We live in a world that is driven by CONSUMERISM, where the message is always needing more and never having enough.
We are constantly bombarded with advertisements informing us that we need to eat more, shop more, and indulge more.
I moved to Spain 3 years ago, and whenever I return to the United States I’m almost shocked by the number of things people have.
This never shocked me in the past, it was my normal. I too was someone that had a lot of things.
Moving abroad let me realize that this type of consumerism is not healthy to the point that I almost felt SUFFOCATED by the number of things that are readily available to be consumed.
I found myself asking, do we really need to choose between 50 different types of cereals?
I’m lucky if I can find more than 5 types of cereals in supermarkets in Spain.
This is not to say that consumerism is non-existent in Spain, because it is a global phenomenon that affects every country.
Americans are known to live beyond their means, with some people having more debt than savings.
We can blame it on insane school loans, medical bills, and celebrity culture but we also need to acknowledge that we are SOMEWHAT RESPONSIBLE for allowing our society to function this way.
In addition to social problems, consumerism is linked to increased anxiety and comparison, as well as contributes to destroying our environment.
The need to produce goods to keep up with demands- affects our forests, climate, and natural resources.
In a world of constant change, we buy things because we think it will make us feel secure and happy.
Less is More Examples
After our basic needs are met, do material possessions really bring us a real sense of security?
Have we stopped to consider that if we had less of something, that it could actually turn out to give us more?
More in the sense of joy, fulfillment, and happiness.
Not only applied to physical things but mental and emotional capacity as well.
Let’s take a look at some ways in which less could actually mean more:
1. Less Stuff = More Space
Having less stuff creates more space.
The spaces we surround ourselves with can impact our lives more than we may realize.
It could greatly affect your mood and how you feel.
The art of decluttering and letting go of things that don’t serve us anymore allows us to have more space to enjoy- and the fewer things you have allows for that process to be easier.
2. Less Spending = More Money
Do you ever go on an all-out shopping spree, just to feel guilty for spending so much money within hours?
The value of things loses its worth over time, but the feeling of guilt and debt is here to stay.
We tend to feel more positive when we are saving money instead of spending it.
It leads to a real sense of security and preparation for future circumstances.
Before you receive your next flash sale email from a store you are subscribed to, simply unsubscribe and see how you feel.
3. Less Clothes= More Closet Space
Correct me if I’m wrong but one of the most common arguments most couples have is over closet space.
I happen to be guilty as charged! Having less clothes allows for more closet space for you and your partner to share, and results in less arguments as well!
If you are unsure of how to downsize and figure out what you really need, you can learn more about building a capsule wardrobe here.
4. Less Furniture= More Room
When I traveled to Japan almost 2 years ago, I was AMAZED by how they know how to use space to its MAXIMUM.
In a city like Tokyo, which is home to over 10 million people- respect for space is deeply rooted within their culture.
When you have less furniture. you have less clutter. More room means a clearer and calmer mind.
5. Less Social Media = More Time to Read
It’s easy to get caught up in the Digital World, but being consumed by information and social media takes away from the positive aspects of technology and the benefits it provides us.
If you find yourself laying in bed at night scrolling through social media feeds- consider downloading the kindle app or leaving a book by your nightstand to read instead.
6. Less Driving = More Walking
I know that we heavily depend on our cars to get us around, and sometimes we need them to get from one place to the other.
But if you find yourself within walking distance of some places, I encourage you to give it a try.
You can spend less money on gas, and exercise more. I love using my Fitbit to track my steps and heart rate. You can find the one I use HERE
7. Less Stress = More Sleep
Stress is known to have negative effects on our overall health, and it’s no surprise that stress can disrupt our sleep patterns.
It’s good to take some time to pinpoint the stressors in your life and find a way to decrease that stress.
You will gain more sleep by worrying less.
8. Less Working Hard = More Working Smart
Have you ever felt that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish all that you want to do?
When it comes to productivity we tend to focus on how long something takes instead of what we actually accomplished.
