Most of us spend our entire lives chasing a paycheck. We go to college so we can get a better job and then spend long hours late at work trying to climb that corporate ladder. The rat race can quickly lead to burn out, frustration, and even health issues. One thing it seldom leads to—enough money to be happy.
The simple truth of finances is that our desires often grow to meet our income level. Where we once might have been delighted to own any car that could roll without being pushed, suddenly only a BMW or Mercedes will do. This can quickly escalate out of control with nicer homes and bigger electronics until we’re consuming more money than we actually have.
This is so common it is almost the norm in today’s world, but it shouldn’t be. Some people are bucking the trend, by getting rid of their possessions and choosing to live with a few items as possible. This concept, called “Minimalism” has been around for thousands of years, but has only recently become popular again in today’s somewhat materialistic world.
With less stuff, you are free to live your life more fully. The age-old adage, “Life is Short” isn’t quite true according to minimalists. It’s only that we waste much of our time. By getting rid of the things that hold us back, we are free to take that vacation, drink a cup of coffee, watching the sunrise, or connect with friends. These changes can be very good for our mental health.
Surprisingly, decluttering our homes is also good for our emotional state in other ways. Studies show that working in a cluttered environment is a lot like multi-tasking. Part of your mind is devoted to paying attention to those items at all times, and when you are trying to work it can take away from what you are doing.
Minimalism is not about getting rid of everything you own or living in poverty. It is about stripping away all of the things in life that are holding you back. If your passion is music and you play the guitar every day, the guitar stays. If you purchased it on a whim and haven’t used it in 5 years, it goes. Some minimalists choose to live with nothing more than a bed and a change of clothing, while others live lives much like ours—just with fewer things.
If you find yourself surrounded by clutter and wishing for a way out, minimalism may be worth a try. By saying no to new items without taking the time to think about the purchase, you’ll be free to live in the moment and build memories that matter. Reduced spending will also give you more money to spend on experiences—one of the few things that really seem to matter in life.
Regardless of how you feel about items, minimalism could be worth a try for you. Condensing what you own may change how you feel about the world, and reduce your stress in a number of ways.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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