Minimalism for mental health


Anchal Rath

Artist and Writer

Have you ever heard that ‘less is more’? The less the material possessions, the more the happiness will be. The less the negative thoughts and memories, the healthier mental state we attain.

This concept of minimalism isn’t quite clear to everyone and they often misunderstand it as just owning 4 pair of clothes and 2 pairs of shoes for years or people just find minimalism to be an exaggerated concept because we practice it in our daily lives without even acknowledging it. Let’s start with the basic, definition:

Minimalism is a style in which small numbers of very simple things are used to create a particular effect.

Also, defined as 'the ability to simplify without losing any quality'.

Now this definition can be put on to different fields. When minimalism is seen as a lifestyle, people have restricted it to 10 possessions whereas minimalist lifestyle is about eliminating the not so important material possessions in life, creatively using one thing for different purposes and self-inquiring every time before getting/buying something by asking ‘what meaning does it add to my life?’

And when minimalism is seen as an exercise for better mental health, it’s about making peace with the past, getting rid of the negative thoughts and unnecessary memories and about organizing the important thoughts which will help us in leading a more meaningful life. Often it’s said ‘Minimalism is not about having less. It’s about making room for more of what matters.’

Did you ever ponder how clearing your desk before work, getting rid of the unnecessary pens, papers and other stationary gives you a clear mind to start with new work. Ever questioned ‘how come spring cleaning is so relaxing’? Or ever wondered about ‘how eliminating the negative or toxic people from your life is so liberating’? If not, start doing so; contemplate, until you acknowledge that it all works on the principle of minimalism.

Minimalism for improved mental health

Start by clearing mental clutter: Straightaway eliminate the negative or destructive thoughts, lies, unscrupulous thoughts that reduce your productivity and identify the positive ones and the truth that matters, adopt the important ones that will help you grow a healthy mental state.

Declutter your physical surroundings: The more the things in your surroundings, the more it will occupy your memory entering through your senses. Unnecessary stuff creates stress. Unnecessary material possessions engulf our happiness and occupy our time and space; eliminate such possessions, add more value to the vital ones and experience the freedom by letting go. More space equals to more freedom.

Minimalism will encourage creative thinking: Working with limited possessions is not hard, it’s smart work. Find multiple purposes of a single object of importance and generate creative thinking within yourself plus make your life simpler.

Minimalist to-do list: We mention things that are needed to be done in our to-do list. But, when we prioritize the essential things on top, not-so-essential stuff down below and while approaching from top to down we will find ourselves not ticking right for done but merely striking out the not so important things like going apparel shopping for festivals ( as it’s not necessary and is adding up to your material possessions). It will simply free your mind from the preoccupations of needless work. Free you from your own mental cage.

Minimalism induces energy: When you have decluttered your inner and outer surroundings, established a sense of creative-self and freed yourself from the cage of enormous work, you will accumulate energy to invest in important aspects of life. With less possession will come less responsibilities and more energy. With less negative thought will come less emotional engagement, less time investment and more positive energy.

Today, the entire world is engaged in a mindless race for material wealth and possessions. To acquire whatever one can without even pausing to think if it’s actually needed. But we can avoid going down that road.

Once you acknowledge the role of minimalism for mental health, you are already 80% there; 20% is the presence of mind and strong will-power that it takes to practice. Be minimalist, be content.

View more content by Anchal Rath

Discussion Board

What is your opinion of minimalism?

The idea that one should own and consume only what is needed is fabulous. The trouble is finding the strength to stand up to society, which only understands the language of money.
Pari Laddha
Loved the article and how beautifully the concept is given a unique orientation.
anchal rath
Thank you for appreciating the article. Also, i hope we all gather the strength to be ourselves than being mere model of societal expectations.
This one is really inspiring👍