Instead of always feeling that you are behind, try to automate some processes, create a routine, and measure your results in order to begin being more productive while you are working- instead of spending too much time working.
9. Less Planning = More Doing
While I think to-do lists are great for organization, sometimes we get so caught up with planning that we forget about doing.
I always say that if you try to do everything, you end up doing nothing.
It becomes too overwhelming at times that we just give up.
Take some time to think about 3 things you actually want to do this week- whether that is going to the gym, writing a gratitude journal entry, or cooking a meal.
Spend less time planning so far ahead, and focus on things you can accomplish short-term.
This can provide the motivational boost you need to accomplish more. I like to do this by setting intentions.
10. Less Junk Food = More Healthy Food
Although this could be easier said than done, studies show that serving food to yourself actually promotes you to eat healthier.
Preparing food from home will save you money and allow you to have more control over what you put in your body.
Try decluttering your kitchen and discarding the junk food items you tend to snack on when bored.
When you have better choices you make better choices.
11. Less Diets = More Healthy Living
Trendy diets are full of false promises that send us the message that we can lose weight fast.
Although you may lose weight in the short term, it’s usual for people who restrict themselves to quickly re-gain the weight they’ve lost.
Instead of trying a new diet, simply focus on a healthy lifestyle.
This includes adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet, shopping for ingredients to prepare clean meals, and keeping the junk food out of the house.
When you focus less on dieting and more on healthy living you will see positive long-term results instead of a quick fix.
12. Less Digital Files = More Digital Space
In Cal Newport’s book “Digital Minimalism”, he teaches us how to consume less and fight our technology addiction.
Part of my personal journey to Digital Minimalism included decluttering my computer and deleting files that were taking up too much storage space.
This gave my computer a major boost in speed and allowed me to organize and keep only what served my purpose.
If you want to learn more about Digital Minimalism, check out these 7 STEPS IN 7 DAYS that allowed me to simplify my digital life.
13. Less Alcohol = More Water
It’s nice to have a glass of wine after a long day or when socializing with friends.
But I found over the years that I feel better when I drink less, and when I’m more intentional with the amount of alcohol I consume.
I started a 30-day personal challenge, that whenever I thought about having a glass of wine, I would pour myself a glass of water or ask for a glass of water if I was out.
I made it a habit to carry around a bottle of water so I would always have it available.
This simple change led me to drink more water over time, and less alcohol.
14. Less Doubting = More Believing
One of the most important things in life is to learn how to start believing in yourself.
Imagine what you could accomplish if you just pushed those negative self-doubts aside and went after what you wanted with confidence.
Practice self-affirmations each day to give yourself a little confidence boost.
You can write them down and read them aloud at some point throughout the day or before you go to bed at night.
To learn more about believing in yourself I recommend checking out this amazing book by Brene Brown.
15. Less Ungratefulness = More Gratitude
Take a little bit of time each morning or throughout the day to write down some things that you are grateful for.
Experts say that the act of keeping a gratitude journal and will help you to see the things in your life that are positive and to avoid focusing on the negative.
By expressing gratitude, you are able to see what is important in life instead of wishing things could be different.
16. Less Complaining = More Encouraging
Many things to complain about in life but complaining does not fix the problem. Instead, focus on things that you can fix and what you can change.
Sometimes feel like we need to control everything in life and when things don’t go our way we complain.
When we replace complaining and with encouragement, we start the process of positive reinforcement and accept the things that are not within our control.
17. Less Talking = More Listening
Listening is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to someone else.
Often, we feel like we need to share our stories or give advice and don’t really take into consideration that sometimes the other person just wants to be heard.
Next time you find yourself in this situation take a moment to simply engage by listening to the other person who will really appreciate the chance to share.
The Concept of Less is More
The concept of less is more is based on the value of simplicity and that by having less, you can actually create a life of more.
You can still feel secure and happy with less because you are gaining so much more value in your life.
What do you gain by having less?
By having less, you gain clarity
By having less, you gain space
By having less, you gain focus
By having less, you gain more.
What are some things you would like to have less of? Do you crave more time, more energy, more love?