Living a life of less Should we have more?


Cosette Zielinski

My whole life I have had a house of clutter, around each corner there was always a stack of papers, books, clothes or miscellaneous items. Today I still live that frustrating life, no matter how much I seem to organize or donate, my environment is full of items I do not need. Throughout the endless number of things some people have, some have to wonder, are they happy?

A minimalistic lifestyle is one where people reduce their possessions to bare essentials or limit their posessions, such as excess clothes, furniture, and more, in order to have a better life. Throughout society, minimalism has been popping up in front of my eyes everywhere from articles such as Goodbye Things, Hello Minimalism to movements such as the Tiny House action, mainly because the appeal of a happier lifestyle. 

In my life, many of my peers have the mindset that less is rarely more. Every day new models of phones, cars and games are released. Research shows that our brain is chemically wired to want new things, which explains the need I have to desire the latest trending clothes or materials.

New products are constantly being flashed in front of me from advertisements and sales, I feel I am not that happy with the life I lead, even with the million of things I own. I have a mound of shoes and clothes that I don’t even wear anymore, plus a box of books that I keep hidden within my closet, this stuff I can easily get rid of yet I feel I need to keep them in order to be happy.

In a study founded by Leaf Van Boben, a professor at Colorado Boulder studying the effects of minimalism, resulted in information on how materialistic views and lifestyles relate to happiness and physiological health. The results found that a materialistic based life led to stress and a decrease in satisfaction.  The results also present that people purchasing experiences rather than materials cause an increase in happiness.

To a certain extent, shopping does and can make me happy for short period of time.  When I purchase something, a release of dopamine enters into their body which causes that brief period of satisfaction, but that doesn’t last forever. In order to keep that lasting feeling of satisfaction in my life, a minimalist lifestyle is something worth considering. Living a simpler life doesn’t mean people can’t spend money; it just means to use money for experiences rather than materials.

Living a life with fewer items can certainly result in happier overall moods for myself and a general feeling of content. This path of life can lead to a decrease in stress. When some people live simply, they tend to focus on the world around them and value what they have. In order to stop the tendencies of materialistic thinking, minimalism should be used as a tool in the beginning of this lifestyle of minimum. Everyone who wants to seek the path of minimalism should take small steps to allow comfort at first

It may take time and adaptability to living a life with less possessions, but the results outweigh the difficulties and hesitations. Living a materialistic life is not a necessity, it is a formula for a stressful and toxic lifestyle. Making the switch to simpler living starts all in small steps that progress to a better life that we all deserve.

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