Time for Spring Cleaning

“What minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff-- the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities-- that don’t bring value to your life." 

Spring is officially sprung. For many of us, this presents the perfect chance to do some deep spring cleaning in our homes and office spaces.

Spring is also the perfect opportunity to begin living a minimalistic lifestyle.

What is minimalism anyway? With the minimalist movement in full swing, it seems like we are hearing more and more about this trending ‘buzzword’. Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom and relieving stress. Research is continually showing us that living this sort of simplistic, wholesome lifestyle can significantly contribute to overall positive mental health.

Many people attribute minimalism to owning less stuff. This is not solely the case. Minimalism is about making room for things that truly matter to our internal happiness.

We all know the age-old saying that money cannot buy happiness. In the 1970’s, P. Brickman conducted a large study which investigated the level of happiness of people who had reached their financial ‘dreams’. He found that those who had won millions on the lottery were no happier than his control group who meet their basic financial needs.

Minimalism attempts to take out the addictive cycle of buying and owning more stuff that adds no sentiment or meaning to our daily lives. In fact, owning more things adds a whole new dimension of stress. Let’s say you purchased a new shirt at the store last week. This shirt means one more shirt to wash. One more shirt to fold. One more shirt to decide against wearing in the morning. Is the shirt worth it? It might be, but in many cases it is not.

One of the most powerful explanations of minimalism comes from Joshua Fields Millburn, who along with Ryan Nicodemus, has been practicing and lecturing on minimalism for many years.

“Minimalism is a tool I use to get rid of unnecessary stuff and live a meaningful life-- a life filled with happiness, freedom, and conscious awareness. Because I strip away life’s excess, I’m able to focus on the important parts of life: health, relationships, passions, growth, and contribution.”

Objects aren’t the only thing we can declutter through a minimalistic lifestyle. We can also toss feelings and thoughts to the side, such as gossip, anger, busyness, low self-esteem, and stress.

Minimization is not a cure all for infinite happiness. However, it can be viewed as a tool to gain control and limit daily stress. Just remember: “if it doesn’t add anything to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life”.

Written by Jamie Gurgul, PR & Events Coordinator

Adapted from:
http://www.theminimalists.com/scientific/
http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/how-minimalism-can-improve-mental-health