8 Simple & Minimalist Habits That Lead to a More Peaceful Life
I used to feel like what I had was not enough, comparing myself to strangers on social media, who looked happy and successful with their beautiful homes, expensive cars, and luxury clothes. The things I owned and that fit my needs suddenly became insufficient.
The thing is, there will always be people out there with more - or less - stuff than us, and trying to measure up to what someone else possesses is an exhausting and never-ending struggle. Moreover, we may not be fully aware that our desire to have more is negatively impacting the planet and other beings we share it with.
A minimalist lifestyle offers a win-win situation. Here are the simple minimalist habits that brought me peace and comfort.
1. Living within my means
In the past, I would shop for things I did not have a real need for. I realize now that It was a waste of my time, money, and energy. More often than not, those things would end up unused and tucked away in a cabinet, or broken in a few weeks and taken to landfills. Meanwhile, I was still paying credit card debts on those expensive splurges.
Now I am content with what I have: I have let go of the constant need to seek more. The benefits definitely go beyond just money: I also do not pay for unnecessary things with my time and energy.
2. Limiting my time on social media and not comparing myself to others
I used to spend hours on social media, mindlessly scrolling through my feed only to feel like something is missing in my life. I would feel bad about myself when I saw people living lives that seemed much better than mine.
But the truth is that what people show on social media is what they want others to see: we do not know the full story, their hurts, and their struggles. So I limit my time on social media and try to be engaged in where I am and who I am with, instead of getting lost in the black hole of the Internet.
3. Being grateful for everything
When I feel that there is a lack in my life, I know that I am being ungrateful for what I have. Happiness lies in gratitude, which is why I make a point of acknowledging people, things, and circumstances to be grateful for.
Gratitude also helps me realize that I am actually living abundantly. When I am grateful for everything, there is no void that needs to be filled. I am thankful, happy, and content.
4. Renting instead of shopping
I prefer to rent certain things instead of buying them if I do not need them in my life regularly. With so many resources available, it is actually cheaper and easier to rent items that I only use once a year or so, such as a gown, camping equipment, or power tools.
Renting them is also less stressful since I do not have to worry about storage, repair work, or maintenance.
Things have a sneaky way of getting into our lives. For example, sometimes we receive gifts that we have no use for. Meanwhile, there may be other people out there who could benefit from these things that are just camping out in our basement.
So I make it a habit to do an inventory of things I own and donate what I do not need to a local thrift shop or to charity. Some people have a specific number of things they want to own, but I prefer to only be guided by what I consider essential for me.
6. Making time for downtime
When I am stressed, overwhelmed, and unbalanced, I also make poor decisions. So I do my best to have some downtime, even if it is just 30 minutes a day. It is as simple as laying down to observe my breath or going on slow, meditative walks and getting some sunshine when the weather permits.
I realized that downtime does not need to be expensive and complicated. Anywhere I am, and even without spending money, I can make time to reconnect with myself by slowing down, being still, and coming back to the present moment.
7. Practicing sustainable shopping
I am not proud to admit this, but I used to choose fast fashion over durable, ethically produced, and locally made clothing. However, I realized that I was giving these businesses my money to continue their unethical practices and keep their sweatshops going.
So I changed that habit and have been going to thrift shops or clothes swap events as a way to give clothes a new life. It is amazing how I can find the clothes I need without having to pay a lot of money.
8. Living simply and mindfully
A minimalist lifestyle helps me be more intentional with my actions and to choose mindful consumption over a life of excess. When I define clearly what is enough and what adds real value and purpose to my life, I am content and happy with what I have.
Living simply and minimally is not a life of austerity and emptiness. It is a life of freedom from clutter, discontent, and the unnecessary. It is being mindful of what we add to and subtract from our life, based on what contributes to our personal well-being.
As Gandhi said, when we live simply, others, including ourselves, can simply live and not suffer.
Becoming a minimalist definitely changed my life for the better. I know now that my lifestyle is sustainable and that I am not hurting anyone by consuming too much. I hope you can bring these simple habits into your own lives and find inner peace.
What are the rules that help you live more mindfully and happily? Let me know in the comments! Wishing you a wonderful day or
night, wherever you may be.
My understanding is there are also people who do not want to shop at a Dollar Store is because they have thoughts of not wanting to purchase items that are used and then discarded, adding to our landfills. They want to recycle by buying secondhand using Thrift stores that support humanitarian charities. Thrift stores where you pay less to live within your means and where some items from Dollar stores end up. Inexpensive seasonal decorations, for example. I respect your post and an adding to the conversation.
I shop for most of my clothes at thrift stores and receive compliments often. Some expensive items still have price tags on them.
I also take items to any DAV (Disabled Veterans Stores). I do not give any items to thrift stores purporting to be a large benevolent company who helps underprivileged people. They are privately owned, not owned by the company they represent. A fraction of a fraction goes to help people. Do your research and you will see.