Minimalists often share these 8 habits that promote happiness

There’s a clear distinction between living with less and simply having less.

The difference is all about intention. Having less might not be a choice, while living with less is a conscious decision to simplify and declutter.

This minimalist lifestyle, as it turns out, tends to promote happiness. And as someone who has tried and tested this lifestyle, I can tell you that there are certain habits that make the journey to happiness a lot easier.

Let’s dive into the 8 habits that minimalists often share, habits that lead to a more contented, happier life.

1) Embracing simplicity

Life can be complicated, often more than we’d like.

But as a minimalist, I’ve found that embracing simplicity helps smooth out some of those complications.

Think about it. The less clutter there is in your home, the less time you spend on cleaning and organizing. The fewer commitments you have, the less you feel overwhelmed.

Simplicity isn’t about having less for the sake of it. It’s about making room for what truly matters.

When we simplify our lives, we’re making a conscious decision to focus on the things that bring us joy and happiness, and discarding those that don’t.

It’s a liberating habit that promotes happiness and one that many minimalists share. But remember – it’s a journey, not a destination. So, take your time and enjoy the process.

2) Intentional purchasing

As a minimalist, one habit I’ve adopted is being more intentional with my purchases.

I used to be an impulsive buyer – if I saw something I liked, I bought it, often without thinking about whether I really needed it or not. But, over time, this led to clutter and stress.

When I started my minimalist journey, I made a decision to only buy what I truly needed or what would add significant value to my life.

For example, instead of buying a new book every time one caught my eye, I started using my local library. Not only did this save me money, but it also saved space in my home and reduced waste.

Being intentional with purchases is about mindful consumption. It’s about considering the impact of your buying habits on your life and the world around you. It’s a habit that takes time to cultivate, but once you do, it can lead to greater happiness and contentment.

3) Digital decluttering

We often associate minimalism with physical possessions, but it extends to our digital lives as well.

Our screens are cluttered with apps, notifications, and endless feeds, causing stress and distraction.

A study from the University of California, Irvine found that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to a task after an interruption. Now think about how many times a day your work is interrupted by a notification on your phone or computer.

Digital decluttering is about reducing these digital distractions to focus on what truly matters. It’s about creating a digital environment that supports your goals and contributes to your happiness.

This might mean unsubscribing from unnecessary emails, deleting unused apps, or setting boundaries for social media use. Whatever it looks like for you, digital decluttering can make a big difference in your overall wellbeing.

4) Conscious relationships

Minimalism isn’t just about things, it’s also about people. We’re often unaware of how much energy we spend on relationships that don’t add value to our lives.

As a minimalist, I’ve found happiness in focusing on relationships that are meaningful and positive. This might mean spending less time with people who drain my energy and more time with those who inspire, support, and uplift me.

Conscious relationships are not about cutting people out of your life ruthlessly. It’s about making sure the relationships you do invest in are beneficial to your wellbeing and happiness.

Remember, it’s quality over quantity when it comes to relationships. And sometimes, less really is more.

5) Valuing experiences over possessions

One of the most profound shifts I’ve experienced on my minimalist journey is realizing the value of experiences over possessions.

There’s a certain euphoria that comes with buying new things. But it fades quickly. Before we know it, we’re onto the next thing, trying to recapture that fleeting feeling.

But the joy derived from experiences – a heartwarming conversation, a breathtaking sunset, a shared meal with loved ones – that joy is enduring. It doesn’t fade with time. Instead, it deepens, becoming a part of our story, our identity.

The habit of valuing experiences over possessions is a powerful promoter of happiness. It nurtures our connections with others and with the world around us, fostering a sense of belonging and contentment that material possessions simply can’t offer.

So next time you’re tempted to buy something new, ask yourself: Could this money be better spent on an experience? You might be surprised by the answer.

6) Practicing gratitude

In the rush of daily life, it’s easy to overlook the many blessings we have. I’ve been guilty of this myself. My minimalist journey, however, has taught me the importance of practicing gratitude.

There was a time when I was always striving for more – more possessions, more success, more validation. But no matter how much I acquired, it never seemed enough. It felt like happiness was always just out of reach.

When I started practicing gratitude, my perspective shifted. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t have, I began appreciating what I did have. From the simple pleasure of a warm cup of coffee in the morning to the love and support of my family, my life was full of things to be grateful for.

This shift towards gratitude has brought a profound sense of contentment and happiness into my life. It’s a habit that’s not always easy to maintain, especially during challenging times, but it’s one that’s worth cultivating.

7) Mindful living

Minimalism isn’t just about decluttering your space, it’s also about decluttering your mind.

For me, this has meant adopting a more mindful approach to life. This involves being fully present in the moment, instead of being lost in thoughts about the past or worries about the future.

Whether it’s savouring a meal, listening attentively to a friend, or simply enjoying the sensation of a cool breeze on my face, mindfulness allows me to appreciate life more fully.

By focusing on the present, I’ve found that I worry less, enjoy more, and feel a greater sense of peace and happiness. It’s a habit that takes practice, but the benefits are well worth the effort.

8) Prioritizing self-care

Above all, minimalism has taught me the importance of prioritizing self-care.

In a world that often demands we put others before ourselves, it’s easy to neglect our own needs. But self-care isn’t selfish – it’s essential.

From taking time each day to do something I love, to ensuring I get enough sleep, I’ve found that caring for myself boosts my mood and energy levels.

Remember, we can’t pour from an empty cup. Taking care of ourselves allows us to show up as our best selves in every area of our lives. It’s the foundation of a happy, fulfilling life.

Final reflection: It’s about the journey

The beauty of minimalism lies in its flexibility. It’s not a rigid set of rules, but a lifestyle choice that adapts to individual needs and circumstances.

Each of us can shape our minimalist journey in a way that brings us the most happiness. Whether that means decluttering your home, spending more time in nature, or simply being more mindful in your daily activities, the choice is yours.

Remember, minimalism isn’t about deprivation. It’s about making space for what truly matters – experiences, relationships, and personal growth.

As Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, famously known as The Minimalists, put it, “Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”

Adopting these habits won’t necessarily turn you into a minimalist overnight. But they can certainly nudge you towards a simpler, more mindful lifestyle that promotes happiness.

At the end of the day, it’s about the journey, not the destination. So take the first step, embrace the process, and see where the path of minimalism leads you.

Picture of Graeme

Graeme

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