Embracing Minimalism: Studies Highlight the Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle

Minimalism as a tool has many benefits in aiding you towards a more calmer life and aiding in helping people in various aspects of their life. Multiple studies have been done to prove this and below are some of them with a snippet of the results and benefits of what was found on different tests related to minimalism.

Updated: 18/10/23

Minimalism mental health benefits
Less Is More

Studies: Minimalism Benefits

Better Mental Wellbeing:

One study done by the International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology found many positive benefits from the participants towards there overall mental wellbeing, and how it impacted their day to day lives.

In addition to the absence of stress and anxiety, all participants reported that their minimalistic lifestyle was a catalyst for positive emotions, in particular joy and peacefulness. Positive emotions appeared to stem from the other benefits of minimalism; autonomy, competence, mental space, and awareness.

The participants conveyed a myriad of positive effects on wellbeing, providing evidence to support past research on low-consumption lifestyles, as well as offering new insights into the ways these lifestyles may improve wellbeing. This discussion will examine the findings in reference to previous research and theory,

This study was done in 2020, and I tried to find a follow up, but did not find anything, so another one done by the same people no doubt has not been done. I did find other studies but they were behind a paywall, so not worth mentioning, but they were all pretty positive and followed the same trend as above study on the connection between mental well being and a minimalism lifestyle. I found it a really interesting read.

Reduced Decision Fatigue:

Living a minimalist lifestyle can significantly reduce decision fatigue—the mental exhaustion resulting from making countless decisions throughout the day. Every day people make between 10,000 and 40,000 decisions in our head. Remarkable really. No wonder we can suffer because of it! A study conducted by International Journal of Market Research was done regarding having a minimalist wardrobe and the impact it had if you had less decisions to make, it found:

Most of our participants mentioned feeling less stress after the 3-week capsule wardrobe experience. This relaxation feeling coupled itself with a drop of decision fatigue. Our participants felt more positive in having a more organized and better-matched wardrobe. These findings support Harris’s (2016) suggestion, suggesting that clean design eliminates chaos and promotes serenity. Our results also echo studies that highlighted the use of clothing practice to enhance positive mood and lower negative mood. Capsule wardrobe seems to decrease negative feelings such as stress and decision fatigue

According to the paper no research had been done before regarding the subject (Capsule wardrobe, not decision fatigue), however it makes sense the results would provide the same benefits of having less choices to make in any form of a minimalist's life.

One benefit of minimalism is more money which means less stress
Buy Only What Brings You Value

More Money:

Adopting a minimalist lifestyle often goes hand in hand with mindful consumption and frugality. One study conducted by Journal of Economic Psychology looked at the relationship of materialism to debt and financial well-being in Iceland. 

Study 11 (N = 271) showed that people who endorse materialistic values have more financial worries, worse money-management skills and greater tendency towards compulsive buying and spending. Study 2 (N = 191) replicates the findings of Study 1 and further shows that amount of debt, including mortgage, can be directly linked to materialism, controlling for income and money-management skills.

By learning to live with less and what you actually need, you will be better off at managing your finances and help learn better self control and skills associated with managing your finances.

Less Clutter and More Productivity:

Studies have suggested that a clutter-free environment can boost productivity. Multiple studies on the effects of clutter of an individuals wellbeing have been conducted, including productivity and the negative effects it has on someone's stress and anxiety. The studies were in reference to cluttered workspaces, but much like the mental well being study above, it would make sense this would stretch to other parts of life as well where the same situation is in place.

A study on the effects of clutter in the home found that individuals who felt overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” in their homes were more likely to procrastinate. Other research has shown that a cluttered home environment triggers coping and avoidance strategies involving snacking on junk and watching TV. 

Clutter can also affect our general mental health, making us feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. Research from the United States in 2009, for instance, found the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were higher in mothers whose home environment was cluttered; elevated cortisol levels sustained over time can lead to anxiety and depression.

The studies discussed above provide some valuable insights into the benefits of embracing a minimalist lifestyle and how it could help you. 

What is Minimalism and Why is it Important?

Minimalism is a lifestyle that emphasizes simplicity and intentional living. It involves decluttering physical spaces, reducing material possessions, and focusing on what truly matters. Minimalism is not about deprivation or living with nothing; rather, it is about eliminating the excess and creating space for what brings joy and fulfillment.

Minimalism is important in today's society because it offers an antidote to the constant pursuit of more. In a world that bombards us with advertisements and encourages us to accumulate possessions, minimalism provides an alternative way of living. It challenges the notion that happiness can be found in material possessions and instead focuses on finding contentment in experiences, relationships, and personal growth.

Minimalism and Health: How it Can Improve Physical Well-being

Clutter not only affects our mental health but also has an impact on our physical well-being. When our physical spaces are filled with unnecessary items, it becomes difficult to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Clutter can also contribute to poor indoor air quality, as it can trap dust, allergens, and toxins.

Minimalism offers a solution to these health challenges. By decluttering our physical spaces and simplifying our lives, we create an environment that promotes cleanliness and hygiene. A minimalist home allows for easy cleaning and maintenance, reducing the risk of allergies and respiratory issues.

The benefits of a simplified lifestyle on health extend beyond physical well-being. By embracing minimalism, we can reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and cultivate a sense of peace and calm. Minimalism allows us to create a space that supports our overall well-being and promotes a healthier lifestyle.

I want you to ask yourself two questions:

What 3 things are making me overwhelmed and anxious right now?

How can minimalism help me with this?

As I am pretty sure minimalism can.

Have a read of these articles for more benefits of minimalism.

10 signs you're a minimalist

Basics of minimalism

A-Z Guide to minimalism

5 common minimalism myths

The Power Of Less