Minimalism: A new way of life?

All of the labels of minimalism are pinned to art, fashion, classical music and less so to anything actually truly meaningful in our everyday lives. But if we approach Minimalism as a way of life, it can create some surprising and delightful opportunities. Possessing less is a key way to unlocking a happiness which is often overlooked by young people in favour of a world obsessed with purchasing and consuming goods, and shaping our desires. Whilst what we need and want is constantly shifting (I neeeeed the new iPhone!), we find ourselves cautiously holding on to material things, placing more value on consumption rather than our freedom and care for other people. 

“Many possessions tend to tie one down mentally and physically – seeing too much permanence in inanimate objects rather than being aware of the vitality of the outside world of nature.” - Jason Edwards.

Emptiness may occur when we control the choices available to us on a daily basis, in an impulsive way. How many times have you returned from a shopping trip to find that, in actual fact, you didn’t need those cool pair of pants, nor that £200 tablet that was drilled into you as being awesome when in actual fact, it works like a bigger smartphone. De-familiarising is the first step in minimising your buying, and grasping the idea of minimalism as a way of life could help you to succeed as a student, in your social life, or for your general happiness, by spending more time effort and money on the things that matter!

There is constantly an increased need for things. Material things that we don’t need. Things that are seen as necessities which are really not. So what can we expect if we free ourselves from this market slavery and mass consumption?

Deciding to live with less:

1) Fewer choices are freeing

How much time and mental effort do you spend choosing what shoes to wear, what films to watch, what food to cook? Choice is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is often overvalued, especially related to things that aren’t aligned with what’s really important in our lives - things like relationships, health and studying.

2) Sometimes you will not be prepared…and that’s okay

You’ve heard the saying, ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail,’ but perhaps we’ve taken this to the extremes. Often those times when we act spontaneously without preparation are the best times.

3) Sometimes you will not be ‘on trend’…and that’s okay

As catastrophic as it may seem, you will live if you don’t upgrade to the new iPhone which functions exactly like the 5 previous iPhone generations, however, doesn't quite have the photo quality that will help you to further your life goals of being a famous Instagram photographer. You may also live another day if you don’t own the latest trends. Upcycling and recycling old clothing rather than buying more is a true minimalist way to saving money. 

4) If you have fewer things, make them good

Placing importance on quality and not the quantity of items you have in that small cramped student bedroom can make your space seem infinite.

5) Budgeting

Of course, most students are on tight budgets and this minimalist way of life is a perfect way to implement those budgeting targets. Some ways of focusing on the true necessities, such as good quality food, can be helped by selling unwanted, hoarded possessions or cutting the amount of money spent on clothing on shopping trips.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication 

- Leonardo Da Vinci

For more ways to become less materialistic and to learn more about how to become more minimalist, visit this fantastic blog




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