Before we begin, I’d like to simply say this: I come before you today, presenting my minimalist journey as one who is still very new to the lifestyle, and decided to find a way to present minimalism to those who aren’t as persuaded by stories and philosophies as I am. This is the story of my study entitled Less: A Study on the Minimalist Lifestyle and Its Impact on Individual Happiness & Stress.
Last summer, I began a journey of self-discovery and stumbled upon minimalism. This revolutionary idea that less is more; life could be purposeful; life could be simple after all. Immediately I was intrigued, falling deeper in love with what minimalism had to offer.
My journey in minimalism began in August of 2017, when I committed to purging all my belongings to the bare minimum, resulting in more than three large moving boxes filled with items to be donated. From then on, I knew I had to share minimalism with the world. I needed encouragement to not buy so many items back, and I wanted to help other people see the way their lives, too, could be changed for the better.
The following month, an opportunity presented itself, and this was the perfect time to share my newfound love. I was taking a class known as AP Research, with a simple objective: fill the gap in research. I knew from my own personal research that there was very little scholarly evidence to the testimony that I had found countless times. So, I took this opportunity to combine the testimony of myself and The Minimalists with the newfound research of a self-conducted study on how minimalism impacted happiness and stress. In total, I spent seven months reading and researching minimalism in all its forms to create the case for minimalism.
From November to February, twelve weeks were spent journeying with eight people through minimalism, tracking their happiness and their life journey along with it. At the end, I found what I knew to be true: that minimalism made people happy. Really happy. Their stress went down as their possessions went down. I knew then that what I had found was going to be my leg to stand on when raving about this lifestyle.
Since I finished this study almost two months ago, I’ve had three of the eight people that I journeyed with continue being minimalist and inspired a newfound curiosity in three more. That may only be six people, but if they too come to love minimalism, that six will grow, and more people will learn for themselves that less is more.
Minimalism will change people. Minimalism will change the world.