thing. It is about setting your own boundaries.
  • Minimalism is not frugality. Both lead to saving money but minimalism is much beyond frugal living.
  • Being minimalist does not mean that you cannot have collections or hobbies. Have the things that you love and that add value to your life. it is about removing the excess so that the important can have space.
  • Minimalism is not living in a white and cold uninviting atmosphere. You can have colors, you can have books, you can also have cushions.
  • There is no particular limit on the number of items you own. It doesn't have to be 37 pieces of clothing.
  • Minimalism is not just for single and young or old and retired people. You can still be minimalist if you have a small kid.
If minimalism is nothing about anything above then what is it? The question is simple to answer. Minimalism is getting rid of the chaos to make space for what is important. There are no hard and fast rules that you have to follow to be a minimalist. All you need to do is give importance to what really matters and get rid of the rest creating the chaos in your life. It is not about what you own, but rather why you own it. Minimalism is asking 'why?' before you buy.

Minimalism is not a goal, it is a tool to help you align with your most important values to take up your space and time. Minimalism is a tool that can help you create the life you want and give yourself the freedom to live that life. It’s a tool to help you live intentionally, so you can focus your time, space, energy and attention on what matters most to you.

Benefits of Minimalism:

1. Saves Time:

Time is limited. No matter how rich or poor, how smart or dumb you are, one thing that is common between all individuals is the 24hours that the get in a day. How you spend that time is what will make a difference in your life. When you have 10 different options to choose from you would definitely use and ample amount of your time to decide. hence, minimalism helps you clear that time slots by reducing the number of options and sometimes leaving no options to chose from. 

2. Saves Money: 

When you buy what you need and not what you want, you spend less on wastage. The whole media industry is always inspiring you to buy things telling you the biggest lie on the face of the earth that money can buy happiness. No, it cannot. Money can buy you comfort but after that initial level of comfort is reached the obsession with money should end. There is enough on earth for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed. Minimalism makes you realize what you actually need and helps you eliminate the extras in your life. Minimalism isn't cheap, it is about spending on what matters and creating experiences rather than things.

3.Gives Peace Of Mind :

When you have a lot of possessions, you are also scared to lose them at some point in time. You start living a life where you think that you would not be able to go on without certain things. You keep increasing your ' bare minimum requirement' with every paycheck you receive. Fear of losing everything also becomes more prominent. Minimalism helps you bring down that 'bare minimum Requirement' and thus helps you eliminate the fear of losing your possessions to a great extent. It gives you peace of mind and you know that collecting moments is more important than collecting things.

4.Keeps You Grounded:

It is very easy to lose path when you are surrounded by glamour and luxury and maximalism. It is very easy to be engrossed in yourself and your possessions so much so that you lose the true purpose of your being. Your possessions become your pride and you make many enemies on this road too. Minimalism keeps you grounded and away from materialism. It clears the way for you to find the true purpose of your life and lets you indulge in experiences and things that you truly love.

5. You Have More Freedom: 

More stuff means more maintenance. More stuff means more bondage. More stuff means more debt. So when you accept minimalism as a lifestyle you don't have to worry about the maintenance of your stuff, you have more spacial freedom to move around and you have more financial freedom with less debt. The best part, however, is your house is always ready for guests as the chaos is already out of your house.
6.Encourages Gratitude:

When we are used to having a lot of stuff we do not generally appreciate what we already have. When we own less we tend to understand the importance of each article in our life and we are more grateful for having them.

7. Less Stress:

Studies have shown that too much clutter impacts our psychology and raises our stress levels. Having a clear space helps us have a clear mind and thus reduces the stress levels too. With a reduction in stress levels, we are mentally healthy and more productive. So accepting the minimalism lifestyle also increases your efficiency and productivity.
There are innumerable benefits of a minimalist lifestyle, but the ones listed above clearly stand out for me. Owning less is always better than organizing more because I am not an organized person at all. So minimalism came as a blessing for me where I don't have much stuff and thus I don't need to organize too.

Over time I realized hat the worthless desires that I used to have earlier have also gone down now.
Desiring less is even more valuable than having less. I don't deprive myself of anything but I have started doing just one little thing to help myself be on track and not buy unnecessary stuff. Whenever I want to but something I ask myself thrice " Are you sure you need it and you want to buy it NOW?" If after the third time my answer is still 'Yes' I go ahead and buy it. But mostly I do not need to ask myself for the third time.

And against the rules of grammar but seriously true in a minimalist lifestyle

The Opposite Of More Is Not Less, It Is Enough

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Do you feel your cupboard is filled with dresses but u still don't have anything to wear? Do you feel your homes filled with so much furniture that you cannot walk freely? Do you feel you have so much work to do and no time at all? Do you misplace your stuff and it takes hours to find them? Then take a pause to read this book and know the miracles that minimalism can do to your life.
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