Minimalism means living with less and reduces distractions in all areas of life to gain more freedom. This lifestyle allows you to live more deliberately, reach your full potential, satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy.
It is not only about decluttering material possession but finding the right approach to things and experiences. Understanding this is vital to enjoy the benefits of simplicity.
The minimalist mindset means to know your values and align your life according to them. It is a long-term and sustainable way of thinking. Not only about your relationship with physical stuff and clutter but also about any external and internal stressors that keep showing up throughout your lifetime. Being aware of this and shaping your mind aligned with your values helps you make healthy decisions in any given situation.
In this post, I want to help you with simple steps to cultivate a powerful minimalist mindset on the road to simplicity.
IN THIS POST
The True Meaning Of Minimalism
What is the value of a minimalist lifestyle?
Minimalism is a conscious choice to live with less to make room for more. It is a philosophy that focuses on living a more intentional life with having less physical, mental, and digital clutter. It is identifying the essentials and letting go of the rest.
It teaches us to own things that serve a purpose and add value to our lives. The result is fewer distractions, stress, and waste – and more time, energy, money, and freedom to do whatever you want.
Minimalist Mindset Books
For better understanding, here is a shortlist of the core principles of minimalism:
Living with intentionality and mindfulness
Choosing deliberately to live with less stuff
Getting rid of physical, mental, and digital mess
Living in the present
Taking control over life
Freedom from distractions
Freedom from consumerism
Finding purpose and fulfillment
Being more connected with people
Treasuring the simple things in life
Focusing on owning less rather than decluttering more often
Finding your values and making value-aligned decisions
Cutting unsatisfying and unfulfilling commitments, relationships, and desires
Creating space for what matters most and ditching everything that holds you back from living a satisfying and meaningful life.
New to minimalism and want to get a deeper understanding of its principles? Check out this post
Thinking Like A Minimalist
What does a minimalist mindset even mean, why is it so important, and how can minimalism change your life?
For any plan to work, it is always good to have a solid strategy. It helps so that you don’t give up halfway through when times get tough.
Thinking like a minimalist means to know your values and align your life according to them. It is a long-term and sustainable way of thinking and a practice of shaping your mind aligned with your values. A value-aligned mindset enables you to make the right decisions on your minimalist journey.
There is no minimalist rule book. But some helpful guidelines make the minimalist journey more attainable and enjoyable. After all, this lifestyle looks slightly different for everyone, and that is beautiful. Everyone should be able to design their lives according to their desires.
The steps may not always be easy to follow, but simple and attainable for everyone who wants to escape the consumer mentality and live more with less.
Now let us dive into how to make a minimalist mindset.
Simple Ways To Build A Minimalist Mindset
1. Find Values That Support A Minimalist Mindset
One of the most crucial factors, not only for your minimalist journey but for living a fulfilled life, is to find the values you want to live by. You need them to shape your mind, support your lifestyle, and build a habit of making wise decisions according to them.
Write down what is important to you (on your phone, in your journal, or on a digital note) and acknowledge them every day. You will see that you are creating a path for yourself that nobody else can do as well as you. You know yourself better than anyone else. That is why the answers to how to live a fulfilling life are in your thoughts.
Values to support your minimalist mindset could be:
Peace of mind (mindfulness, self-realization, meditation, sincerity, selflessness)
Love (for myself and others, understanding, sincerity)
Balance (lightness, simplicity, flexibility)
Energy (drive, motivation, strength, health)
Adventure (curiosity, freedom, fearlessness, joy)
Creativity (passion, growth, imagination, talent)
Sustainability (responsibility, intentionality, compassion)
Once you are aware of what we want, you experience clarity. Then following your path gets easier. Try to live a value-aligned life. And if you ever feel anxious or lost, the reason may be that the situation goes against your values. Then you can easily make the right move and get back on track.
2. Ask Yourself Why You Want To Live With Less
By now, you might know numerous benefits of minimalism, but do you always really believe that they are achievable? Having a minimalist mindset is being very clear about why you are on this journey. Every decision gets easier, and self-doubts disappear in no time when you remind yourself of the pillars that support your way of thinking.
Your reasons for living with less could be that you want to reduce stress:
Work stress (working long hours to earn/afford/spend more)
Relationship stress (not having enough time for healthy relationships)
Emotional stress (anxiety, fear, depression, mood swings, isolation, fatigue, frustration, worry)
Mental stress (information overload, decision making, digital, mental, physical clutter)
Spiritual stress (feeling disconnected, feeling that you don’t matter, having no purpose)
Many factors in our fast driven-life adds up to the stress load we experience. We feel worn out and experience less joy. The minimalist way can make a positive change to your stressy life. Note down your intentions with a simple life and keep in mind why and how bad you want it.
