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Why Live a Minimalist Lifestyle: 4 Compelling Reasons
In this day and age of maximum stuff acquisition and complicated relationships (it has become so common that “It’s Complicated” is one of the most prevalent relationship statuses on Facebook), living simply may feel counter-intuitive. But what does it mean, really? What is minimalism and why live a minimalist lifestyle, you may ask. The answers are equally simple: first, minimalism is to live with only the bare necessities possible; and second, to live a happy, contented life. If you still doubt that, the following are some of the most compelling reasons why a minimalist lifestyle can be the key to greater happiness.
1. Simple finances mean minimal worries
Back in the now-distant, halcyon days before credit cards came to grab hold of our purses, people made their purchases using cash and that was it. There was no outstanding debt that constantly hounded them, no monthly bill that tended to shoot up the blood pressure a bit. Credit cards make you believe that there is no limit to your spending urges—anything you want to buy, you can have it, regardless of whether or not you can actually pay it back immediately. To live simply by spending within your means is one of the foremost answers to why live a minimalist lifestyle. And the first solid step to do so is canceling all your credit cards and critically reconsidering all your current spending habits. Buy only what you need, with the money that you actually have. It’s that simple.
2. Understanding that technology should be used with the right limitations
Technology is not the enemy per se. In fact, many of the modern conveniences that surround us today were first invented or designed to make things simpler. Email was invented to make communication between two or more people become faster, much simpler and without much environmental footprint (you don’t waste so much paper). Facebook and other social networking sites were created to simplify or make it easier for people to stay in touch with one another and form new connections. But when you tend to check your friends’ status messages on Facebook every three minutes, or when you heavily use email to waste time discussing about useless things, then you’re making these technologies work against you. So the next time you’re asking why live a minimalist lifestyle, try to remember how empty you feel at the end of a day of non-accomplishment after wasting all that time misusing technology.
3. Living simply can help save our environment
There is a book called ‘The Story of Stuff’ that discusses how our mass consumption and waste-oriented culture has been producing thousands of tons of garbage everyday. If there’s a more compelling answer to the matter of why live a minimalist lifestyle than saving our planet and the environment for the sake of our children and our children’s children, then we couldn’t come up with one. Because this is it. The only planet that is home to everyone we know is slowly dying because we couldn’t stop buying and consuming and producing things we don’t need.
4. Minimalism enables you to meditate on the joys of life
Without all the usual clutter of modern living, you can engage in deeper meditation. Without all the distractions, regular meditation becomes an easy habit, something you can integrate into your daily schedule. After you have freed yourself from so many non-necessities, you can focus more on the things that matter, and regular meditation can reinforce your wisdom and powers of discernment. Set aside a few minutes each day in enjoying a quiet spot in your home, breathe deeply and slowly, and just focus on your breathing, while filling your head with positive thoughts of success and contentment and happiness.