Does minimalism bring happiness, less stress, anxiety, etc.?

Postby IS7 » Sun May 09, 2021 5:51 pm

Minimalism and similar lifestyles have gained popularity in the past years. Many people promote it and make money by doing so. What do you think? Does living a minimalist lifestyle really bring happiness, less stress, anxiety?

I am also researching these popular believes surrounding minimalism in my master thesis. I would appreciate it if you took the time to participate and help out in this growing field of research. Even if minimalism is not close to you, I would like to kindly invite you to participate, since the diversity of the sample is very important!

Link for more information and participation: https://1ka.arnes.si/a/17852&language=2&language=2
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#1

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun May 09, 2021 10:21 pm

I have found minimalism helps with overall wellbeing. Since March of 2012, I have used a single carry on bag for clothes and a personal bag as "my office" to carry a computer and some miscellaneous items. For the last 9 years I have been traveling and working online. I am generally happy with low levels of anxiety/stress.
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#2

Postby IS7 » Mon May 10, 2021 9:10 am

That's really nice to hear. :) So how would you define minimalism?
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#3

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon May 10, 2021 2:08 pm

IS7 wrote: So how would you define minimalism?


Good question. I've never felt the need to develop a formal definition of minimalism. It is like a person identifying as a "capitalist" and then being asking how they would define "capitalism". Most likely the person has never formally written down a definition, yet they still behave and follow various tenants of capitalism. In a similar manner, what "minimalism" means for me comes from my vague understanding of the philosophy or lifestyle, not a formal definition.

Here is my shot at a definition that describes my approach:

Minimalism: owning few, i.e. "minimal" material objects.

For me, minimalism is mostly having no desire to OWN material goods. This does not mean I do not have access to material goods. And, I'm a digital cheater. On one hand I only own a single belt, but on the other, I have a library full of digital books. If it was pre-Internet, it would be much more difficult to travel and carry around trunks full of books. It just wouldn't happen. And while I don't own a home, I have spent the last 9 years living in furnished apartments (Air BnB) and hotels.

Responsibility, or lack thereof as a result of minimalism (not owning material goods), is in my opinion, what lends itself to a sense of wellbeing. Not having this type of responsibility, increases happiness and reduces stress/anxiety.

I am not responsible for maintaining the places where I live. If I want to go scuba diving, I don't need the equipment, I rent it. And if I want to go somewhere else, I can pack my bags in under 30 minutes and I'm on my way. Other people are responsible for the material things that they own. All I do is pay them to temporarily use their things.

A final observation. It is actually cheaper for me to travel and pay rent than to live in a major city in the United States. I'm not traveling to Singapore and renting an apartment. Instead, I'm traveling to areas of the world where the exchange rate for the US dollar is strong. This allows for a win, win situation. The locals get to charge me a premium, making a nice profit, and taking on all the responsibility of providing me a temporary home. In return, I get to enjoy lack of material responsibility, allowing me to focus on my business, generating more value for my students, etc.
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#4

Postby desperate788 » Mon May 10, 2021 3:20 pm

İ thought minimalism was being satisfied with little simple pleausures of life
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#5

Postby IS7 » Mon May 10, 2021 8:01 pm

Yes. You are correct. The definition of minimalism is very adaptable. There are some common dimensions (like material simplicity), but the definition of minimalism is also very individualistic. It seems that everybody has their own little twist to it. :)
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