In the end, it always comes down to how bad you want to live a minimalist lifestyle. And when you know your “why”, nothing is stopping you from achieving your goals.
3. Focus On What You Have And Not On What You Lack
Buying superfluous stuff is an attempt to feed our greed and also serves as self-medication. We think we need it to reward ourselves for the endless hours we put into earning the money we acquire to purchase them.
You deserve that fancy sports car, that new leather jacket, or that golden watch. Don’t you? However, the shiny facade of consumerism never really delivers what it promises and never satisfies our needs.
A critical step to a minimalist mindset is to focus on the life you already have instead of complaining about what you lack.
Look around you. Your life may be already perfect as it is. Enjoy it and be grateful. Understand the difference between needs and wants, and soon you will realize that you have everything you need.
4. Understand That You Don’t Own Things But They Own You
Once you realize that happiness and fulfillment don’t come from material possessions, you will no longer feel the urge to collect more things. You’ll become an expert in purging unnecessary possessions and detaching sentimentally from your objects.
After all, owning stuff doesn’t only cause stress – it also eats up your time, money, and energy. So if we are honest, we are being enslaved by our things and not the other way round as we would like it to be.
Essential things enhance our life, but aiming for more than you need will only bring only short-term satisfaction, followed by the void of discontent. We all need stuff in our lives, and consuming is not the problem, but consumerism is.
Relieve yourself from the burden of material possessions by accepting that things are just things and that real joy lies in our experiences, relationships, and owning less – fewer things, fewer distractions, and less mess.
Set as a priority to get back control in your life. It will help you get rid of being owned by your things, work, or negative thoughts.
5. Focus On Owning Less Not On Decluttering
When most people think about minimalism, they only think about empty closets and white furniture. But a minimalist mindset is about so much more.
There are far more important questions than what to ditch, what to organize, or how to follow a minimalist aesthetic style. Ask yourself how you want to fill the new space created.
We focus too much on keeping the motivation to declutter stuff when we think of living minimally. Mostly it starts with reducing physical possessions. You immediately see and feel the positive effects of paring down your possessions.
However, at one point, you will have decluttered most of your unnecessary belongings, and what then? Allow things that clutter up your life repeatedly and to start all over again? No!
Better keep the right amount of material things in your life and prevent new clutter to creep in. Intentionally chose what you let in. Otherwise, things will continue to find their way to you, and the dream of having a clutter-free home will get very challenging.
Keep in mind that decluttering causes stress but owning less in the first place reduces it.
6. Invest Only In Things That Fulfill You
One of the most crucial parts of a minimalist mindset is investing your money, time, effort, and attention into material things, relationships, and thoughts that serve a purpose and fulfill you.
Don’t feel guilty to leave everything and keep everything else out. You are the master of your life. It is too precious to let external or internal influences convince you to live another way.
This also means that you direct all your valuable resources to what brings you joy.
Again, note them down and remind yourself time and time again until your mind has shifted and automatically concentrates on what is valuable to you.
And that can be anything. If your passion is going for a walk, do it more often. If you love helping people, do it regularly. You are a travel junkie, then stay that way.
But be sure that what you do makes you feel excited and alive.
7. Choose Simplicity Over Complexity
Simplicity always wins over complexity due to its nature of making everything easier.
On the other side, materialism, consumerism, and striving for more produce many complications that stress and drain us. We are discontented with what we have and search for happiness in stuff, yet we never seem to have enough of anything.
And being enslaved by all the things you think you need and the energy-draining days, you end up exhausted and miserable.
So try not to fill your days with an overdose of work, chores, commitments, and activities. Instead, simplify your calendar and your home. You will immediately experience peace and freedom.
Here is my post on the best minimalist hacks to simplify your life:
8. Make Daily Wise Decisions
Sometimes we feel guilty for not participating in activities and easily say yes to commitments that don’t align with our values, only to please others. However, our resources (time, money, energy) are limited, and we have only so much of them. Therefore it is not wise to fill it up with things we don’t want to do.
Be mindful of your limited resources and learn to say no to things that don’t bring you joy. Make a habit of only committing to things that enhance the quality of your life.
