Nowadays, many people are abandoning the social conditioning of “more” and subscribing to living a simplistic, minimalist lifestyle. Media and advertising still bombards us with images and messages that cry out for us to purchase the latest tech gadgets, trendiest branded clothes, fanciest cars, and many other things. But, it is now believed that by minimizing attachment to material possessions, you naturally allow more room for happiness and abundance to flow into your life, instead of greed, envy or feelings of lack. So if you want to escape materialism to find greater happiness and life abundance, these 7 key strategies can help you get there quick.
Value Experiences over Possessions
You’ve probably heard this more than once, but it’s repeated here because it’s the truth. Re-channeling your attention away from purchasing material goods and toward investing or participating in valuable experiences, will result in a much fuller, happier and more exciting life. Plus, there’s so much you can do! Fill your life with activities such as hiking in the local mountains, volunteering for a beloved charity, working out with your fitness buddies, enjoying a picnic or barbecue with the neighbours, travelling near and far, creating art, becoming a member of a sports team, and whatever else you’d want to do. Build your life upon the stories these experiences bring into your life and it will definitely feel more abundant.
Limit TV + Internet + Social Media
Nowadays, the television, websites and social media platforms are dominated by advertisements. From the latest course being advertised by your favourite “influencer” guaranteed to make you 6 figures in 90 days, to the healthiest grape juice you should buy in your nearest Walmart, you’re always being encouraged to consume, consume, consume! So, force yourself to commit to weekly digital detoxes. Weekly, give up on your social media accounts for a day or two, and call people instead; stop watching TV for a week and read a book; and cut down your web searches to those that empower you instead of encourage you to do some online shopping or play addictive games.
Stop Recreational Shopping
Re-frame your mindset when it comes to places like the mall, shopping high streets, and food stores like Walmart and Costco. Everything in places like these is tailored toward causing you to spend more money and buy more stuff. These places are the mecca of materialism for many people. But that doesn’t have to be you. Stop seeing the mall or large bulk-buying stores as venues for entertainment, don’t go to these places with friends or people who will encourage you to over-spend, take a shopping list and ONLY buy the items on the list, and you will be well on your way to minimizing your materialism so you can focus on the essentials on your life.
Become More Environmentally Conscious
Go green! Refrain from contributing to climate change, land pollution, air pollution or endangering the sea and its inhabitants by becoming more environmentally aware and conscious of your purchases. You can easily begin this process by becoming plastic-free, becoming a recycling addict, using only organic products or buying from environmentally-friendly brands. By reducing your waste and helping to support brands that want to save the planet as well, you will become very comfortable with living abundantly with less.
Practicing gratitude means practicing thanks and appreciation for every single good thing or blessing in your life. With gratitude, you become more mindful of everything that you already have. This allows you to recognize that you already live a full, abundant life and makes it easier for you to savour and enjoy them instead of taking them for granted. A regular practice of gratitude helps you to become more content with what you have instead of craving more of what you don’t. This leads to increased feelings of happiness, peace, joy, and connectedness. So if you want to increase your gratitude and decrease your materialism, start by writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for, from the big to the small, on a daily or weekly basis.
One of the easiest tasks you can commit to today is decluttering. With just 15-30 minutes a day you can get rid of so many items. Start with getting rid of the no-brainer easy items first. These will give you immediate validation and encourage you to progress toward the more difficult or more emotional ones. You can also toss broken or unused items – especially if they haven’t been used in the past year. Don’t hold onto things you don’t like purely for sentimental value such as unwanted gifts. Imagine, if you get rid of 5 things every day for a whole year, you’ll declutter over 1000 items! I bet you can think of 5 items to start with right now. When you declutter I guarantee you will realise just how many material possessions you would have accumulated over the years. Decluttering your space will bring so much light, life and calm to your life. You just might never want to buy so much stuff ever again.
Remember You Can’t Take it With You
Making greedy, emotional or valued attachments to our material possessions not only decreases our levels of happiness, but it is also useless because when we’re no longer earthlings, we can’t take any of our prized possessions with us. Nothing actually belongs to us. We’re all just visitors down here. So when you’re no longer in human form, everything gets left behind. More than that, what also gets left behind is your legacy. When people speak about you do you want them to speak only of how much wealth or how many things you had, or do you want them to speak highly of the memorable moments they had with you and the type of upstanding person you were? You choose.
Overall, materialism is dangerous to our health, happiness and well-being. Faced with tempting advertisements everywhere we turn, we risk increasing our greed, envy, and emotional attachment toward material possessions if left unchecked. This can lead to unhappiness, anxiety, depression, selfishness and even hoarding. However, today’s world is becoming more and more educated on the phenomenon of minimalistic living which allows you to live an abundant, fruitful, enjoyable life with less. This perfectly counterbalance’s society’s programming of gluttony. With these top 7 strategies, you can quickly and easily swap your materialistic habits for a minimalist lifestyle of simple abundance if you wish to live in the present, increase your happiness, appreciate what you have and enjoy your life way more than you already do.