Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health

Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

Living with Intention: How Minimalism Enhances Mental Clarity and Contentment

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With so much alarming research emerging about the state of mental health and well-being in the U.S., it’s no wonder so many people are prioritizing nurturing mental health and well-being more attentively. 

A healthy mind and emotional state is the key to being more productive, happier, at peace, and able to make decisions with a clear head and heart. Unlocking mental clarity and contentment is easier said than done. But a shift to a minimalist lifestyle could fast-track your transformation. 

Keep reading to learn what minimalism is, how it can impact your health and life, and what to do to incorporate minimalist practices into your every day should you decide the benefits are worth it. 

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism isn’t at all about the things people say you can’t have or have to get rid of to be a minimalist. It’s a way to make room for the important things in life by filtering out items of excess. 

Moreover, its foundation is to live more intentionally. Specific practices are meant to help you detach from your reliance on material possessions and find meaning and happiness within yourself and the simple things around you. 

What Can Adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle Do for You?

Living with intention requires you to make every decision carefully; mindful of how it will affect you and the people around you. You’ll ensure your choices are positive and lead to productive life outcomes. 

According to a study on materialism and quality of life, materialism can result in greater dissatisfaction with your living standard than if you weren’t driven by material possessions. If you engage in minimalism, you’ll become less attached to things and more connected to yourself, ultimately improving your overall satisfaction and quality of your life.  

Changing your lifestyle can also lead to reduced stress and increased mental clarity. You feel a sense of relief when you’re physically in a less cluttered place. Your mood and energy are better when your environment is more organized and only inclusive of meaningful possessions. 

Embracing a minimalist lifestyle can do a lot for you, so long as you implement best practices consistently. 

How To Incorporate Minimalist Practices into Your Life 

You want to focus on the essential things in life and eliminate the unnecessary ones. The concept sounds so simple. However, because there are many different directions you can go with a minimalist lifestyle, taking the first step can be a bit confusing. 

Take these practical steps to welcome minimalism into your life without it being complex and overwhelming. 

Start With a Decluttering Session

A decluttering session is a good way to start your minimalist journey. Getting organized and rid of items you don’t need is a freeing experience. It can also signify that you’re taking back control of your life and living more intentionally. 

Start small, whether that’s one room or one drawer. Have one box for items you will keep, another for items you’re throwing away, and a last one for items you want to donate. You can make decluttering a daily practice by taking it one room or drawer at a time until you’re finished with your entire home, however long that takes. 

Every week or every other week, you can take your donation box to organizations or stores that can use the items to help others, such as: 

  • Salvation Army;
  • Habitat for Humanity ReStore;
  • Toys for Tots;
  • American Red Cross;
  • Planet Aid.

As you declutter, don’t feel like you have to get rid of everything. Just make sure your decisions about what to keep are intentional and mindful. 

For example, you want to adopt a minimalist lifestyle but you’re into collectibles. Every collectible purchase, whether coins, toys, cars, or something else, needs to be mulled over in detail. It should be a specific piece for a specific space or part of your collection. 

You’ll also want to ensure you can keep the collectible safe, storing, cleaning, and displaying it properly. If you can’t, it’s best not to buy until you can. 

Slowly but surely declutter your home and make mindful choices about what to keep and purchase moving forward. 

Set Daily Goals for Minimalist Practices

Minimalism is much more likely to become a part of your daily life when you set goals. Specifically, you’ll want to find ways to integrate minimalist practices into your daily routine.  

First, write down a minimalist practice you want to use throughout the day. This could be:

  • Not spending any money on wants; 
  • Saying no to anything that doesn’t serve you; 
  • Putting things back where they belong;
  • Spending time in your clutter-free zone;
  • Throwing away outdated food and other expired products;
  • Getting rid of something old if you get something new.

Make it a daily habit to set a goal for how you’ll incorporate minimalism into the day.  

Challenge Your Thoughts 

Successfully adopting a minimalist lifestyle requires you to change your mind as much as your habits. You need to be mentally on board with decluttering your life and living more intentionally.

This can be difficult if you’ve attached a lot of meaning to material things and rely on them for happiness. If this is the case, it will take time to retrain your mind to find happiness on the inside rather than in the external world. It will also take time to make mindful decisions consistently. 

You can start developing a minimalist mindset by challenging your thoughts throughout the day. For example, when you find yourself ready to buy something you don’t need, ask yourself why rather than succumbing to the impulse buy. When you’re seeking happiness from another person, challenge yourself to find a way to find it in you. 

Minimalism looks different for everyone. Wrap it around who you are. Also, consider what you want for your future so that you actually sustain minimalist practices and unlock the benefits of this lifestyle.