Of course, there will be obligations that are not always fun to execute. We all have them. But try to reduce them, and try not to create new ones.
This applies to all areas of your life: work, free time, and relationships. Intentionality and mindfulness are key to less stress and happiness.
9. Quit Comparing Your Life To Others
One of the biggest challenges in our jealousy and greed-dominated society is facing the comparison game.
There is a saying that you can immediately make yourself feel bad by comparing yourself to others.
In most cases, though, this makes us feel lacking something. We end up miserable, especially when we compare ourselves with people who have more wealth.
There’s a problem with this behavior. We participate in a game that nobody can win. There will always be someone who has more. Even the richest of the richest never stay on the top forever.
Comparing with others (neighbors, co-workers, in social media) consumes your time, thoughts, money and causes discontent, restlessness, anxiety, and despair. So there is absolutely no point in pursuing false desires and fueling the fear of missing out (FOMO).
On the other side, if you are grateful for what you have and focus on living your life with intentionality and mindfulness, you will experience freedom and joy.
Decide on embracing your unique story and situation rather than constantly comparing yourself to others. And you will eventually feel content with who you are and what you have.
10. Spend Your Time With Like-Minded People
Another saying goes that if you spend most of your time with five negative people, you’ll soon be the next one.
It means that you should prioritize spending time with people who lift you. Eliminate your negative in favor of positive relationships.
You are the designer of your life. Don’t let negative influences ruin yours. Minimize useless distractions, concentrate on becoming a better you with like-minded people, and immerse yourself in living more with less.
Also, believe in yourself and always remember that you are the result of your thoughts and daily decisions. You will automatically attract people who share your values and support you on your journey.
11. Go Slow And Start Enjoying A Slower Lifestyle
One of the enormous stressors in our culture is the pressure to pursue more in the shortest time possible. We feel pressured always staying busy, climbing that corporate ladder, committing to so many obligations, and filling our schedules back to back to back.
The trouble is that this speedy lifestyle causes anxiety, depression, and discontent. And it doesn’t mean that we are doing anything productive by doing everything fast. Most of the time, we do numerous things in a day and do nothing valuable.
The solution is slowing down and enjoying a slower lifestyle. Reduce your chores and commitments. Do only things that you love and do them slowly. Put an end to rushing everything and focus on enjoying the very few things that matter to you most.
As for the minimalist journey, don’t rush here either. Nothing worthwhile happens over-night, so think long-term. The minimalist mindset says that you are investing in yourself and your future. Take your time!
12. Treasure The Simple Pleasures In Life
Cultivate the habit of relaxing and reflecting every day. You will realize that it’s the little things in life that bring you joy. The truth is it doesn’t take a lot to be happy, especially when you realize you are lucky to have and to be able to experience these little things.
These simple pleasures come in all different ways, from eating fluffy pancakes to making someone smile. Practicing to be grateful for them can work wonders and help your happiness points add up and to enjoy your life more.
And it feels even more amazing to be able to recognize and relish these simple pleasures as they happen. So the more simple pleasures you find and appreciate in a day, the happier you get.
Here is my list of 123 simple pleasures in life to be grateful for.
13. Have Fun And Enjoy The Journey
Don’t forget to have fun!
Chances are higher to stick to a plan when you are enjoying the process.
You will face hurdles and uncomfortable times.
But if you prepare, take your time, and stay on track, there is no doubt that you will enjoy your minimalist journey.
Be proud to be a minimalist and of your accomplishments.
Be excited to get rewarded for your commitment.
Enjoy that you are free from the consumer mentality.
Be less self-centered and give to others.
Lastly, as your life will change for the better, you will see more and more benefits of minimalism.
Show your friends and family what life looks like with less.
But never force anyone to become one.
Who knows, maybe you will change lives.
In its full spectrum, life is not always smooth sailing and can be complicated.
You cannot stop stuff or negative things, thoughts, or people from crossing your way completely.
But cultivating a powerful minimalist mindset will let you build a solid foundation.
Setting the right priorities and staying mindful of all your resources will help you stay on the right path and become unshakable in living with less.
Minimalism is a life-changing experience as long as you focus on what matters to you and design a value-aligned life accordingly.
So have fun thinking like a minimalist!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that the tips will help you on your journey to a bigger life with less.
How do you practice a minimalist mindset?
You might also like these posts:
How To Stop Always Wanting More?
Simplicity and Happiness: Why A Simple Life Is A Happy Life
How To Learn To Live With Less For Beginners