All over the world more and more people are recognizing minimalism as a better way of living. In Japan and Hong Kong, people are learning new ways to live with less.
There are many benefits of minimalism. Not only does it allow you to save money but also have peace of mind by getting rid of stress and stress-causing factors.
However, when we talk about minimalism in America, we discover that a vast majority of Americans still don’t want to be a minimalist. 65% to be exact.
There are common misconceptions about the idea of minimalism, that people around the world tend to have. Some think that you have to live in a tiny house, purge all your belongings, and live with the bare minimum.
Minimalism doesn’t mean you have to make unnecessary sacrifices.
In fact, it allows you to pursue your passions in a better and more meaningful way.
When you don’t have too many things in life to worry or stress about, you can spend that time doing something productive.
It also allows you to be more focused on what you want from life. When you have extra time on your hands, you can spend that time connecting with nature or preparing healthy meals at home for the entire family.
Consumerism in America
With the ever-increasing introduction of new consumer goods to the market, American consumerism has and will always be… on the rise.
While consumerism might bring economic prosperity, at an individual level it also brings more problems and less peace of mind.
People have started believing that buying certain things would make them happy and successful in life. Whether it is cars, household items, electronics or apparel, they want more and more.
As a result of this, more than 50% of Americans today worry about things that are beyond their control.
Some think that life has become a complicated mess and they think there is simply no way out. The things they worry about the most are the ones they can’t change.
These are the actual stats that tell us that even the new generation (often referred to as the millennials) have the opinion that their life is exceptionally complicated.
Is Minimalism the Answer to this Dilemma?
Most Americans want to simplify their lives but they don’t know how. The areas that they think need to be simplified include;
Diet and exercise
Considering this dilemma, minimalism seems to be one of the best solution to the problems faced by Americans.
About a quarter of the population in America wants to be a minimalist but currently they are not following the trend.
Furthermore, minimalism has its own challenges that not everybody is ready to face yet.
Getting rid of things might sound easy – but in reality it is a difficult and time-consuming activity.
You have to sort out things you don’t need and organize them in different categories. Once that’s done, it sometimes gets emotionally challenging to let it all go.
Minimalism is easier when it is adopted as a family. Children especially would find it really hard to get used to the new lifestyle.
Moreover, you can easily get distracted by the all the marketing, advertisements, and sales placed all over the place.
It takes a lot of willpower and determination to be a minimalist in America and that is why only a handful of Americans are currently living the concept of minimalism.
How to Be a Minimalist in America
Not all hope is lost. With the handful of thought leaders paving the way and introducing the concept of minimalism in America, a lot can be learned. Here are 5 Ways you can become closer to the concept of Minimalism in America.
Research About Minimalism
There are some great resources that can help move you in the right direction. Anywhere from books to blogs to videos. Here are some valuable resources worth mentioning:
–Minimalism Documentary– A film by Matt D’ Avella, is a well-known documentary on Netflix about the important things. In this film, you can see interviews with popular thought leaders and educators.
–Books : Some of my favorite book recommendations are the following:
The Joy of Less
–Blogs : Here are 3 of my favorites:
Find Minimalist Communities
There are more minimalists in America that you think. Luckily with the power of the internet, you can find facebook groups, online forums, and even local meetings where you can connect with people who are aiming to live the same lifestyle as you.
It’s encouraging to find people with similiar interests, so that even if your close family members or friends may not understand, at least you know someone out there does.
Travel Outside the US- To See How Other Cultures Live
The fascinating thing about travel, is that it opens your eyes to more than you know. There are many places located in and outside of the USA, where they live more simple.
If you have the chance, it will help you in your journey to see a world outside of constant consumerism. Perhaps you can find this in small villages and islands.
Limit your Exposure to Advertisements.
This is difficult to stay away from, as advertisements are everywhere. If you try watch a you tube video or drive down any major highway, you are bound to unconsciously see plenty of advertisements in one day.
If you practice being mindful about these advertisements, and the reason behind them you can begin to be a bit more conscious of the information you receive and process it differently than before.
Consider Downsizing- Little by Little.
Minimalism is not about purging everything and being left with a few essential basics, it’s a journey you can take your time with and decide for yourself what’s important.
Perhaps you can really begin to ask yourself if you need a big house, a fancy car, and rooms full of clutter. You can try to figure out what things are actually important to you, and begin the process of downsizing from there.
According to statistics, only about 10% of Americans follow minimalism in America.
The reason behind this is their wrong perception of the concept of minimalism.
Most of these people think they would have to give up a lot in life if they decided to follow a minimalist lifestyle.
But in reality, minimalism is a state of mind rather than a strict way of living. It varies from person to person just how much minimalism they wish to introduce to their life.
For some people, cutting back on the time spent on social media and internet in general is one of the important aspects of adopting minimalism.
And there might also be some people who think decluttering is the best way to introduce minimalism to their daily life.
Depending on your requirements and personal preferences, you can adopt minimalism to any extent.
It’s not impossible to be a minimalist in America, and through the power of connection, it becomes easier with time.
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