By Bronagh Loughlin
Imagine not feeling like we have to purchase something to feel instant satisfaction. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if young teenagers didn’t have to feel the urge to spend money to fit in. Buying the latest phone, the cool runners and so on.
If we didn’t feel the need as adults to brighten up our day with a small ‘treat yourself purchase’. There’s nothing really wrong with treating ourselves, we all deserve something nice every now and again. The problem is when we feel we need to do it all the time.
For example, taking every pay day as an excuse to purchase a new haul of clothing. You have every right to choose how to spend your money. However, many studies and research papers have suggested for a majority this eagerness to splurge is quite psychological.
In other words, we may often purchase with our emotions in mind. The obvious example being if we land a new role or get a high grade on a research paper, we may want to treat ourselves to something nice as a recognition of all the hard work we have put in and how it paid off.
On the other hand, we also may feel the need to make a purchase when we are feeling down and in need of a pick-me-up. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, we all feel down and sometimes look to these things to cheer us up. The important thing here is to be aware of it.
Unfortunately, our consumption has a negative impact on our planet and can also impact our mental wellbeing. This is because if you are buying from sad emotions, materialistic items will never make you feel fulfilled.
This is why many people are turning to a minimalist lifestyle. They felt the materialistic objects were weighing them down, rinsing their bank account, harming the planet and their mental wellbeing. Many of you have probably heard of minimalism because it has become a popular lifestyle choice over the last number of years.
It is essentially a low-consumption lifestyle. While there is not huge scientific evidence of how a minimalist lifestyle can boost life satisfaction and happiness, it is sure to help people to actually address their issues rather than purchasing and bottling things up.
One scientific study did explore this theory by looking at ten people and how they found living a minimalist lifestyle. All of the participants in the study recalled wellbeing benefits from leading this lifestyle. Five of the key themes identified were awareness, mental space, autonomy, competence and positive feelings.
It’s not hard to believe that minimalism could equal better mental health and wellbeing. It is essentially another term for leading a simple life. It not only means less items in your home but less stuff cluttering your own brain and mind.
Minimalism is not just about spending less money and emptying out cupboards, it is a lot deeper than that. Purchasing new items gives us all instant satisfaction. However, this is temporary and it’s not long before we are looking for the next thing to make us feel better.
If you find that the amount of things in your house is causing you distress, it may be best to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Many people are experiencing anxious and depressed emotions and the physical objects in our home can make us feel even more stressed.
This low-consumption lifestyle is sure to help you address your mental health issues which could reduce the problems you are having. In addition, you can expect to lead a simple life with only the important objects and things surrounding you.
You will save more money and could become a happier and less stressed person. Minimalism can enable you to establish a happy and calming home. Not to mention, opting for a minimalist lifestyle can help you get on the path to becoming a conscious consumer.
Being conscious about what you are buying not only helps your mental wellbeing but the planet also. In this world, there are many things out of our control but one thing we can control is our buying. To get started on your minimalist lifestyle, you could consider kicking off with a ‘no buying month’.
This is sure to help you feel satisfaction from other things life offers besides materialistic objects. It will also reinforce that you do not need to buy things to make yourself feel better. It can be a great experience because you can look to things that give you true, long-term happiness.
While a ‘no buying month’ is best when you buy nothing, we understand it is not always possible. Luckily, there are ways you can still buy but in a way that does not harm the planet. In addition, you may find you treasure these items more.
For example, if you have an occasion to go to where you need a new outfit, swap with friends or check out the charity shops. Alternatively, if you need to purchase a book for college or school, you could see if it is available secondhand. If your friend’s birthday is coming up, see if you can buy something nice for them from a small local business.
Minimalism is growing in popularity and it’s no surprise why when you consider what it could do for your mental wellbeing. It seems there are no downsides to it. It’s not about never spending money but growing a greater appreciation for what you have and addressing your emotions to get on a better path. So, are you going to transition to a minimalist lifestyle or test out a no buying month?
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