Living a Minimalism Life has taught me many things like be grateful for what you have. Gratitude wasn’t always a part of my life.
In-fact it wasn’t until a time in my life when I lost everything that I became grateful.
Stuff has never really meant much to me. Maybe it was because I found myself constantly having to find a new place to live that selling everything I owned just became a natural habit.
It got to the point that I would buy something and immediately sell it with in a few weeks.
I never truly understood why I did that until I realized I was a natural born Minimalist and I was self-proclaiming a Minimalism Life. Just without knowing it.
The process of letting things go actually helps you to gain in a number of ways.
You can gain a new perspective, control over your choices, increased calmness, and even more happiness and life satisfaction.
Something else that frequently comes along with a new Minimalist Life is a feeling of gratitude.
When you are intentional about the items you possess and the experiences you choose, you’re more aware of them.
You’re better able to see what matters most to you, and you value those things.
Minimalism can truly teach you to be grateful for what you have. Such as:
- Improved Perspective
Gratitude involves feeling truly content and thankful for what you have.
Minimalism lends itself very well to feeling grateful because a Minimalism Life is one you’ve created with intention.
You can see just why it is you’ve chosen the specific possessions and experiences you have. And you’re better able to gain perspective on why these things bring you fulfillment and satisfaction.
An improved perspective that I have gotten is my family. I have always loved my family but I never really realized that I wanted more time with them.
Another perspective that has become much clearer in my life is God. I now have a happy like never before. I just see everything differently now.
- More Time
When you live a Minimalism Life and have fewer things, you’ll discover that you have more time to enjoy and appreciate what matters most.
Having fewer possessions, a more modest home, and relationships of your choosing frees up your time in a number of ways.
You won’t have to spend as much time working to pay for excess materials things and experiences.
In addition, you’ll have less maintenance to put in when you have a smaller home and even when you choose to engage only with the people who bring you joy.
With Minimalism, you’re more aware of and grateful for the time you have.
When I started my Blog I had a goal in mind that I wanted to make $100,000 a year. Then and only then I would be happy and satisfied enough to call myself successful.
Fortunately, that has changed. I no longer long for millions of dollars.
Yes, I would love to make that kind of money because that means we can take more vacations but that kind of money also means more work.
Work that I’m just not willing to put in if it means giving up time with my family or even God.
- Increased Contentment
When you choose your things and experiences with intention, you are going to be more content with those choices.
You’ve thought them through. You’ve prioritized. Therefore, you’re more likely to feel happy and content with what you have in your life.
This is the foundation for gratitude. Less clutter of all kinds provides you with more focus.
For example, when there is less physical clutter in your space, you’re better able to actually see what you have and use it in ways that make you feel good.
You’ll also experience less stress when you’re not overwhelmed by stuff and you can more easily find the things you need.
These are some of the ways in which Minimalism has helped me to feel more gratitude for what I have in my life.
My car is 2 years old and for months I thought about trading it in. I even got a couple quotes.
But every time it came time to go to the car lot I would back out. I prayed about it and finally came to the conclusion that I was more than content with my 2 year old car.
I love my car and I am super grateful for it.
A Minimalism Life has also Taught Me that Digital Clutter Counts Too
It’s not just the stockpiling of material things that bogs us down and dims our joy. It’s digital clutter too!
Digital Clutter covers a wide array of areas, from your inbox to Social Media.
Almost all of us are spending unnecessary time dealing with the information on our devices.
- Digital Clutter
Digital clutter covers just about everything that’s on your digital devices. Chances are, your email could use some attention.
We all get marketing pieces and newsletter subscriptions we wish we’d never signed up for.
So, why not take some time to unsubscribe and get rid of incoming mail that’s simply adding to your stress.
The files on your computer can also contribute to digital clutter. How many documents and programs do you have on your hard drive that you just don’t need?
These things make it harder to find the ones you do need, and they slow your device down.
Your cookies, bookmarks, and apps are also cluttering your digital devices. And photos. Let’s not forget those.
Another area that falls under digital clutter is social media. Your friends list and games alone could be causing you a great deal of wasted time and stress.
I used to be what we Bloggers call a Course Junkie. I would buy every new course that launched and then forget about it and purchase another course.
All the time wondering why I was seeing any results.
It was because I was too busy being a student and then jumping to the next shiny object instead of taking time to implement what I learned.
It got so bad I actually tried to purchase several courses that I had already owned and were already on my computer.
Don’t Hang on to Possessions Out of Guilt
Sentimental possessions tend to be some of the toughest to let go. We attach sentiment to our stuff for various reasons.
Whether something is associated with a childhood memory or was left to us by a cherished loved one, such items have a great deal of emotional attachment.
However, holding onto them can often bring us more negative feelings than positive ones in the long run.
Below are some things that a Minimalism Life has taught me about holding onto possessions out of guilt.
- We are Not Our Stuff
It’s common, as humans, to incorporate our possessions into our identity. We see the things we own as part of us, things that are a reflection of our personality and character.
This can be especially true of sentimental belongings.
Just because something holds memories or significance in our life doesn’t mean that the actual physical item must remain.
We can gently send our stuff onto a new home and still hold onto the memory. Memories are something no one can take from us.
This can be easier to do if you take a photo of the item or scan things like documents or photos.
Keeping digital files of mementos takes up far less physical and emotional clutter. Just make sure to organize them.
- Memories are Far More Important
It’s the memories that matter most. We don’t always need to keep the physical possession in order to hold onto the emotional significance.
Journaling is great way to hold onto memories.
- Letting Go is Oh So Liberating
Making purposeful choices about what items to hold onto is a very liberating act.
When we understand our rationale and act accordingly, we become more content with our decisions.
You’ll also be happier with the end result of having less clutter.
Perhaps you know someone who is starting a new life and could use some household goods or maybe you have a friend who is a collector that would truly appreciate your mother’s antique clock.
Letting go with intention and purpose is definitely freeing. I’m confident you’ll encounter similar results as you pursue a Minimalist path.