You’ve probably heard the term minimalism or minimalist and never thought much of it. It’s one of those new age movements that people may not really understand what it’s really about. Minimalism is found in fashion and home décor, plus many other areas, but it’s much more than wearing a simple black and white outfit and hashtagging #Minimalism on Instagram.
Minimalism is the art of everything simple. Although minimalism can look different for different people, the values remain the same. It’s all about cutting out the unnecessary and only keeping the essential. It’s about keeping things that add value to your life rather than take away!
There is a great documentary on Netflix called ‘The Minimalists’ if you want to find out more!
The ‘official’ definition used by the creators of the documentary describe minimalism as
“…getting rid of things you do not use or need, leaving an uncluttered, simple environment and an uncluttered, simple life. It’s living without an obsession with material things or an obsession with doing everything and doing too much. It’s using simple tools, having a simple wardrobe, carrying little and living lightly.”
What is the link between minimalism and introversion?
You may or may not have made the link between minimalism and introversion before, but for me, it seemed like the perfect way to live a stress free introverted life. As introverts or highly sensitive people, external stimuli can get overwhelming. If you’re sat in a room filled with clutter and disorganisation I can only imagine what stress this could induce. As an introvert, our minds are constantly processing detail. We look for meaning in everything and although you might think a stack of papers underneath your desk means nothing, I’m sure it does something to your subconscious.
If you are sceptical, try decluttering ONE room, just ONE room and feel the difference afterwards. Notice I said ‘feel’ the difference because it’s not something you’ll conceive with your eyes. It’s something you’ll feel on a deeper level. It’s a feeling of peace and order.
The saying goes…”Tidy room, tidy mind” and it’s true
Like I’ve mentioned before, minimalism isn’t just linked to material things. It’s about becoming more conscious of everything you let in and out of your life. For example, having a minimalist schedule creates less stress and more time for recharging and doing the things that YOU want to do. Becoming a well balanced introvert and avoiding those terrible social hangovers is important. Minimalism creates that foundation to maintaining a well balanced life. It’s about decluttering your mind and only making space for the necessary. Becoming more conscious of your decisions really makes you take stock of what you allow into your home and mind.
As ambitious introverts we’ve all been guilty of cramming our schedules; booking in back to back meetings because we feel that if we’re not ‘busy’ then we’re not productive. But just take a step back and pause. If you find yourself too ‘busy’ to see your loved ones and the people you genuinely care about then what are you really doing? Is it worth it?
Possible questions to ask yourself
Is it really necessary to go for coffee with your friend every morning?
Is it necessary for you to go to that meeting today?
Do you really want to be out every Friday night?
Minimalism is about asking yourself these questions and being honest with the answer. If the answer is yes, then by all means go ahead and do it! But make sure it is a true yes. As introverts we can tend to be more agreeable than our extroverted counterparts. So just make sure when you’re saying ‘yes’ to plans or meetings it’s genuinely because you want to do it, and not because you fear being disliked if you say no. Minimalism is a great way to guide you through those decisions and it provides you with a set of principles that can be applied to all areas of your life. It’s about doing the things that genuinely bring you value and happiness. It’s about conscious decision making and not mindlessly following trends, societal standards or pressures from people.
Therefore, as an introvert, it is imperative that you guard your social energy, especially if you’re striving towards your goals. Our energy is precious and minimalism is definitely another way to protect it!